Look up the word “enigma” in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of “Death Stranding.” Since it was revealed in 2016, the game raised more questions than answers. The project seemed like an amalgamation of random images with gameplay that was equally as mysterious.
If you strip away creator Hideo Kojima’s convoluted and confusing narrative, “Death Stranding” at its core is a reimagining of “Oregon Trail.” The concepts behind both titles are the same. Players have to go across the country with logistic constraints of weight and terrain.
Unlike the classic PC game, “Death Stranding” offers a granular approach to the adventure. Kojima Productions splits the process into four parts. The first teaches players the mechanics. As protagonist Sam Bridges, played by Norman Reedus, players have to traverse a post-apocalyptic America that has turned into a desolate wilderness.
A phenomena called Death Stranding killed billions as the line between the dead and living disappeared. Invisible monsters called BTs roam the land and people live in bunkers, afraid to travel. Sam accepts a mission to connect communities to the Chiral Network, a super internet that lets users across the nation share information and fabricate equipment. It’s a way for his organization, Bridges, to rebuild what it calls the United Cities of America.
Players will have to navigate the badlands and figure out how to reach faraway waystations, distribution centers and outposts. Initially that means using ladders to cross streams and ropes to descend safely from cliffsides. They must do this while carrying vital cargo that will keep these communities going. Sam will also have to deal with BTs, which forces him to stealthily venture through dangerous areas, and insane humans called MULEs, who hoard cargo. (This is a Kojima game so it asks players to accept a lot.)
This quarter of the game introduces players to the basics and advances them to the Midwest, where the bulk of “Death Stranding” takes place. The team throws more tools at players as they try to reconnect different parts of America. At first, it’s tough sledding because the players will meander through their destinations blind. They’ll have to fend of violent MULEs and they’ll have to battle BTs, using Sam’s blood which has unique properties to banish the creatures.
Like “Oregon Trail,” “Death Stranding” is a game about pioneering. Players blaze trails through lonely landscapes. They have to watch out for a number of dangers and find the optimal path to their destination. What’s notable, though, is that players don’t go it alone. As they travel, they see the tracks of other players that came before them. In addition, gamers can share infrastructure they built and vehicles they fabricated. It’s a way of making the journey easier for each other.
It’s an asynchronous form of multiplayer and comparable to what “Dark Souls” did with the idea of leaving notes and hints through a dungeon. “Death Stranding” does this with a complex open world. Part of the joy in the campaign is finding a new route and nudging …read more
Source:: The Mercury News