Death Stranding Reviews Roundup
Opinions are split on the ambitious, genre-defying game.
Death Stranding has been a long time coming. Hideo Kojima's first independent project since his high-profile split with Konami has been the subject of several inscrutable trailers, which left fans wondering if or when we'd ever see the ambitious project. Now its release on PS4 is just a week away (with a PC version to come in 2020), and reviews have started to appear online.
As you may expect from a Kojima game, Death Stranding has been divisive. While critics agree the gameplay is unique, the narrative appears to be a sticking point for some. Overall the consensus suggests that the game is uncompromising in ways that may put off some players. GameSpot's own Death Stranding review agrees.
"Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb," wrote Kallie Plagge. "There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message. That comes through much more clearly in the game's more mundane moments, when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts."
Several outlets have published their Death Stranding reviews ahead of the game's launch on November 8. We've compiled a number of them below to give a view from around the industry. For even more reviews, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Death Stranding
- Platforms: PS4, PC (Summer 2020)
- Developer: Kojima Productions
- Release date: November 8
- Price: $60 / £50 / $68 AUD
GameSpot - 9/10
"It's positive without ignoring pain; in fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It's a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it's also one we really need right now." - Kallie Plagge [Full Review]
"Yet when Death Stranding sings it truly sings. There's never been anything like it. Alone, stuck in the wilderness, freezing to death with a 60kg dead weight strapped to your back, inches from oblivion. Stumbling blindly toward that lifeline, toward a connection to another player--a person you'll never meet. In those moments Death Stranding successfully blends theme and content. It truly does become a game about connection, and it's a beautiful thing. Because no matter how frustrating Death Stranding becomes, it never lets you shake the feeling that we're all stuck in this nightmare together." - Mark Serrels [Full Review]
Gaming Age - A+
"I was hooked from the first time I saw the title screen until the credits rolled 72 hours later. Death Stranding is immensely satisfying, and everything I could have hoped for and more from Kojima Productions." - Tyler Nethers [Full Review]
EGM - 5/5
"In the end, Death Stranding’s biggest mystery isn’t any of the elements we’ve had teased in three-plus years of trailers—it’s what people are going to think of it. Even from a man known for making love-them-or-hate-them projects, this may end up being one of the most divisive games ever created. For me, it was an experience that I can truly say was unlike any other I remember. And, if nothing else, Death Stranding makes me respect Hideo Kojima for convincing Sony to invest millions into a game that’s about a man delivering packages to holograms." - Mollie L Patterson [Full Review]
God is a Geek - 9/10
"Death Stranding is an ambitious game, filled with so many different mechanics and ideas that almost always work well together. The story and acting is fantastic, and its visuals are a thing of beauty, not to mention the powerful soundtrack." - Chris White [Full Review]
Destructoid - 8/10
"Death Stranding is not the overly-strange inaccessible walled garden the marketing has made it out to be. It's weird, don't get me wrong! But anyone with a surface-level understanding of surrealism in art should be able to acclimate to what is essentially a playable Hollywood production." - Chris Carter [Full Review]
Game Informer - 7/10
"Try as it might, Death Stranding's story doesn’t shore up its faults. It’s the normal Kojima mix of twists-and-turns, tropes, and overbearing themes, but at least I like that it explores real-world topics like the theory of multiple dimensions and key events in the history of the planet’s biodiversity. Like Sam himself, I often wasn’t sure why I kept going in Death Stranding. Maybe there was a little bit of pride in another task checked off the list, another job done. Unfortunately, this added up to little reward in the end." - Matthew Kato [Full Review]
US Gamer - 7/10
"Death Stranding might be Kojima's boldest game to date. It may also be his most tedious. Either way, its originality outweighs its sometimes exhausting structure and poor pacing... but only just. Maybe not a game I would recommend to everyone, but certainly one of the most interesting games of 2019." - Kat Bailey [Full Review]
IGN - 6.8/10
"Death Stranding delivers a fascinating world of supernatural sci-fi, but its gameplay struggles to support its weight." - Tristan Ogilvie [Full Review]
VG 247 - 3/5
"If you do manage to hold out, you will be rewarded with flashes of brilliance, it’s just that those flashes are buried as deep as the core story is buried in the endless dialogue. And as profound as it wants to be, this is still a game in which you can equip and unequip your penis so you can piss out Red Bull. The good stuff is waiting for you beyond that piss, beyond the shit grenades, beyond that Ride with Norman Reedus advert unceremoniously plastered into a game universe where I didn’t see a single television set. It’s just a test of attrition." - Kirk McKeand [Full Review]
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