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Deep dive into why Death Stranding reviews are so polarizing

Death Stranding
Death Stranding

What exactly is Death Stranding trying to convey?

Sam & Fragile in Death Stranding.
Sam & Fragile in Death Stranding.

The beauty of any kind of art is that it tries to convey something different and if one doesn't look at that art from a specific perspective or a vision, they might not be able to grasp or understand or even realize its full potential.

Last year's Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the finest examples of artistic expression in a video game. Even though the game is the highest-rated video game on Metacritic of this generation, many people complained that the game's not fun to play and a slow burn when it comes to its story.

The game's open-world is almost empty in contrast to the traditional open-world games in the market which are filled with numerous activities to indulge in, irrespective of whether it fits the game's context or not.

In short, the beauty of Red Dead Redemption 2 lies in its creator's bold singular vision for the game which they didn't want to tone down in accordance with the player's convenience. The people who understand this simple concept may end up enjoying Red Dead Redemption 2 a lot. Everything is there for a reason, the vast empty wilderness, the coffee making mechanic, the option to interact with every other NPC. Just think about it.

The same can be said about Death Stranding's world. Of all the cryptic enigmatic trailers we have seen, all we know for sure is that Death Stranding is a game about connections. It's about connecting the fractured America and it wants Sam (Norman Reedus' character) to do so by making delivers all across the game's lonely open world.

Making connections isn't simple. Not in the real world nor in the game's world and Hideo Kojima and his team are well aware of that. Hence Sam's journey is filled with vast empty lands, with only his thoughts and his BB as his company. Not to mention the traversal tools such as ladders and vehicles left behind by other people along the way.

This may seem as boring and frustrating to some players and doesn't seem like the perfect place to relax after a hectic day at work but neither does the game wants you to feel that way.

It wants to you to be lonely, it wants one to reflect upon their thoughts while they traverse the game world, It wants you to take care of your BB, All these small actions may sound absurd and not necessarily fun in any aspect but is important for one to trigger that specific sense of emotion that this piece of art is trying to portray.

In other words, Hideo Kojima and his team wants you to feel everything that you feel during playing this game. They want you to feel lonely, isolated, frustrated and many more such feelings. The people who have to some extent realized the gravity of this perspective, are the ones who ended up giving the game a perfect score.

And the ones who doesn't are the ones who call it a clumsy and a dreadful experience.

PREV 2 / 3 NEXT

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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