Hit Start: Death Stranding is a lonely game about connecting


Photo credit/ Jen Flynn

“Death Stranding” is available to play on PlayStation.

“Death Stranding” has been one of the most polarizing games on the market in recent years. Some claim it is a masterpiece of gameplay and storytelling, while others think it is a complete flop and failure of a game.

Hideo Kojima, the creator of the game, has been a staple part of the video game landscape for many years.

His most successful franchise was the “Metal Gear Solid” games and he has paved the way for gripping storytelling and great gameplay. Kojima’s latest game since his departure from “Konami” was “Death Stranding.” “Konami” is a Japanese video game company that has published series such as “Castlevania” and “Metal Gear Solid.”When it came to the United States, “Death Stranding” did not do as well on the market as it did in Japan. However, I personally think that “Death Stranding” is one of the most unique gaming experiences I ever played.

The main aspect of “Death Stranding” is to connect people in a fractured society. However, the game excels at one aspect that I think a lot of people forget or don’t think about: loneliness. A game that is all about relationships is a very lonely game, in my opinion.

The world of “Death Stranding” is very vast; there are mountains, rivers and grasslands. The player finds themself delivering cargo to various people across the country, however only holograms of these people can be seen, in which they thank you and leave. While you are forming connections with people, you are never with them. The cities you visit are desolate silent cities with futuristic skyscrapers way off in the distance. Your only companion is your Bridge Baby, which is used as a tool in the story. A bridge baby is a fetus in a jar that is used to detect ghosts. During the course of the game, Sam- played by Norman Reedus- main character in “Death Stranding”, can form a connection to his Bridge Baby.

However, sometimes you do see people out in the world. These people are either Terrorists, Mules, or fellow Porters you meet along the way. Terrorists are enemies in the game that essentially want to destroy the world. Mules are bandits who want to steal your cargo while Porters are fellow delivery people you meet during your travels. Almost everyone you meet in the flesh is hostile to your player. Adding this conflict on top of the environment makes “Death Stranding” a really lonely experience, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it helps the game not only stand out but provide an experience like no other.

The general mood of “Death Stranding” can be very relaxing and calming, while also feeling almost alien. The world of “Death Stranding” is perfectly crafted for loneliness and exploration. The vast landscape is always enticing you to see what’s over that hill, whether it’s an enemy camp, a collectible item, or even a hidden prepper. Preppers are people who reside in fallout shelters. Sam must deliver cargo to them in order to progress the game.

However, between these stretches of interest, the only person on screen is your player for the most of the game. The game makes up for the constant loneliness with some stellar ambient sounds, from distant thunder to rivers flowing and the wind blowing within the trees. You can even hear every footstep that your main character makes. The world of “Death Stranding” feels alive even while making you feel alone.

Kojima and his team of designers created a world that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of loneliness without it taking you out of the world. From the sheer size of the world, to the landscape, everything seems intentional and shows that “Death Stranding” is far more complex than we previously thought. Death Stranding as a whole is a great game of masterful storytelling, amazing world and impressive graphics. I rate Death Stranding as a 10/10!

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