- Dec 28, 2017
Opencritic - 86
GameSpot - 9/10
IGN - 6.8/10Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. 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. 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.
NextGenBase - 9.5/10Certain landmark games in recent years, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2, have managed to successfully tread the line between the rigidity of realism and the exhilaration of pure escapism. But much like its stumbling protagonist, Death Stranding just can’t consistently get the balance right despite possessing equally lofty ambitions and countless inventive ideas. There is a fascinating, fleshed-out world of supernatural science fiction to enjoy across its sprawling and spectacular map, so it’s a real shame that it’s all been saddled on a gameplay backbone that struggles to adequately support its weight over the full course of the journey. It’s fitting that Kojima Productions’ latest is so preoccupied with social media inspired praise, because in some ways I did ‘Like’ Death Stranding. I just didn’t ever love it.
Spiel Times - 9/10Death Stranding is a weird game. It won’t be for everyone, but if you can find something to like in the relatively slow start, you’ll love it by the end. Typically Kojima for better and for worse, it’s a story about reconnecting people through the eyes of a bystander that becomes much more than that. Technically and visually outstanding, it’s going to be up there on my Game of the Year list for sure. A weird, but wonderful game.
Game Informer - 7/10Death Stranding is a distorted vision of the open world genre, pulled apart by its individual threads, deconstructed, and sewn back together in the image of its director, Hideo Kojima. It’s an astonishing, compelling and provocative experience, even if it isn’t always as exciting to play as it is to think about.
Stevivor - 3.5/10Try 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.
Metro GameCentral - 7/10The problem with Death Stranding is that Hideo Kojima has become wholly self-indulgent, making something I’m sure he considers a masterpiece. Death Stranding is anything but, with its head so far up its own ass it’s almost funny. It has four title cards in total, popping up as you play, and will roll two complete sets of credits before you’ve finished. It goes on and on and on, thinking — falsely — that you’re enthralled in what’s occuring. If this is the type of project that Kojima insists to make, I suggest he move from games to TV shows or feature films. Being weird for the sake of weirdness isn’t enough — while Kojima hopes to hit the same level of work as David Lynch or Sam Lake (if we want to keep it in the same industry) he falls very short. Even if Death Stranding’s narrative was good — and it’s not — a game needs to have actual gameplay. What you find within is abysmal; frustrating, tedious and beyond repair, it is to be avoided at all costs.
GamesRadar+ - 3.5/5Taken as a whole, Death Stranding is an awkward mishmash of ideas, some of which work exactly as intended and others of which feel entirely out of place. At 40+ hours it overstays its welcome but it’s still a fascinating journey to take, with Kojima being the only video games auteur who can still command a large budget and use it to create something that isn’t just pandering to mainstream tastes.
Gamer.nl (Dutch) - 9.5/10
EGM - 5/5With Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima touches upon big themes like the afterlife, parenthood, the connections between people and even climate change and the extinction of humanity. The way he brings these themes to life is as magical as it is confusing. The core gameplay – the transportation of packages and trying to keep your balance while doing so – seems contradictorily simple at first. But when it clicks, the concept holds endless satisfaction. Combined with the online elements that are integrated in the campaign, Death Stranding offers one of the most unique virtual experiences ever.
IGN Benelux - 9/10In 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.
USGamer - 3.5/5Death Stranding is a one of a kind project. Everything about this game exudes the special style and personality of Hideo Kojima. You can see that as something positive or something negative. Fans of the game maker know that they have to get this game no matter what. For others it is a bit more complicated. Are you looking for a game that offers you both a special experience and you a unique emotional story, then this title is definitely worth buying. However, if you get restless during long cut-scenes, or find exploring your surroundings on foot uninteresting? Then it is certainly possible that you will get bored (especially in the first part). If you think Death Stranding is awesome or terrible will mostly depend on if the world clicks with you. Purely looking at the game itself, Death Stranding is a true piece of art. An unprecedented personal project, from a recently established studio, within a relatively short development time and with so much of the work overseen by one person, that is something that rarely occurs in our industry. Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima's magnum opus, his ultimate story. A project that is so personal does not happen often and makes you either love it or hate it. The structure may not be perfect and the gameplay can definitely lose its appeal. Still you continue to play to experience the incredible story to the end. We have had an amazing time with Death Stranding and can't wait for what Kojima brings us next.
Destructoid - 8/10Death 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.
God is a Geek - 9/10Death 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. Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
Easy Allies - 8/10Death Stranding is an ambitious game, featuring so many different systems and ideas, but it never falls under the weight of them. Whilst journeying across a crumbled America can be hugely frustrating at times, I never got bored of it, and through the powerful story, tense gameplay, and amazing action sequences, this will go down one of Kojima’s best. Taking time to build the necessary structures and adapt to the terrain is time consuming, but making sure you’re prepared will make your experience a much better one. Fabricating tons of cool equipment is exciting, especially when you earn the ability to build something new, and the message of connecting people provides an important backdrop for a wonderful game.
PlayStation Universe - 8/10Death Stranding contains aspects that could have been better. It's also easy to cherish your time with it. It’s exactly the kind of game that opens your eyes to how nauseatingly safe most games are. Death Stranding shoots for the moon, carelessly tossing away convention in ways others wouldn't dare. The game wants you to be uncomfortable, confused, bored, and to reflect on those feelings, to sit with them for a while. There is a sense of fearlessness here that's hard not to respect and that most aren't given the opportunity to attempt. Death Stranding is an easy, easy game to complain about or even be angry at, but it's also a lot more fascinating than many other, more conservative works.
PowerUp - 3/10Death Standing proves itself as a unique, palpable new IP, filled with rich storytelling both in narrative and gameplay. The beginning of the game suffers from long gaps of time intended for learning the ropes, but the ship rights itself once it finally turns the corner. Despite that with a handful of missteps, a deep, potent message of coming together rings through every aspect of Death Stranding that dazzles the game as a whole. If you give it the time, Death Stranding will offer you something most games never do.
The Guardian - 4/5There’s a moment that sees you literally wait as a timer counts down three realtime minutes. For what purpose? I have no idea but like everything else in Death Stranding it made me roll my eyes with boredom. Death Stranding is clearly a labour of love for Kojima and his team but I hate it. Games don’t need to be fun, exciting, happy or cool but they should at least be entertaining. Death Stranding is not entertaining. As such, it fails as a video game, it fails as a narrative and it fails overall.
VG24/7 - 3/5Above all, Death Stranding is a sermon on the importance of belief. The power of putting one foot in front of another when hope looks lost, in the belief that things will get better. By working together, a series of small intentional steps can make a difference, and in this often fractured, angry and confusing world; that’s as hopeful as it gets.
AusGamers - 6/10If 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.
Shacknews - 9/10I cannot in good conscience recommend this game to all but the most rabid fans of Hideo Kojima's work. And even then, I feel like this game may cause some of them to balk and question their devotion. It pains me to say it, but Konami may have been a necessary evil for him, a check and balance against his crazier, more self-indulgent impulses.
Push Square - 10/10This is one of the rare times I wish Hideo Kojima had created a lengthy film or a series instead of a video game. At least then people might not approach it with trepidation or with derision. You know how it goes: "Oh, it's a video game. There's no way it can be that good."
Following years of mysterious anticipation, Death Stranding delivers on all fronts. An accomplished, fascinating set of gameplay mechanics allow you to make deliveries the way you want to, while social features let the game live on once you've put the controller down. It may become slightly tiresome as you hit the halfway mark, but the phenomenal narrative is on hand to pick things back up again and its outstanding visuals are the cherry on top. Death Stranding doesn't raise the bar for any particular genre, it creates an entirely new one.