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Death Stranding - Kojima at it again

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On 03/12/2019 at 17:08, Alan Stock said:

Question for those who have finished the game:

 

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I just did lake knot city and destroyed the giant BT with Higgs controlling it, next up I have to meet Fragile. I'm wondering though am I now heading to the point of no return, or does the game make it pretty clear when that is? I want to do lots more deliveries, finish off some zip lines, roads etc before the end. I understand you can return after the game to do this stuff but I'd rather savour my time without knowing what's ahead. I don't need an exact chapter but just a rough idea would be good, should I start finishing up the open world stuff now? Cheers

 

 


 



I’m almost certain that you are already past the point of no return! It’s straight onto the finish line when you hit Lake Knot City. 
As you mentioned, you’ll be able to go back and do all the deliveries to your hearts content

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Well i'm on a mission to complete all the roads, which can be a bit of a nightmare in the mountain/snowy region, as a few of the 'road constructors' need 5000 metal and ceramic.

 

It's my personal mission now though - the courier job can take a back seat. I'm strictly a road  man now.

 

I've put the story on the backburner for now - chapter 9, and about 70 hours in!

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Sweet.... I'm fed up of the C/D ratings with the bots. I strive for S grade by foot. The bots should do the same !

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Enjoyed this little review of the game...

 

‘Death Stranding was made with love. I want to say it’s “hand crafted” but that’s nonsense and not really descriptive—but holy wow does this game invoke that feeling. Moving on to other games afterwards just feels like a downgrade in almost every way.’

 

https://thirdcoastreview.com/2019/11/21/game-review-death-stranding/

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I’ve not seen or heard the difficulty level discussed much about this game. I think I’m a very average gamer and I’m hardly ever dying but in some of the encounters I’m getting perilously close which adds to the drama immensely. 
Before playing the game  you would imagine that all the different systems and enemies would mean It was a “hard” game but actually it’s really easy but does a good job in making you feel in peril most of the time.

what does everyone else think?

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More stupid things that I shouldn’t enjoy, but love. The inventory management, the wee bombs, soothing the dumb babby, getting cargo home at over 50% gives me a good feeling. I’m always a bit disappointed when I end up arriving with knackered cargo. 

Also the skin of your teeth BT encounters. Last night I had to drop a load of stuff at a wind farm. I got absolutely reamed by BT’s on the way. Lost my cargo twice, used three repair sprays. One of which was wasted because I was spraying it in the wrong direction! (I’m not a clever man). 

But even with all these things that in most games would be a no deal, I keep coming back for more. It is weird, but by golly it’s good. 

 

 

 

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On 07/12/2019 at 08:24, Junker said:

I’ve not seen or heard the difficulty level discussed much about this game. I think I’m a very average gamer and I’m hardly ever dying but in some of the encounters I’m getting perilously close which adds to the drama immensely. 
Before playing the game  you would imagine that all the different systems and enemies would mean It was a “hard” game but actually it’s really easy but does a good job in making you feel in peril most of the time.

what does everyone else think?


Yep, it’s actually one of the easiest games I remember playing, as there is a lot of leeway. Make a shit damaged delivery? You don’t fail, just get a bad rating. Get caught by BTs? It’s basically an inconvenience, it’s not very hard to escape. Boss fights are all pretty short and you can either repatriate or try again quickly. But at the same time how easy it is doesn’t make it any less fun, and like you say you do feel peril because you want to do well and not make life harder for yourself. 

Finished it earlier today, fantastic game, probably the best game I’ve played this year. The end segment did get a bit boring and was overly long, but I feel that’s a stupid criticism as it was me who chose to buy a Kojima game... I didn’t expect anything else!!

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Yes but! You can tactically get caught by BT’s to confront the BT boss. Kill it and you’ll clear the area of BT’s making the delivery route faster. 
 

its all about the deliveries. 

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^ This.

 

Had my first ‘dragged to the squid boss’ encounter before. Kicked his ass with help from some good online Samaritans lobbing me blood rifles. And now that particular ballache of a mountain pass is clear of cnuts. From now on I’m gonna tool up and let the tar peeps take me to their leader.

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On 07/12/2019 at 08:24, Junker said:

I’ve not seen or heard the difficulty level discussed much about this game. I think I’m a very average gamer and I’m hardly ever dying but in some of the encounters I’m getting perilously close which adds to the drama immensely. 
Before playing the game  you would imagine that all the different systems and enemies would mean It was a “hard” game but actually it’s really easy but does a good job in making you feel in peril most of the time.

what does everyone else think?

 

Interestingly before reading your post I felt to write about the difficulty too. It’s something I’ve come to really appreciate about the game as time has gone on - this journey of feeling pretty overwhelmed, under-equipped, confused and somewhat frustrated at the beginning to feeling much more in control, aware of how deal with dangers and empowered as time has gone on.

 

The difficulty is genuinely spot on for me for the reasons you say. I rarely die now and am more tooled up and experienced (which is satisfying after all that came before), but it doesn’t feel like a breeze either. It somehow still feels very tense at times. It’s neither too easy like The Wind Waker (I suddenly mention that game because it’s another one I love with an atmosphere that makes you forgive any flaws, and I wondered if I was being ‘too easy’ on Death Stranding because I’m a sucker for its setting too - but no, Wind Waker’s flawed difficulty level did affect my enjoyment of the game despite it being completely bewitching otherwise) - DS is not too easy a game like that, but then it hasn’t provided much ‘hardcore’ challenge in a while either. It’s some weird perfect blend of horrible tension and an easy ride.*

There are also subtle changes in how the same old threats operate which are keeping things interesting too. 

 

(My my only issue is a similar one to the MGS games - I would kind of like it to be less easy to re-load a game. If I got in a real pickle in most Metal Gear Solids I would simply load an earlier save rather then work with my mess, and I find myself doing the same here. However, that’s my own fault for ‘cheating’ and not choosing to go on after drastic mistakes, and I can’t think of design approach to get around this except disallowing custom saves or penalties for loading games all the time...)

 

*There are the difficulty settings of course. I’ve not ever strayed from ‘normal’! (And punishing-mechanics-if-you-don’t-plan-much notwithstanding.)

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Went back after completing a couple of weeks back it to polish off some side missions and the like. I got cocky and there’s a huge crater in my map now. Whoops.

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Finished this tonight and loved it. Found it got a bit boring in the final few chapters but was happy with the ending. 

 

One thing is bugging me though, there was one stretch of road I never got round to finishing north of the snowy area. I think I’m gonna crack on and get it finished. 

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On 29/11/2019 at 04:35, Goemon said:


I think they should have put a couple more missions in the game where you raid mule camps. I don’t think a lot of people realise the potential for doing this and spend their time avoiding them.

 

After running out of resources for building roads I had this thought, "Hang on, if resources are tight because Mules keep nicking things then surely I could just nick a whole lot of metals and ceramics back...."

 

Worked a treat. I became their worst enemy for a bit (while being careful not to kill any of them.)

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I think I need to change my career.

 

I’ve finished the story but still find myself dipping back in to make deliveries. I can’t even put my finger on why I’m finding it so compelling. 

Maybe UPS are hiring...

 

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Quick question; does this game turns into an utter turd at some point?

 

I've been playing it for about four hours, and I think it's brilliant, but then I remembered how some forumites really hate it, so I wondered that maybe it turns really boring or otherwise terrible at one point...

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8 minutes ago, Keyboard Koala said:

Quick question; does this game turns into an utter turd at some point?

 

I've been playing it for about four hours, and I think it's brilliant, but then I remembered how some forumites really hate it, so I wondered that maybe it turns really boring or otherwise terrible at one point...

 

My partner and I have been enthralled most of the way through. There's a few bits where Kojima needs to edit himself a bit more and have more faith that the audience has joined the dots but it's nowhere near as problematic or preachy as some of his other works. It gets plot heavy at the end with about the same density as the beginning, no two hour long cut scenes this time.

 

Game of the year for me but I can see why some will declare it their overrated or worst game of the year.

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Cheers.

 

An EDGE 6 then :p

 

 

 

Quote

Game of the year for me but I can see why some will declare it their overrated or worst game of the year.

 

Like The Last Of Us ?

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Oh man, the satisfaction of carrying 100 kgs. (back) to its intended destination is immensely satisfying. I can see this game taking up most of my free time in the foreseeable future.

 

No wonder this game cleaned up at the last game awards.

 

ELrNaglUcAIOglX?format=jpg&name=large

 

Carry me, Porter-senpai!!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and they fixed the tiny text as well:

 

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From the Completed Games 2019 thread.

 

14/12 Death Stranding (PS4) I've never quite seen the appeal of Kojima's games. They've always felt a little awkward to play, I didn't really enjoy insta-fail stealth games (or games with very little room to improvise. And the women in his games have always been treated kind of oddly. It was the trailers that hooked me though. As bits of media on their own they're like tiny horror movies. And the trailer that came out the week before? It was eight minutes long and I didn't mind being spoiled as I was going to wait and maybe skip it.

 

It completely sold me on it. And while many trailers reveal too much in three minutes this long trailer just made me more interested in the mystery it presented about this broken world and the place of the people surviving in it. I read early reviews and everything reviewers seemed to hate about it just sold me on it more. The Postman crossed with QWOP? This sounds amazing. US Gamer's review where they described it as being like a PS2 game (but in a good way) sealed the deal for me. I bought it day one.

 

For the past month my partner and I have been completely transfixed by Death Stranding. Some of this is down to the pacing, for such an expensive project the game itself feels incredibly low key. This might be sci-fi but it's' more along the lines of Silent Running or Moon for the most part. Or, I don't know, has there been a sci-fi road movie before? The landscape is the star of the game. It feels more like Iceland than America but it feels vast. And Mules (violent rival couriers who act like bandits) and BT's (the ghosts) provide an obvious threat the real threat is the weather turning on you, or that rock you missed until you tripped on it, that river that was too deep, that hill you were too impatient not to run down.

 

Kojima's copped some crap for filling this with "his Hollywood friends" and that's understandable given the phoned in performances some have given over the years. It's paid off here. The casting is spot on and the acting is amazing. Yes, the characters all have the standard weird Kojima names, and they're all eccentric but they're all convincing. One performance bought my partner to tears at one point. They're only let down by some lack of editing, I think Kojima needs to just trust that we'll put the strands together he's laid out in front of us, he doesn't need someone reinforcing the point five seconds later. Those worried about previous creepiness, there is no Quiet or Pas style weirdness here.

 

The crossover with other players structures is a thing of genius as well. I was worried that after week one my America would be littered with ladders and bridges and icons but they've developed a system that allows you to strike out on your own at first. And once a place is "on the map/network" some other player structures bleed through into your game. Rather than finding this annoying I felt gratitude towards the player who'd planted something just in the right place and hammered the like button. It also made me feel that by building structures carefully I might also be helping out someone else in their time of need.

 

I could go on and one but that would be moving into spoiler territory. 

 

Suffice to say, my game of the year. Possibly of the decade with what it's trying to say. But this is definitely marmite territory. Some are going to loathe it for the same reasons others love it.

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4 minutes ago, Keyboard Koala said:

Oh man, the satisfaction of carrying 100 kgs. (back) to its intended destination is immensely satisfying. I can see this game taking up most of my free time in the foreseeable future.

 

Carry me, Porter-senpai!!

 

Even though you can skip through the evaluation screens I always let it tally up my score and likes slowly because I love the sound effects.

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Just now, Unofficial Who said:

 

Even though you can skip through the evaluation screens I always let it tally up my score and likes slowly because I love the sound effects.

 

Oh yeah!

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:49, cohen205 said:

Finished this tonight and loved it. Found it got a bit boring in the final few chapters but was happy with the ending. 

 

One thing is bugging me though, there was one stretch of road I never got round to finishing north of the snowy area. I think I’m gonna crack on and get it finished. 

 

Finished this off tonight. Partner turns to me "You are going to finish that stretch of roads in the mountains right?"

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And done. 50 hours exactly.

 

It’s a flawed masterpiece. A fascinating and crazy blend of a range of sciences (cosmology, evolutionary biology, geophysics, archaeology, extinction theory) and a range of spiritual beliefs and historical sociology, a truly stunning game world, it just feels so solid and real. It’s the best looking game I’ve ever played, incredible detail and craftsmanship throughout, superb soundscape, great music, great performances on the whole, but some patchy writing that labours the point like crazy - but that goes with the Kojima territory.

 

On which note, up to about 46 hours in it was a solid 9/10 or higher. But that was my last meaningful interaction.

Spoiler

Killing the big whale BT near the home base.

 

There then follows a barely interactive series of massively drawn out overblown cutscenes and ‘push forward to launch next cutscene’ sequences that genuinely do last around 4 hours, much of which offers no save points, though I might be autosaving in the background. It’s all plot relevant, but could have been done in 20 minutes max.
 

This makes the ending of Return of the King look like a fucking paragon of directorial self-control. To be honest it broke my spirit - I was praying for it to end. Easily knocked a mark off that score, and left a sour taste from what was otherwise an amazing experience.


A real shame, but of course I would still recommend it based on everything that goes before it. Just know that its closing hours utterly disrespect your time, and will likely test your patience to the very limit.

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Just go back to delivering again and it goes back to a solid 9/10 ^_^

 

I agree though. The last few hours did leave a bit of a sour taste. 
 

Put this in spoilers just in case for anyone who’s finished the story -

 

Spoiler

I just found the whole story quite boring. A bit underwhelming really after all the batshit mental stuff from metal gear. The game was dealing with all kinds of themes but it felt a bit dull and there never felt like was any sense of urgency.

 

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13 hours ago, jonamok said:

There then follows a barely interactive series of massively drawn out overblown cutscenes and ‘push forward to launch next cutscene’ sequences that genuinely do last around 4 hours, much of which offers no save points, though I might be autosaving in the background. It’s all plot relevant, but could have been done in 20 minutes max.
 

This makes the ending of Return of the King look like a fucking paragon of directorial self-control. To be honest it broke my spirit - I was praying for it to end. Easily knocked a mark off that score, and left a sour taste from what was otherwise an amazing experience.


A real shame, but of course I would still recommend it based on everything that goes before it. Just know that its closing hours utterly disrespect your time, and will likely test your patience to the very limit.

 

Not sure that it's 4 hours long and there's plenty of break points (that we found) but you're right. There's too much. There's a few conversations that could have happened earlier and been more spread out so that some of the scenes could have been given time to breathe. Kojima also seems to have this weird thing where he doesn't trust the audience to make the connections, there were at least five times where my partner and I had made the plot connections only to have another character spell it out slowly to us. It's weird, you can tell by the trailers that Kojima knows how to edit, he just needs to wield that knife!

 

It reminds me a lot of another major game from a few years ago where the writer talked in an interview about how they had written and recorded half an hour of dialogue for the end but ended up cutting it back to almost three sentences. Two of which contained one word.

 

For me it was

 

the first credits / fake ending on the beach.

that tried my patience Way way too long.

 

Still we're playing on in post game now, must build those roads!

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