Death Stranding Director’s Cut Review – Updated Tarkovsky’s Vision for Hideo Kojima’s Epic | Games
IIt was always inevitable, given game designer Hideo Kojima’s cinephile leanings, that Death Stranding would get a director’s cut. What’s surprising about this revised version of the PlayStation 5 game is that it doesn’t involve hours of extra cutscene footage that was cut from the original. Thank God. Instead, it’s a thoughtful, in-depth, and visually striking improvement to the game, with some cool and sometimes fun new features.
It still remains the mystical, shrewd, and gloriously pretentious delivery simulation it always has been: you play as the doomsday factor, Sam, trying to revive an America torn apart by a supernatural explosion that has broken down the barrier between life and life. beyond. Working for some sort of idealistic version of DHL, he’s set to deliver packages to cities across the country, connecting residents to a near-spiritual version of the internet as they go. But haunting him every step of the way are the BTs – horrific semi-invisible monsters that represent the trapped souls of the dead. The only way Sam sees these things coming is through the fetus that he carries with him everywhere in a glass incubator, which requires constant care and pacification. Amid all the dialogue about hope, belief, and mortality, Death Stranding is truly a game about how hard it is to get out when you have a baby.
The sheer visual impact of this PS5 version brilliantly enhances Kojima’s arthouse sci-fi vision. The dark, rural landscape looked compelling on PS4, but rendered in higher definition, it is almost breathtaking, moody, and authentic. As you walk through rain-soaked valleys, over moss-covered rocks and through streams, it’s like you’re in your own Andrei Tarkovsky movie – the silence, the tension, the geologically precise landscape bathed in in a deafening blue-gray light. Add to that the excellent 3D audio support, which places natural sounds well outside the hums and clicks of Sam’s tech, and it’s now a world enveloping you in its special gloom.
Support for the Dual Sense controller reinforces that heightened sense of immersion. Adaptive triggers fight a lot more when Sam is overloaded with cargo, giving you a physical feel for his struggle to stay upright. At the same time, the haptic feedback from the pad produces a tremor every time you take a heavy step, accentuating your physical contact with the earth. This effect is greatly exaggerated under duress: say, when trying to regain your composure after running down a hill with too many metal boxes on your back.
Beyond these audiovisual updates, there is plenty of new content to discover, some of which – like the maser gun and improved mapping – are there to facilitate newcomers in what was once a rather opening act. obtuse. There are also new side missions that integrate well with the overall story while providing new locations to explore, and Kojima’s team has even provided a race track, which you can build and then zoom into cars from. sport. New ways to travel, including a cargo catapult and drop-resistant boots, make long journeys through particularly rugged landscapes more interesting to plan and execute. Maybe that’s just enough to get the veterans of the PS4 version to pay the extra for the update and relive the game, perhaps at a higher difficulty level to keep up the challenge.
Death Stranding remains a little silly: a man-made, game-inflated progressive rock album with a large movie collection, an indulgent publisher, and a budget few creators could dream of. But from such ostentatious ingredients, sometimes amazing moments can arise. If you were looking for a PS5 game that informs us that, yes, almost photorealistic visuals can lift a work in more than an aesthetic sense of the surface, that’s it. The image of the dead rising like smoldering twisted shadows above the gnarled countryside is something that will live with me for a long time.
Everything shows that sometimes it can really take a Â£ 500 games console and a multi-millionaire developer with an Ultravox binding to make magical things happen.