Death Stranding PC Review

Become Sam Porter Bridges, a futuristic postman tasked with reconnecting the United Cities of America to fight against explosive supernatural beings.

By Kiemour, Posted 20 Jul 2020

In the near future, the world has been ravaged with a pandemic known as the Death Stranding, which has caused supernatural beings to roam the Earth. Known as Beached Things (BTs), these creatures come from a realm between life and death, often referred to as the Beach. As Sam Porter Bridges, players will travel across the remains of the United Cities of America in an effort to reconnect them through a wireless communication network, known as the Chiral Network. 

Throughout the game, Sam will interact with a host of NPCs, each one giving occasional hints to the world's background and small foreshadowings of what is to come. The game includes many well-known actors and celebrities, including the director of "The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro. Sam, played by "The Walking Dead"'s Norman Reedus, is a unique character in the world of Death Stranding because he has been granted supernatural abilities due to the pandemic. 

According to legend, there is a sea that acts as the realm of the living, and the dead live on the land. But Sam is unique; he has been diagnosed as a repatriate, which gives him the ability to revive himself by swimming back to his body, as he is transported to the beach of purgatory each time he dies. Although I personally had done no prior research into this game, I found the story to be intriguing, and the lack of complete knowledge pushed me to keep playing. However, the game has more to it than just a supernaturally crazy story.

Death Stranding, Waystation

Death Stranding is an action game, structured in a similar format to many point-and-click adventures. Players will have to experience real-life physics as Sam carries up to 125kg of cargo on his back, the wind, or his walking causing it to sway. By holding down a button, players can re-adjust their load left or right, balancing it out so their character does not fall. These physics leak over to the game's walking mechanics as well, as realistic people cannot stop immediately in the middle of sprinting, especially with a heavy load on their back. Even when players stop telling the in-game character to walk, he will still amble forward for a few seconds, as the momentum propels him forward. 

At one point in the game, I was sprinting across the map, keeping an eye on my stamina bar. However, I saw the cliff coming up and instantly pressed back on my keyboard to make my character stop. But with his momentum and weight, he kept going for a few more steps than I may have liked, but no cargo was damaged. These realistic physics may make the game a little aggravating, but also make it more immersive, and put players directly into the world.

The story behind Death Stranding is very complex, and never fully explained at one singular point in the game. As the story progresses, players begin to learn more about what has happened across America, and how the pandemic broke apart the nation. Despite the scientists' best efforts, a way to combat the BTs has yet to be found, and Sam's mission is to link the different colonies together to speed up any possible research. 


Death Stranding, Bike

While playing on PC, I occasionally had instances when the game would stutter or freeze altogether, though audio kept playing in the background. In any other circumstance, I would chalk this experience up to my computer not being the best PC on the market. However, there are many other PC players that also experienced some in-game stuttering, which was easily fixed by closing the application and restarting from my last save.  

PC also offers a totally different experience from the game's original PlayStation exclusive release, and almost plays smoother with mouse and keyboard. Despite primarily being a console gamer myself, Death Stranding has a lot of in-game functions, and they are more strategically spread out on the keyboard. However, there are a few differences on PC that players may want to change before taking on their first order.

For my personal experience, my PC version of the game began with toggle-based controls, meaning that I was able to press a button and my character would walk, rather than having to hold it down. However, this causes problems when I wanted to stop moving to avoid a cliff or was moving too quickly with my heavy cargo. However, all players have a different set of controls that are more comfortable for them, and Death Stranding allows for both controllers as well as traditional PC controls.

Overall, Death Stranding is an enjoyable, story-centric game, with realistic physics and unique in-game interactions. Although it was a little difficult to understand the story at first, the game's creator Hideo Kojima spaced out the small details enough to keep players engaged and progressing, eager to learn more. Although many fans have compared this new game to the Coronavirus pandemic due to their similarities, we can only wait to see if our world will bear any similarities to Kojima's creation.

Kieran Mouritsen
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): 505 Games
Developer(s): Kojima Productions
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: 2020-07-14

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