Death Stranding Tips, Tricks, and Story Discussion! [Possible Spoilers]

Yeah, this is exactly what I love about Kojima. Every time a game does this “twist”, it’s exactly as obvious as this. It’s such a heavily-used trope, everybody knows it’s coming whenever it happens, to the extent that a lot of games lampshade it almost apologetically, like “Sorry, we know you know we’re doing this thing, but can you pretend to be surprised anyway?”

Whereas Kojima is like, “We all know I’m doing this thing, so let’s have some fun with it! I’m going to put this GIANT lampshade on it where the lampshade itself has BLINKING NEON LIGHTS that say ‘LAMPSHADE’, won’t that be fun?”

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It’s good. I love how it neatly divides the idea of surprise. Sam is surprised by the twist, the game is honest with the player, who is let in on the gag. (although, I did get a little annoyed at how many times Higgs’s sneer was replayed as Sam slowly understands what happened. I have little patience for overexplained things, which gets me a lot in this game.).

Yeah — I remember all the weird references and conjecture about the game’s multiplayer and everything Kojima said about inventing a new genre of games, and then playing it and realizing that it was essentially an iteration on Souls.

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So, I finished this. And I think I knew this from the general discourse when this was released but it’s true:

Mild spoiler in that some of the late game structure and quality is reviewed, but no specific plot elements are discussed.

Prologue - Episode 2: Painful exposition, painfully slow drip of gameplay elements
Episodes 3 - 8: Transcendent gameplay, with story beats that range from “That’s some cool worldbuilding right there” to “A good editor and dialogue coach could have saved this.”
Episodes 9-The End: You just keep thinking this can’t get any worse, and then it does. Gameplay becomes increasingly restrictive in service of attaching cutscenes. The cutscenes just repeatedly clumsily hammer home the central theme until they become self parody. Could have been done much better in 1/10th of the runtime. It’s possible it could have been good. It just isn’t.

It’s actually entirely put me off playing the post-game, but eps3-8 are going on my all time great game experiences lists, so there’s that.

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Yeah, I’ve been a little reluctant to progress the story, actually. It’s like the way people talk about never finishing the main quest of Skyrim or whatever. But OTOH a lot of your best tools come from progressing the story, so yeah.

I’m way behind you in the story, mid-way through Chapter 5. The boss fight in Chapter 4 was one of my least favourite things so far. The aesthetics of the arena were fantastic, and it’s not like the fight mechanics were bad, it’s just like… that’s not what I’m here for, man, I just want to deliver packages.

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Definitely agree, it’s a game with a real compelling and meaty middle and kind of awful at the fringes.
I’ll say I liked the intro, moving through the tough initial landscape with little to no tools felt fresh and unsaddled with systems, which does literally pile up satisfyingly over the course of the game, but I’m one who really appreciated the subsistence missions in MGSV and felt a similar sense from that part of the game.

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There’s two people that specifically save the ending for me and it’s Norman Reedus with Lou and Mads Mikkelsen. They might’ve blown their budget on hiring big names but by god imagine this game without them.

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Hard agree. A lot of people have called the casting “stunt casting” but I think that’s deeply unfair. Part of the heartbreak here comes from what these actors bring to the whole project. Kojima really went all out on performance capture, and it’s telling that we talk about these performances like we would an appearance in a film, despite the complete absence of FMV/Traditional cinema.

Also agreed on the early traversal gameplay. The later gameplay elements worked as well as they did for me, because at one point I had to do it the hard way. It was just frustrating for me to be constantly interrupted during that learning period with the parts of the game that I didn’t like.

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The ending of the game is so frustrating because amid all this junk and garbage there is a cool mechanic introduced that I wish was used other times in the game. When you return to the first area in your long trek back and can’t use structures youve built and have to rely solely on what other players built up in that area. Yeah it feels a bit hamfisted with like “Wow yknow maybe relying on other people isn’t so bad…” but it DID feel nice to be restricted in a way that gave appreciation to the work other players had put into the world. I think it could’ve been cool if there were like, special Timefall storms sporadically that would restrict in that way throughout the postgame to limit the power you have by that point with all the tech available to you! That was one thing that impressed me about the otherwise miserable ending gameplay wise

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