STRAND AND DELIVER
PC Gamer US Edition|November 2020
Become a post-apocalyptic postman in DEATH STRANDING.
Andy Kelly

It’s best when Death Stranding shuts up. Being a game by Hideo Kojima, it’s naturally filled with bizarre characters, lengthy screeds of exposition, and indulgent cutscenes. But it’s in the long, quiet stretches between all this, when it’s just you hiking alone across a stark, haunting post-apocalyptic wilderness, where it really shines. In these moments, Death Stranding is quite unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in a game—or any other medium for that matter.

That’s not to say there’s no value in the plot. When you’re not being bombarded with backstory, it’s pretty interesting—and deeply weird. You are Sam Porter Bridges, a courier delivering cargo across what’s left of the United States. A supernatural cataclysm called the Death Stranding has driven the last of humanity underground, leaving the surface plagued by soul-sucking ghosts called BTs and rain that ages anything it hits.

Your mission is to hike across North America, connecting scattered settlements as you go. Why Sam, though? He’s a talented porter with a reputation for getting things delivered on time. But, more importantly, he can detect otherwise invisible BTs with the help of a tiny, creepy baby strapped to his chest.

The majority of your time in Death Stranding is spent out in the open, plodding slowly from one place to another. It’s essentially a feature-length fetch quest. But the environment, and the challenges it throws at you, makes these trips worthwhile. The landscape is serenely beautiful, with a grand sense of scale and a bewitching atmosphere.

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