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Death Stranding - Kojima at it again

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I’m away at the moment and have this waiting at home. 
Reading all the verdicts it definitely seems to be a proper marmite affair. 
I can’t see me getting on with it tbh, sounds like crazy taxi without the taxi and some sort of sponsored walk. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Bacon Horsemeat said:

Let's all be honest, if this wasn't a Kojima game, you'd all be slating it. The visuals are incredible, story original, but the gameplay... is not fun.

 

 

I'm not a big Kojima fan at all. Just the opposite, his involvement almost put me off getting this.

 

I'd still love it without his cutscenes. It's very much a callback to weird PS games.

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30 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

I'm not a big Kojima fan at all. Just the opposite, his involvement almost put me off getting this.

 

I'd still love it without his cutscenes. It's very much a callback to weird PS games.

Which weird PS games?

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32 minutes ago, sandman said:

I’ve been utterly underwhelmed with (non Nintendo) games this gen. Banal stories, the same tired old gameplay, just a bit  more shiny in the graphics department. Yes, I’ve been negged many times for daring to put such thoughts on the forum.

 

You were probably negged for clearly not having played Yakuza Zero.

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1 hour ago, sandman said:

I am utterly captivated by this game, from the traversal, to the way you interact with the world and the way it interacts with you. It reminds me of 2 of my favourite games of all time, Skyrim and BOTW. 

 

I thought exactly that, especially BOTW. Where the joy of the game is the exploration, the actual running or climbing into the unknown,  rather than it simply being a time filler before the next cutscene/mission/village.

 

I know Death Stranding is trying to replicate that - it wants you to feel the joy of making it to the destination, or encountering a postbox or a ladder - a simple aid to help you through the inhospitable terrain. But it doesn't work. To make a similar comparison,  BOTW's climbing was enjoyable because constantly juggling between the stamina wheel running out and making it to the next ledge felt like an achievement - I'm just a little bit higher on this great big mountain - and soon enough, I'll be on top of this mountain, where I can see the world and find secrets.

 

With Death Stranding, it's just more of the same terrain, with the end result being a successful delivery, some trinkets and maybe a cutscene. Their stamina wheel is cargo management. The reward doesn't feel as human as in BOTW.

 

If they had got that "gameplay loop" right (because it makes up 90% of the game), no doubt my mind would be completely changed.

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Just got to port city.

The decent was fabulous.

 

The BT stuff ....yeah....it’s so messy. No idea what to actually do but run away.

The bike continues to be pretty terrible. It’s like a bad mod. It might aswell be the tank from Counter Strike beta.

Imagine a game like this with euphoria levels of physics and bike handling like in Trials.

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27 minutes ago, Bacon Horsemeat said:

 

I thought exactly that, especially BOTW. Where the joy of the game is the exploration, the actual running or climbing into the unknown,  rather than it simply being a time filler before the next cutscene/mission/village.

 

I know Death Stranding is trying to replicate that - it wants you to feel the joy of making it to the destination, or encountering a postbox or a ladder - a simple aid to help you through the inhospitable terrain. But it doesn't work. To make a similar comparison,  BOTW's climbing was enjoyable because constantly juggling between the stamina wheel running out and making it to the next ledge felt like an achievement - I'm just a little bit higher on this great big mountain - and soon enough, I'll be on top of this mountain, where I can see the world and find secrets.

 

With Death Stranding, it's just more of the same terrain, with the end result being a successful delivery, some trinkets and maybe a cutscene. Their stamina wheel is cargo management. The reward doesn't feel as human as in BOTW.

 

If they had got that "gameplay loop" right (because it makes up 90% of the game), no doubt my mind would be completely changed.

 

I am not so sure it is trying to replicate that to be honest. I think what it is essentially trying to do with its gameplay is a metaphor about how we are all alone and struggling with menial everyday tasks and how important a little help can be at the right times. I was being chased by some Mules into a mountain and there was no way to climb it, until I saw a rope someone had left there. I used it to climb up and then was able to escape by making it all the way up to the mountain where someone had built a generator (my skeleton needed charging, thank the strands). At that moment I realized that someone else had gone through the same experience and then decided to offer some help in case anyone -this case me- ran into the same thing. The feeling I got from that was something I never got from BOTW.

 

I am not saying this works all the time or anything (I certainly struggle with many of its boring aspects), but maybe we shouldn't be thinking about its gameplay based entirely on norms.

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If we all just stopped and looked around at one another, in real life not shitty Facebook life, we would realise that just a simple hello, wave or kind deed can be what they need to help them get through the day. This is the way of the Kojima. 
 

I almost see the game as hugely ironic, youl go three miles out of the way on the delivery mission to help someone in a game, but you won’t sit and read a book with your kid or give an hours time to take your elderly neighbour shopping. We are addicted to the social media loop of ‘likes’ and a lot of our whole intention these days is to do things to gain the attention and likes of others. Look at when you go to a concert, about 90 percent of people now film it on their phone rather than even watch it. 
 

I may be hugely wrong but that’s how I perceive the meaning of the game, the world has become completely selfish and isolated with everyone living most of their lives online or getting that satisfaction from a digital number. Norman is the person to break that link, to do things that physically help others towards a common goal, rather than doing things simply for gratification online.

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The game is perfectly summed up by the BT encounters so far. Every positive step forward is swept back in a wave of black goo. There are genuine moments where I get it. The descent into port city, the atmosphere. But then there'll be an awful story dump or clunky system introduced or you'll have to do another awful stealth bit with the whole of IKEA on your back and it's just not fun.

 

I really, really don't think this game is profound or has any deep truth to it. It's just Kojima running wild with no-one to reign in his wankery.

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Not entirely true when the game is covered with likes and emoji signs that give likes. Heck even my BB gives me likes. A game that hammers continuously about a broken society literally shackled to communication devices that  has you playing an online single player game liking other people’s digital constructs.  That’s his ironic joke.

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27 minutes ago, macosx said:

Not entirely tue when the game is covered with likes and emoji signs that give likes. Heck even my BB gives me likes. A game that hammers continuously about a broken society literally shackled to communication devices that  has you playing an online single player game liking other people’s digital constructs. 

 

Isn't that exactly the irony we are talking about? Providing likes for something meaningful, like actual game help, instead of all the fake connection we feel by liking cat pictures who can play the trumpet? 

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59 minutes ago, carlospie said:

If we all just stopped and looked around at one another, in real life not shitty Facebook life, we would realise that just a simple hello, wave or kind deed can be what they need to help them get through the day. This is the way of the Kojima. 
 

I almost see the game as hugely ironic, youl go three miles out of the way on the delivery mission to help someone in a game, but you won’t sit and read a book with your kid or give an hours time to take your elderly neighbour shopping. We are addicted to the social media loop of ‘likes’ and a lot of our whole intention these days is to do things to gain the attention and likes of others. Look at when you go to a concert, about 90 percent of people now film it on their phone rather than even watch it. 
 

I may be hugely wrong but that’s how I perceive the meaning of the game, the world has become completely selfish and isolated with everyone living most of their lives online or getting that satisfaction from a digital number. Norman is the person to break that link, to do things that physically help others towards a common goal, rather than doing things simply for gratification online.

 

That's all well and good but players are building these constructs for other players for the likes, for which they get rewarded. If you got no in-game reward for helping other players other than your own sense of satisfaction then perhaps the point would be less muddy. But as it is, Kojima is wagging his finger at the reliance of society on validation through social media metrics while dangling carrot after carrot in front of the player via the medium of....likes from strangers on the internet.

 

It's either a muddled contradiction he hasn't managed to reconcile or it's so drenched in irony that the sincerity of the supposed message ends up getting lost.

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36 minutes ago, Majora said:

 

That's all well and good but players are building these constructs for other players for the likes, for which they get rewarded. If you got no in-game reward for helping other players other than your own sense of satisfaction then perhaps the point would be less muddy. But as it is, Kojima is wagging his finger at the reliance of society on validation through social media metrics while dangling carrot after carrot in front of the player via the medium of....likes from strangers on the internet.

 

It's either a muddled contradiction he hasn't managed to reconcile or it's so drenched in irony that the sincerity of the supposed message ends up getting lost.

 

But how would he make his point if this feature wasn't in the game? He has it there to actually show you that it is meaningless. I have never once stopped to think how much I like all those...likes. They play no part in my enjoyment of the game, which is the point he is trying to make: that you don't need to depend on likes and such to validate your worth to others. Simply helping and receiving help to get through is enough and more important.

 

(Assuming he is making a point about all that of course).

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Well that was interesting...

Spoiler

"Aren't you tired of the grind, isn't this what you've been waiting for?" 

 

I was indeed tired of the grind, to the point of giving up last night. I'm still not convinced, but I can't honestly say this hasn't piqued my interest a little more now. 

 

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44 minutes ago, Majora said:

 

That's all well and good but players are building these constructs for other players for the likes, for which they get rewarded. If you got no in-game reward for helping other players other than your own sense of satisfaction then perhaps the point would be less muddy. But as it is, Kojima is wagging his finger at the reliance of society on validation through social media metrics while dangling carrot after carrot in front of the player via the medium of....likes from strangers on the internet.

 

It's either a muddled contradiction he hasn't managed to reconcile or it's so drenched in irony that the sincerity of the supposed message ends up getting lost.

It’s the job of the artist to make you think, that’s all. 

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I haven’t been able to play it yet, but the posts here - both those really loving it and those somewhere near the opposite - have been a nice reminder why I like this forum more than most other online places for game discussion. Can’t wait to drive in.

 

Having said that, an accusation I keep seeing elsewhere online is “if this wasn’t a Kojima game....” As powerful as branding and names are, I don’t think that’s a particularly thoughtful line of reasoning - at least it especially doesn’t match the kind of milieu of a place like this. Sure, a game like Death Stranding probably wouldn’t get made in the first place without his name, but that says more about the state of big budget media - now that it exists I think those finding they like it here are mostly capable of realising whether they are feeling real emotions about what is going on in front of them. I mean, we might be interested in a new Hideo Kojima game in the same way we’d be interested in something involving Fumito Ueda (Ico) or Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez) or whoever - given track records of a certain kind of freshness. But like anyone here I’d easily admit it if a new product bearing their names was actually really dull (though might be inclined to give some elements the benefit of the doubt if I felt the creators were generally thoughtful.) But apart from that the fan loyalty thing doesn’t make sense at all, does it? 

 

And the way it has been expressed here hasn’t been quite like this, but when I did waste time looking at other responses elsewhere the bizarre accusation that anyone enjoying (the obviously boring) experience was only doing so “because” it was a Hideo Kojima game was repeated way too often...for such a patronising and boring idea. 

 

That was a long sentence. I also need an editor. ;)

 

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11 minutes ago, Bacon Horsemeat said:

 

The norm being wanting to have fun?

 

That is a bit subjective, wouldn't you say? Maybe for some fun is actually trying to understand the meaning or the story of this game and how it all comes together, rather than focusing on its systems separately?

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10 minutes ago, Bacon Horsemeat said:

The norm being wanting to have fun?

 

Yeah, basically. That's exactly it. 

 

It's far from the first game to put the 'experience' before traditionally arcade or competitive ideas of fun (and that's more or less what I play games for, shmups and fighting games are my favourite) but it's probably the biggest ever production to do so. Arguably, RDR2 did similar but I'd say that has many more 'fun' gamey systems and rewards going on, even though I didn't personally enjoy its mechanics in any way. I treated it more like I'm playing Death Stranding, soak it up, wander round, do stuff when I feel like it. It's not fun necessarily but it's interaction. I know that sounds wank. 

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