The Game that’s Worth the Wait
After Hideo Kojima cut ties with Konami, it seemed as though we would never get to enjoy his master storytelling again. Fortunately, it wasn’t long afterward that Kojima started a new video game studio under his own name: Kojima Productions. Of course, we know in the case of Hideo Kojima, once he announces a game it’s going to take at least half a decade until we have it in our hands.
Fortunately, with an all-star cast that includes Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, and an immersive soundtrack, Death Stranding was not a disappointing five-year wait. Death Stranding has a Special Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector’s Edition, of which we’ll be exploring what’s significant about the Death Stranding Special Edition.
What’s Shaking with the Death Stranding Special Edition?
If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, then you can grab yourself the Death Stranding Special Edition instead of the regular standard edition of Death Stranding. The Death Stranding Special Edition has a Steelbook case. If you’re looking for a more durable case with better artwork. This is mainly for people who put more value into collectibles. It’s also nice to see three-dimensional artwork of the Death Stranding main character embossed onto the steel book.
You also get an exclusive in-game item by redeeming your special edition code when installing the game. If you had pre-ordered the game, then you would have gotten a gold version of Sam’s sunglasses, a gold hat, a gold speed skeleton, and a gold armor plate. However, with the Death Stranding Special Edition, you also get the gold version of Lune’s Mask sunglasses.
Finally, what sets the Death Stranding Special Edition apart from the standard edition is it contains the digital download of the Death Stranding album, “Timefall,” along with a digital behind-the-scenes video.
It’s the Same Beautiful Story
There is no difference between all these different Death Stranding editions when it comes to the story. The Death Stranding Special Edition follows the story of Sam as he makes a confusing walk across America. We’re sure that, with any storytelling, there’s bound to be story elements best saved for later. However, it’s almost as if the entirety of the game leaves us wondering what we’re even doing as we saunter our way across America with a baby in tow. Of course eventually, if you pay really close attention, you’ll find out how the baby is somehow connected to the land of the dead while you’re attacked by creepy ghosts and age-accelerating rain. Death Stranding does start off a little slow, but it picks up eventually.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t pick up fast enough to keep the average player interested. Good thing Norman Reedus is easy on the eyes. It is a Hideo Kojima game, after all, so the story’s setup is going to take longer as the story moves all over the place. In fact, you’re probably not going to see much story-wise until about ten hours into the game.
Just a Slight Difference in Questing
There is some traditional combat in the game, but it seems Kojima’s only card when it comes to combat is: sneak around, hope you don’t get caught, and if you do, then murder it. Of course, there’s an aspect to the game where you’re a glorified delivery carrier and if you damage the package you’re carrying, then you lose some points. It’s like if your pizza delivery driver got into a fight while delivering your pizzas, you wouldn’t be very happy, would you?
Unfortunately, combat in the game is a bit redundant and can be repetitive at times. It’s especially repetitive in the open-world environments before you actually start getting into the lengthy cutscenes later in the game. Of course, you don’t have to move into the end of the game so quickly. In this Death Stranding Special Edition review, we talk about how there are so many different gameplay aspects you can experience before you focus on the story. You don’t have to take shortcuts through Death Stranding. You can do side quests, take more difficult routes during deliveries, and explore as much as you can before moving on with the main story.
If needing to traverse repetitive landscapes trying to micromanage packages on top of your energy before you go stumbling down a mountain doesn’t sound exciting to you, then you might want to move on directly into the main story.
It’s Technologically Stunning!
Despite everything else, the graphics are beautiful as far as the character design is concerned. However, you’re not going to see much in the way of great environmental design. The entire game seems almost copied and pasted as far as outdoor areas go. You can create ladders or use vehicles at one point to keep it less redundant, but the scenery doesn’t do much in the way of diversity.
Highlight: this Death Stranding Special Edition review finds that the game is technologically stunning! Even if you’re not playing on the PlayStation 4 Pro, you’re still getting some of the best motion-captured graphics you’ll ever see.
And this game is definitely an inspiration to many an artist out there in the world! See the many Death Stranding fan art Hideo Kojima has inspired!
Sony Interactive Entertainment got together with RCA records to work on the soundtrack for Death Stranding. The music itself is rather immersive and gives off the vibe Kojima was going for as we’re sauntering our way across the world to deliver packages. It’s a little different than what you’re used to, but what do you expect for a post-apocalyptic trek across America?
Hideo Kojima gave an honest attempt at his first game with his new studio. At times it seemed like a hit-or-miss, but it’s definitely worth getting once the price drops a bit or people begin to trade it into their local game store after they’re finished. Even if you’re not one to enjoy the slow trudge through the landscape, you can still enjoy the fact that you have support from other players who leave convenient ropes, ladders, and even bridges that help bridge a connection with other players (pun intended) even if you don’t see them in the game itself.
That being said, the first ten hours in the game weed out the week. Many end up quitting within the first couple of hours because it’s honestly a painful hurdle. Even after overcoming the first ten hours of the game, the game still moves at a snail’s pace. The story also gets a little convoluted and puts some players to sleep. It might be a mess but it’s definitely an experience you’ve never had before.
Hardcore gamers can finish the game in about thirty hours, but you’re going to want to explore everything the game has to offer as we may not see another Hideo Kojima title until we’re a lot older!