Death Stranding is a Visual Masterpiece
Death Stranding is a visual masterpiece.
With Death Stranding launching today, the highly anticipated Hideo Kojima directed open world action-adventure release from , the bar has been raised again on stunning video game cinematic features. This is the first game from director Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions after their disbandment from Konami in 2015. Kojima is famous for his work on the Metal Gear Solid franchise, which has drawn a significant fanbase around the world. Actors such as Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Léa Seydoux have taken to this new project and provided motion capture, with 3D scannings and vocal performances, to create a stunning display of acting and storytelling.
It’s safe to say, Death Stranding has been widely anticipated ever since its announcement in 2016 at E3. The legendary Japanese designer claimed in interview that the game is “unlike any game you’ve seen before — a whole new genre.” And boy, he wasn’t exaggerating.
The game is set in an apocalyptic United States, as a mysterious catastrophic event, aptly named “Death Stranding” has created terrifying invisible creatures to roam the land, said to be the link to the afterlife. These creatures creep through the foggy world, leaving only prints in the ground and black goop to suck any soul into oblivion. These creatures also cause a rain, known as “Timefall”, which deteriorates whatever it touches by rapid aging.
The world which Americans know and love is outright gone. The country is in ruins, leading much of the population to form hubs of community like colonies called “KNOTs”.
Because of these colonies being spread out across the massive land of America, delivery people are necessary in supply shipments to and from each colony. The player takes on Sam Porter Bridges, who is played by Norman Reedus, as he is tasked with connecting the colonies and delivery goods. Horror soon sets in as the player is forced to confront these invisible creatures head on in daring treks across the land.
Upon taking the reins in the game, the player is instantly met with Hollywood style visuals. Landscapes so real they’re touchable. The player will easily get lost in wandering around the beautiful green lush lands, up the crisp hill tops, and down the sloping valleys. The mastery of digital environment is as top-notch as any game can get. The 3D renders of the actors are also visually appealing and detailed down to the very tips of their fingers. Every intrigue feature is seen, to the small wrinkles and bumps in the skin, to the muscle movement flinches in an action such as chewing. The eyes are picturesque and memorizing. The clothing material realistic and crinkling. The teetering from side to side significantly genuine. Each small movement adds a layer of extraordinary capture to the scenes done by the actors.
The entire score of this game is breathtaking, leaving players with a complete experience to the environment being partaken upon. Featuring songs from bands and composers like Chvrches, Alan Walker, and Major Lazer, a complete all around sensory experience is had and players will find themselves both calmed and exhilarated by the sensational sounds.
As far as the story goes, players are left with much mysterious in the start of the game, which is a compelling storytelling method in and of itself. The questioning lingers in the back of the player’s minds, wondering where the connections are and what explanation will be presented next. With each new dialogue and interaction, a new piece of the puzzle is revealed. As one journeys through the game more, the puzzle pieces start forming connections. Links in critical time and links to crucial memories. Links to words in ah-ha moments and links to more questions. The story alone is intricate and deep. Players will soon find themselves curious about the world and how to go about surviving the harmful environments.
Reception to the game, so far, has been widely positive. Many people, who are already fans of Kojima, have cited the game as “visually stunning”, “an impressive story”, and a “game unlike I’ve ever played before”. The game instantly has captured players right from the beginning and hasn’t disappointed yet. Players have a choice of playing on very easy, easy, normal, and hard; so any type of gamer can get their hands on this juicy story.
Hideo Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions should be exceptionally proud of their intricate work and passion they’ve put into this piece of art that is a game. There’s certainly nothing like it on the market today and there’s a good chance nothing like it will ever come along in the future.
A highly recommended addition to anyone’s gaming library, a compelling story to be sucked into, and a must for fans of Kojima.