November 1, the day when Sony Interactive Entertainment lifted the embargo of all Death Stranding reviews. Surprisingly, the critical reception of Hideo Kojima’s latest game was mixed. There were websites that gave the game a perfect score while some dipped it down to a 4 out of 10. While reviews nowadays are treated to be just an advertising outlet for publishers and developers by some, others take it as a factor whether or not the game is worth buying.
Death Stranding has proven to be a divisive product based on what the media says, a game that doesn’t appeal to everyone and it targets a specific group of gamers who want this type of gameplay — Kojima fans and those who love intriguing worlds. I remember when I reviewed The Last Guardian a few years back, and the Fumito Ueda game wasn’t critically acclaimed. Some critics said that game was “boring” and that it was lackluster, others said it was a technical masterpiece and the character development was superb – I was one of those critics who loved the game and gave it a high score of 9.9 out of 10. Its art direction, the emotional connection between Trico and the Boy, and the game’s intriguing world amazed me.
I was highly critical of Death Stranding after seeing its gameplay footage and the oddly confusing plot shown from its trailers. For the first time, I wasn’t excited at all. I didn’t pre-order the Collector’s Edition and even though it was directed and led by Hideo Kojima, it just didn’t click. I was supposed to be excited since I’m a big fan of Kojima’s work especially the Metal Gear Solid franchise, but this feeling was entirely different — I was, in short, skeptical. After the embargo lifted, I was expecting the game to have 90% of the outlets praising it for its innovative gameplay experience, but that wasn’t the case.
I stumbled upon reviews where it said that the game was “dull”, “uninteresting”, and “boring”. I said to myself that I made the right call of not pre-ordering the Collector’s Edition and just have to wait for the game to go on sale. But I didn’t stop there, I went on countless of reviews featured on OpenCritic and began to see how it was almost the same critical reception as The Last Guardian. Even though we at Sirus weren’t provided with an early review copy as the other media websites since we just came back from a long hiatus, I began to sense that kind of feeling it might be also a game for me. I love open-worlds and alluring worlds, and the reviews of Death Stranding show that it might definitely be a game that I’ll love.
This is another Sony exclusive (timed, to be specific since it will launch on PC in 2020) that proves to be divisive. Certainly, if you think of this as a “walking simulator”, you’re not wrong but not certainly right either. Just like how people see The Last Guardian was just your ‘standard’ platformer game and it proved to be more than that; Death Stranding is going to be more than just a “walking simulator” and that it will blow minds away once you go deep in the game. And because of this, I was lucky enough that our local stores here in the Philippines have re-opened the slots for the Death Stranding Collector’s Edition – and you know what? I pre-ordered. I can’t wait for the game this Friday.
Editor’s Note: It’s confirmed that Sirus Gaming will get a review copy of the game this Friday. Jarren Navarrete will do the review coverage.