Is Death Stranding Worth Playing?

Death Stranding is one of those games that has gotten memed on ever since it came out. The community behind the game was split between if the game was actually good or not. Before the game was released, the hype behind it was actually insane. 

People saw the really weird trailers that Kojima released and nobody knew how the game was going to be. When the game was finally released, it didn’t live up to people’s expectations, this is why the game has a split fanbase.

We thought about it and finally decided to actually play the game for ourselves. We went in blind and were pleasantly surprised by it. Keep in mind that this game is not for everyone, so take that with a grain of salt.

We will try to spoil as little as we can so if you do decide to play it, you can go in mostly blind. This is Chug from Cubold Gaming, and we are going to be answering the question if Death Stranding is worth playing or not.

The Story

The first thing we are going to talk about is the story. This is one of the main reasons why many don’t really like the game that much. We do have to say that we personally enjoyed the story, but that doesn’t mean it has its own issues.

The story seems to be all over the place. The plot of the game is that you are a man named Sam who is tasked with connecting America after a devastating phenomenon called the Death Stranding happened.

I am not going to go into details about everything because that can turn into an hour-long video at that point. All we can say is that it could have been put in an order that made the game a bit shorter. It took us 30 hours to beat the game and ⅓ of that time was watching cutscenes.

This isn’t a bad thing since it was almost like watching a movie, but it does get a little drawn out at times. Other than the long cutscenes, the story was really enjoyable for us, so if you enjoy very weird stories that don’t make sense until the end, then you might enjoy Death Stranding.

The Gameplay

The gameplay is probably the most controversial part of why people don’t like it. Most of the game has you delivering packages to different places and connecting people to the network. It sounds pretty boring, and it can be, but it is very hard to put into words how you feel playing the game.

You usually have a ton of packages on your back and it is up to you to find a good path to your destination. It can be a little difficult, but ultimately it is a pretty fun system. The soundtrack in the game, while you are playing it, is incredible as well. 

We won’t focus too much on the soundtrack, but the music is taken from a bunch of actual bands and it makes the atmosphere that much better. You might be delivering a package and a song just pops on and it makes the trip even better.

When it comes to traversal, it is the most realistic we have seen in a game before. You need to use the environment to get from place to place and it can be extremely hazardous. You will need to use ladders, ropes, vehicles, and a bunch of other tools to make it to your destination.

There is also an online system that allows other people to help place objects down that can help you in your world. It is actually a very unique system that we can’t recall seeing in another game.

The gameplay itself is very tedious, but that is what makes the game fun for certain people, including us. Don’t look at the difficulty as a hard thing, try to think of it as a challenge and you might enjoy it better.

The Combat/Boss Fights

The combat in this game is odd. What we mean by this is that at times it doesn’t feel like it should be the way it is. For the first 10 hours of the game, you won’t really have weapons. You will eventually get a Bola gun, but you won’t get guns until way later in the story. 

Plus, actually killing people brings massive consequences since the creatures in the Death Stranding come from the dead. It is not recommended to kill any of the bandits that try to steal your cargo. 

The combat feels weird at times because you are carrying a lot of equipment and trying to get around quickly at the same time. Certain times we really enjoyed the combat, but other times, it was extremely frustrating. 

For the boss fights, a few of them could have probably been left out. Sometimes you feel completely helpless and it can be difficult in that way, other times the boss just has soo much health that it feels like the fight will never end.

We can confidently say that one of the boss fights in the game was pretty cool since the mechanics in it were completely different from other boss fights. You shouldn’t get this game for the boss fights, but they are a pretty cool aspect of the story so they are necessary.

The Graphics/Optimization

The graphics in this game are some of the best we have seen in video games. The game itself was actually made with the Decima Engine, the same engine used in Horizon: Zero Dawn. As you can see in the footage, the textures, landscapes, and player models look absolutely incredible.

The cutscenes in particular make the characters look incredible. If you have played Last of Us 2, you probably noticed how it is difficult to determine whether you are watching a cutscene or playing the game. That is how this game felt as well.

Since the graphics are incredible, how is the optimization? Well, we played the Director’s Cut on PC and the game ran amazingly well. We do have some of the newest hardware, but it also runs great on older hardware as well.

If you are playing on a console, then you are obviously locked to 30 or 60 FPS. As far as we know, the console optimization is great as well and a smooth experience always makes for a better experience.

No matter what you play on, you will enjoy just how smooth the gameplay is. You will also be impressed at all the landscapes the game has to show you while you explore the massive world.

Is Death Stranding Worth Playing?

So, down to the question is if it is worth playing. Yes, the game is absolutely worth playing. If you enjoy a crazy story, amazing graphics, and an insanely cool atmosphere, then you will most likely enjoy this game.

Our overall thought of the game is that it does have some issues, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. When looking at a game, we tend to look more at the good aspects of the game rather than the bad, because if you focus on the bad, then you won’t enjoy the experience that it gives.

The game might be for you or it might not, but we would recommend that you at least try the game for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you get in the game. There were things that we didn’t know were in the game that made the game better for us.

If you have had a friend recommend you play the game and you saw the split community, don’t be afraid to try a whole new experience. If you are worried, you can even get the game on sale so you don’t have to worry about spending full price on it.

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