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I spend more time talking about games than actually playing them >w>
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Favorite Games

Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Hitman World of Assassination
Hitman World of Assassination

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Return of the Obra Dinn
Return of the Obra Dinn

Apr 17

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This game would've killed on the xbox 360 arcade in 2007

This review contains spoilers

You're a good person if you commit suicide and a bad person if you don't

People often wonder where the fun is in this game. Everyone's first experience with this game is stumbling around a mountain, slowly picking up scattered cargo, and walking to where an objective marker is pointing you to. It's a monotonous task that many people can just brush off as boring tutorial stuff, but then they get to the Eastern Region and realize that no, that's actually the whole game. And that's where they fall off, and that's where the frequent deriding of Death Stranding as a "walking simulator" comes from.

I am an insane person and I completed all 540 orders on Very Hard and unlocked every achievement in the process. I understand this isn't fun for the grand majority of people. Sometimes it wasn't even fun for me. Especially when doing the race track time trials. But in doing so, I was able to understand why this game gripped me as much as it did: the structures.

I love Death Stranding's structures so much. They all fulfill unique functions, they can all be placed anywhere you want, and they all leave your mark on the world itself. Want to just relax somewhere in the world without worrying about timefall? Build a timefall shelter. Need to get up and down a mountain quickly? Build a zipline. In a remote area and want to repair your vehicle or take a rest? Build a shelter. Every structure you see in the game - whether it's yours or another player's - tells the story of someone who had a problem and built something to create a solution.

They also deal with a problem that isn't unique to Death Stranding and which plagued Hideo Kojima's previous game: the empty open world. It is not realistic for video games to have huge open worlds and to fill the majority of that space with hand crafted content. Especially higher graphical fidelity games like what Kojima prefers to make. So instead, Kojima leaves it on the players to fill the open world themselves with the structures that they want, and that in turn fills in the world for other players. There really isnt any feeling like climbing up a mountain, running low on batteries, and finding a generator that another player left there. Or doing a delivery in a strict time limit and making use of someone's bridge that you previously thought was pointless. Or setting up a zipline network and getting someone's zipline that is in just the perfect spot. I never feel the game's theme of bringing people together more than when someone else's structures save me. And I never feel happier than when the game tells me that another player used or upgraded my own structures.

Death Stranding 2 needs to expand the selection of structures to build. I want elevators for vehicles that can take you up and down steep slopes. I want tunnels that you can drill into the sides of mountains and create your own passages. I want towers that can overlook enemy camps and allow me a vantage point to snipe them. I also want aesthetic structures! Paving over footpaths with rocks or concrete, water fountains, flower beds, the ability to paint them different colors! The structures are what populate the world, they're what gives you connections to other players, they're where the fun is! I think the way they're implemented now is good enough, but I truly hope they're given a larger emphasis in the sequel.