Death Stranding Directors Cut Review (PS5)
From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes a genre-defying experience, now expanded and remastered for PS5 in this definitive DIRECTOR’S CUT.
In the future, a mysterious event known as the Death Stranding has opened a doorway between the living and the dead, leading to grotesque creatures from the afterlife roaming the fallen world
marred by a desolate society. As Sam Bridges (Played by Norman Reedus), your mission is to deliver hope to humanity by connecting the last survivors of a decimated America. Can you reunite the shattered world, one step at a time?
We all know about this game from its original release on PS4 back in Nov 2019. Originally seen some mixed reviews from both fans and industry critics but currently holds an 82 from critics. Kojima is known for some wacky concepts in his games and this one is one of the most “out there” concepts. Essentially if you don’t know about this game already it’s almost a mail delivery simulator set in a post-apocalyptic world. You can read our full review HERE.
I agree with most of the original review in that the game completely shines in its visuals, acting, storytelling, and worldbuilding. Where the game originally suffered was its gameplay. There have been some enhancements to that in this director’s cut which helps it a lot.
Let’s break down to what’s new:
Of course on the PS5 we are getting enhancements to include haptic feedback and adaptive triggers which help you “feel” more like you are in the game. They have also added in 3D audio which again, I feel is such a downplayed feature for those using compatible headsets, it’s a game-changer. Lastly of course we have now enhanced visuals: Choose from two picture modes – performance mode with scaled 4K and up to 60fps or fidelity mode with native 4K – both with HDR support, so you can enjoy stunningly clear graphics and advanced texture streaming.
Death Stranding offers a Widescreen Mode for an ultra-wide play experience, using the console’s standard 16:9 aspect ratio to display letterboxed gameplay equivalent to a 21:9 aspect ratio.
One of the main problems I had with my initial playthrough on PS4 was a lack of understanding of exactly what I was supposed to do and how. Luckily they have addressed this with some new features. The menus and tutorials have been revamped so that they are easier to understand and navigate for Death Stranding’s new players.
They have also added in some new tools early in the game including the Maser Gun which helps in combat (against humans only) with an electrical shock, and the Support Skeleton which uses a battery but helps you carry more weight easier and move faster in traversal another much-welcomed enhancement. Lastly, the other big addition is the Fragile Jump (quick travel) this allows you to quickly move to another facility in the chiral network.
Keep in mind you have to store your cargo in your locker and retrieve it once you have traveled. But another thing none the less the game sorely needed as you expanded the map.
Some enhancements to help you with delivering cargo have been added as well. The Cargo Cannon can now be made to help you shoot your cargo over treacherous areas (whether dangerous traversal, BTs, or enemies) and you can recover it after.
The Buddy Bot is also a new addition that greatly helps people move along through the game. The Buddy Bot can carry a lot of cargo, which makes it much easier to move around, although it has a restriction that it can only move within a certain range because it is tethered by chiral communication. You can also use it to carry materials and tools you’ve picked up, and then use the map to direct them to a facility for storage.
You can also use the map to give instructions to the robot to take materials and tools to a facility and store them as well. Buddy Bot can also carry Sam himself to the nearest facility or a delivery destination. Sit back and you can enjoy the scenery! However, if Sam has a package to deliver, he will be limited to a rating of A at best, so be careful when delivering.
There are also some new areas to mess around with including a firing range to test out the new weapons and grenades (made from blood, poop, and pee….) as well as a racetrack to mess around with. Also added are some customization options for BB and your Backpack, nothing essential there but gives you something else to do while playing the game for sure.
All in all Death Stranding Directors Cut makes a valiant effort in taking a game that is a visual stunner look even better, partnered with its masterful world-building, storytelling, and characters, and tries to enhance the gameplay experience to make things more accessible to newcomers.
If you are a veteran Death Standing player there isn’t a whole lot of new stuff (missions and storytelling) to warrant a revisit if you beat it. But if you gave up or never played it before this one is worth checking out.