Finally I finished Death Stranding . After buying it last New Year, it was interesting to realize that it took about two months to finish Hideo Kojima's first game since he separated from Konami. Apart from being overrun by the final exams and the many time-consuming final assignments, the story of this game also doesn't take a moment to complete. Two months is a really long time, even longer than me playing Dark Souls , but you know what? It is a very pleasant experience.
Death Stranding is exactly what I imagined it to be, knowing this was the result of the creativity of someone named Hideo Kojima. At the same time, it is a game that I never imagined would be seen, felt or played. If he says he's created a game that's new and never made before, I believe. I could easily feel how he was trying to create something new with Death Stranding , and he succeeded. This is a work that we have never met and always manages to attract our curiosity into it.
So, what is Death Stranding all about? Like his trailer , it's not easy to explain. We, as Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus), are in the United States which is almost extinct because an incident called "Death Stranding" causes the emergence of something called "BT" - a spirit trapped in "Beach", a place that resembles a beach. and is the link between earthly life and the afterlife, because of "Death Stranding" - which is now roaming all over the United States and is always antagonistic to anyone who approaches it. Quite complicated, I understand. Even I don't know how to explain it more simply and concisely.
"BT" is evil, that's all that matters. If we encounter them, our choice is to avoid them before they suck us into another world or kill them (which is really freeing them). But it is not our main duty to fight against all the "BTs" that appear. Our job as Sam is to reconnect all of these Americans who have almost perished through Bridges, a company that wants to rebuild America, and re-establish a country that will be called "United Cities of America" or UCA. It's a game about reconnecting long-lost relationships, and that concept is the founding pillar of both the story and the gameplay of Death Stranding .
How do you reconnect America? By becoming a courier. Correct. We send goods to a colony spread across America or what is called a "Knot City" because every colony we manage to connect to a network called a "Chiral Network" (similar to the internet, actually) is something that can tighten the knot, namely America. or UCA. Delivering goods is, in fact, at the heart of the game's mechanics. We successfully delivered the goods. We get new orders and repeat this process to add connections with new colonies or strengthen ties with existing colonies. That's right, here we are JNE couriers but in America that is already extinct.
Playing during these two months, I definitely spent a lot of time delivering goods. Sounds boring, right? To spend time walking or riding a motorbike around the vast, empty land just to deliver a pizza. But the more I deliver goods, the greater the sense of satisfaction I get knowing I managed to make one person happy in the middle of a world that is already threatened with doomsday. And that seems to be what keeps me coming back to playing Death Stranding knowing that my job will always be the same as before: being a courier.
The game challenge that I often encounter in Death Stranding is not enemies or "BT", but how to arrange the load on Sam's back so that he can carry as many items and as heavy as possible. Indeed, in the middle we can assemble a vehicle, but in the beginning we were just walking. And the heavier the items were, the harder it was for Sam to keep his balance. Not to mention if you have to arrange a river. Climbing. Run out of stamnia. Slipped while descending cliff. These mechanics are ultimately what keep me trying to find the best route for Sam, and it's the challenges that keep on making the journey less tedious than I thought.
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Not only from how the challenges of finding a route can hinder delivery, the weather also plays an important role. Since the emergence of "BT", there is a phenomenon called "Timefall" which has started to emerge where the phenomenon is the same as the coming of rain, but every drop of rainwater can accelerate whatever age it hits. If it is contacted by humans, then the human's age will immediately age immediately. Regarding the grass, it will wither immediately. Regarding the items that we carry, they will break down quickly. Not only that, where there is a "Timefall" that's usually where there is a bunch of "BT". This is where the player's creativity is put to the test. To find a way to get through "Timefall" safely as quickly as possible without damaging the goods we carry too much.
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During the game, Sam carries a baby tube on his chest which is named "BB", short for "Baby Bridges". Although many say he is just a piece of equipment, Sam considers him a human and their bond increases over time. The purpose of "BB" is to detect the presence of "BT" and the closer we are to "BT", the tighter the odradek , the sensor for detecting "BT", rotates. I want to say, the part through “BT” is always a scary experience, especially when you start playing Death Stranding . The atmosphere became dark, the rain poured down, odradek and "BB" always panicked, "BT" which looked like a ghost began to haunt us. I even think there is an element of horror here, something I didn't expect is coming and I love it.
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Like the slogan of this game, "Tomorrow Is In Your Hand", how we complete the route is also in our hands. Death Stranding gives us the freedom to how to continue our mission. The ground in this game is very wide. There are rivers, grass, mountains, cliffs to rocks. And it all depends on how we want to go through it, because to reach a destination we can go through many routes. We can build bridges, we can build ladders, we can make grappling hooksand all this equipment gives us a lot of freedom how we go about our adventures in America. There's almost no ground that Sam can't get to and I like that because the game doesn't try to limit the player's movement and let the creativity of the player do its job.
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Yes, there are times when the journey gets tedious especially if I go on the same route over and over again. But the feeling of satisfaction that I get after sending the item (and also being given likes by the recipient like on social media) is a feeling that I rarely get in games. Death Strandingalso smart enough to create a soothing atmosphere like a celebration after Sam's tough journey, like how the music “Anything You Need” starts playing after we pass through a forest full of “BT”. Music is like how the game tells us, “Good job. Listen to this fun music to calm down after the tough challenge. " Finally? I saved the song on Spotify .
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It is not only the satisfaction of delivering the goods that continues to encourage me to always try to complete as many orders as possible, but also to build relationships with everyone I meet in each of their bunkers . Everyone has different and unique traits and characteristics, and one of the strongest aspects of Death Strandingis it, to see Sam slowly build connections with survivors in America. These people often give me e-mails, they often confide in personal life, some even confide that he and his girlfriend have separated even though before I was half desperately trying to unite them. Each of them has their own story, and with them we can experience the intimate connection that can only be had by constantly building trust between them and Sam.
And I really love how each character lives here. And I haven't discussed the main character yet, I'm still discussing the characters we only meet along the way, which is great for many of them I recognize because they use models from several people who are of course already famous such as host (and one of the favorite hosts) Conan O'Brien , horror manga writer Junji Ito to director Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Baby DriverEdgar Wright. How Kojima can get them to model their faces I'm still not sure. In this game, building relationships with these displaced Americans is not only satisfying but also important, as they can help provide tips, provide items or materials to build an object or just chat on e-mail. This game always ensures that relationship building is something that will always be important to Sam, no matter how sophisticated the equipment is.
Sometimes the trip from one location to the next is very far and takes a lot of forgetting, I often forget that this game also has a fighting mechanism with the enemy. In America today, there is not only Sam and Bridges, but there is also a group called "Mule". It was a group of people scattered across America whose only purpose was to grab: to seize goods from every courier that passed through the area. I, like Desmond Doss soldiers from Hacksaw Ridge , do not like to choose the path of violence and prefer to surreptitiously pass through its territory. If there is a motorbike I usually just go straight to their base. Maybe they will shoot at me, but this is much safer and faster than fighting them one by one.
Of course there will be times when Sam will have to muster up his courage and fight them off, especially if the mission is to retrieve an item at the headquarters of these "Mule". Playing secretly was always my choice, but sometimes the enemy saw me because of my impatience and forced me to fight them. Death Stranding , just like Metal Gear Solid , also provides many opportunities for us to figure out the best way to fight the enemy. Can kill with an assault rifle for a quick solution, but enemy corpses can become "BT" and that only adds to Sam's task. Can tie them one by one with a ball gun, but we need to kick them to knock them out and that takes up not only energy but also time. Or we can also beat them or beat them using the items we carry if that is the last way.
It's fun to figure out how to fight off the enemy, but there are times when the firing mechanism doesn't work smoothly. The first annoying thing was how time-consuming getting the gun off the backload was, which Sam needed to animate removing it from the box. Then if the gun bullets run out, we can't take another gun's bullet and have to throw it away to take up space and guess what happened? Yes, again Sam animates having to drop his empty load on the ground, not realizing that in front of him there is "BT" or an enemy ready to attack him. Maybe it only lasts for a few seconds, but here a few seconds are important and often become the loss for me, who did not realize that danger was in sight. For gameplayhis gunfire, nothing too revolutionary about him.
When it comes to the story and the characters, Death Stranding has really won. By bringing a theme that has become even more relevant in the midst of COVID-19, Hideo Kojima has succeeded in presenting a story that is not only touching, fun, warm but
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