Hero-of-Time

Death Stranding (PS4 Kojima)

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I've not played this as much as I would have liked over the weekend ( only started playing Saturday evening at 9pm and i'm still only on the second episode ) but here are my thoughts. They seems a bit scattered but hopefully I can get across how i'm feeling about the game so far.

There’s a beautiful sadness about walking around this desolate world. There is something very calming and relaxing about the whole thing and there have been so many times where I’ve just stopped, looked out at the horizon and just stood there and took it all in. It’s very rare that I stop and smell the roses when playing a video game but I’ve certainly found myself doing so whilst playing this. I think it may have something to do with the visuals of the game. It feels like I’m just looking at a landscape in the real world and as such I’m finding myself getting really drawn into the world that is presented here.

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The use of licensed music has also helped with this feeling of tranquillity. There are times where you are just walking around, doing your own thing and then out of nowhere a song by Low Roar will kick in. I’ve never heard of these guys until I played this game and I’m happy that I’ve been introduced to them. The music that they play fits perfectly to the setting of the game, at least this is the case with every song I’ve encountered so far. I’ve read that the game has had an effect of the sales of their songs. The ones that have appeared in the game have been rising in the iTunes charts.

There are also some good tunes from other artists used in the game and they are available to listen to at any point using the music player. Whenever I’m resting in Sam’s private room I usually fire up something a little more energetic, while Sam has a shower, plays with BB, reads emails or info and generally gets set up for the next mission. I feel like I’m just kicking back in my own place whilst I’m doing this.

Outside of the licensed music, Ludvig Forssell has done an amazing job with some of the pieces that are on offer in the game, each of which really set the tone. I actually listened to the OST on Friday while I was at work and it was nice to hear some of the tunes in certain set piece/moments in the game. I can’t quite put my finger on where I’ve heard some of this type music before. I’m thinking it’s similar to a movie I’ve seen but I can’t for the life of me place it. Also, BB’s theme is absolutely beautiful. This is up there for my favourite OST of the year.

Here are a couple of my favs so far.

 

All of the music/sound design is so good that I’m considering buying a PS4 Gold Headset just to play through the rest of the game. I’m not one that usually bothers with surround sound systems or fancy set ups but I’ve been playing the game exclusively with headphones, much like I done with Hellblade, and it has been a fantastic experience.

There is a great risk/reward system in play with the game. I played a mission where I was scavenging a Mule base for an item and came across a bunch of extra items that I could also pick up. This meant that I would have to go deeper into the camp but also that my escape from the area would be much slower due to the extra weight I would be carrying. I also had to factor in that if I was to be seen my get away would be much harder and I would probably have to dump some of the goods.

Another example of this was when I was travelling through an area with BTs scattered around the place. There were a bunch of pick ups that I could have retrieved but this would slow me down and drain my stamina much quicker, something that I was in need of when trying to make my way through the area safely. These encounters are very tense as it is without the extra stress of carrying extra cargo. However, if you are brave enough to pick up the scattered about cargo then you will be well rewarded.

The BB is absolutely adorable. There was a scene very early on in the game and the little thing pushed it’s face up against the glass. I couldn’t help but laugh at it much like you would do if you seen a kid in real life do the exact same thing. There was a time where I upset it ( I fell down a hill ) and I was quick to sooth it and get it smiling again. It gifted me with little love heart bubbles. Bless. :heart: Also, I didn’t realise how much they play into the BT interactions. Again, there is a balancing act that needs to be done here. Go slow and your BB will slowly increase its state of panic but go too fast and you’ll be caught by a BT.

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Graphically the game is stunning. Absolutely stunning. The character models on show here are so realistic that when you watch a cutscene you often forget that these are a bunch of polygons on screen and not the actual actors themselves. Speaking of actors, I’ve never watched The Walking Dead so this is my first real viewing of Norman Reedus. At times, the dude sounds a lot like Solid Snake/David Hayter. :D Also, I noticed that his name is wrote on his outfit and the font used for Porter looks a lot like the one used for Metal Gear Solid. I wonder if this is intentional or just me seeing something that isn't there.

The interactions with other players is such a cool feature. Even this early on, there have been numerous times I’ve came across ladders and ropes that have been lovingly left behind by other players. This has allowed me to use them and get myself to safety without having to build/use my own equipment. It’s a great feeling knowing that someone else has travelled the same path as me and also was going to use the equipment in exactly the same way I was going to. Great minds think alike. :p 

A special nod has to go to Sony/Kojima for making this feature playable for those who don’t have PS+. They could have easily put it behind a paywall but they made it accessible for everyone, no matter the status of your PS+ account.

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So far the game hasn’t felt boring or a drag at all. Nor do the missions feel like busy work. The narrative of rebuilding the country and reconnecting society is a one that I find interesting and because that is the case, I find that each journey that I make is worthwhile to the cause. Helping to reconnect knots rewards me with more materials for building. This materials will allow me to build more things like roads and bridges, which in turn help out other players. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling knowing that by simply playing your game you are helping out others who may be struggling in theirs.

It’s still very early days yet but so far this has been one of the most unique games I have played…ever.  It’s the only open world game that has made me just sit down and appreciate what’s around me, whether it be an empty terrain or a nearby waterfall. Will this effect last for the full 40 hours that the game is supposed to last for? Who knows, but so far it has been an unforgettable experience.

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@Hero-of-Time, I pretty much share your sentiment and agree with almost everything you've said. But seriously? You like BB? :p

18 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

So far the game hasn’t felt boring or a drag at all. Nor do the missions feel like busy work. The narrative of rebuilding the country and reconnecting society is a one that I find interesting and because that is the case, I find that each journey that I make is worthwhile to the cause.

Adding to that: There's a real and tangible sense of progress which I've never exprienced before in a game. Everything you do seems to matter, seems to change something. For you, the world and all the others playing Death Stranding

That shot of Amelie...I knew you'd take a screenshot, too :D Also: She's one of the most beautiful video game characters I've ever seen. 

Haven't played at all since Saturday and won't have too much time today, sadly. But I hope I can put in one or two hours tonight. 

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19 minutes ago, drahkon said:

@Hero-of-Time, I pretty much share your sentiment and agree with almost everything you've said. But seriously? You like BB? :p

Indeed I do. I gotta protect the little tyke. :D 

20 minutes ago, drahkon said:

That shot of Amelie...I knew you'd take a screenshot, too :D 

It's a beautiful shot. I was happy to see you snapped it as well. :) 

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Not sure when I'll get around to this game (hopefully sometime this year) but stuff like that definitely has me excited to play it! :)

What's the fan noise like when playing this on the base PS4? I imagine it's going to be pretty bad, especially as my system has always been on the loud side. :hmm:

Anyway, nice to see you guys are enjoying it.

Edited by RedShell
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24 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Indeed I do. I gotta protect the little tyke. :D 

Quite surprising, given your hate and disdain for pets :p 

9 minutes ago, RedShell said:

What's the fan noise like when playing this on the base PS4?

Not sure if this'll help you, as I have a Pro, but the fans are pretty quiet. When I play Modern Warfare it sounds like a jet engine, but with Death Stranding...barely noticable. Maybe it's similar with a base PS4, maybe not. In conclusion: My response was useless. :D 

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1 hour ago, drahkon said:

Quite surprising, given your hate and disdain for pets :p 

It's a little baby! Had it been a pet...

giphy.gif

:p 

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There was a time when little drahkon thought to himself: "Man, H-o-T seems like a cool dude. He loves video games, is funny, lives (and probably will die) for trophy hunting and has great taste when it comes to our hobby. Would be neat to someday meet him, chug some beers and just indulge in some friendly banter and multiplayer gaming."

And then...one day...the world witnessed what would go down in history as "The BB-pet-calamity". With one paragraph and a gif, H-o-T made sure that drahkon understood with 100% certainty that he is actually a babyloving-pet-hating-SON-OF-A-GUN and should be banned from N-E for life.

To this day, little drahkon can't get rid of the horror and sadness brought upon the world by this act of terrorism.

saddest-cat-luhu-maggie-liu-lanlan731-38-59c0bfed09657__700.jpg

I'll make sure to submerge BB in water every chance I get. :p 

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Jim didn't care for the game.

I had a good session on this last night. I didn't budge the story forward at all and instead just done standard deliveries/side quests all night. I was just going back and forth between 4 knots and doing so has allowed me to work out the most optimum route. Once I figured that out I started building bridges in order for me to travel to each of them in a speedy manner. Other players clearly had the same idea because one or two bridges were built around the same areas, as well as bike recharging points. Once finished, this meant I was able to make quick work of the side quests and have topped up my materials nicely.

I came across the hut where Geoff Keighley's character is found. I spent a bit of time there and completed all the missions he had to offer. This netted me all 5 stars for that facility. :yay: I'm actually not far off from getting 5 stars on the other facilities but this one was my first. 

I completed a mission for Geoff that once again had me sneak into a Mule occupied area to steal some goodies. It was much harder than the last time ( more enemies ) and it really felt like I was playing MGSV. Crouch and slowly working my way through the camp, watching the enemy movements and routes, hiding in the tall grass....very stealthy and very intense. All of this was because Geoff wanted 2 toy dinosaurs. :D 

I think tonight i'll push the story forward a little and see what new areas and gadgets I unlock. As mentioned, the areas i'm in now are pretty set up for speedy travel and a couple of my facilities are at full capacity for certain materials. Best to move on otherwise any new materials I do find will be just going to waste.

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Sterling didn't like BOTW or RDR2 either so I can't say I'm surprised he didn't like Death Stranding

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5 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I didn't budge the story forward at all and instead just done standard deliveries/side quests all night.

Usually I'm the same but with Death Stranding I've swayed from that approach. Mainly because the game keeps teasing you with "Hey, complete this main mission and get a nifty thingamajig which will help you". The fact that the unlocks actually are very helpful and usually pretty cool made me keep progressing the story so I got more and more. :D 

Today, though, I'm gonna say: "Fuck it" and finally tackle some of the side quests :) 

5 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

bike

I remember when I found one bike before reaching a certain point. The vehicle was a game changer. I used it for a while, being careful not do destroy it. But at one point I was speeding like crazy and approaching a natural ramp and thought: "YES! This is a great idea."

It was not. I crashed, the bike was destroyed and most of my cargo took lots of damage. :laughing: 

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Man, some of Low Roar's songs hit hard...

Just now, on the final meters to my destination a song played and the moment was a little too much. I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears. It was not because of what happened in the game, it was just the lyrics and the feeling of loneliness evoked by the ruins I walked through reminded me of something that I'm apparently still not over. 

Thank you Kojima, very cool.

Next time the tears fall it better be because of the story. :p 

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I moved the story forward yesterday evening and in doing so I had my first boss fight.

Spoiler

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to kill the thing or not. I know I had grenades at my disposal but i've spent so long pegging it from enemies that my original thought was to just run. :D Once I figured out I was supposed to actually get rid of it I took it down pretty quickly.

I'm intrigued to see what the deal is with Higgs and Fragile. There's clearly some history there and I look forward to seeing what happened between the two of them.

Getting to the boss fight took some doing. I had to traverse through an idea that wasn't connected yet and had a bunch of BTs in it. I tried multiple times to take my bike through said area but the terrain was far too rocky. I lost my bike on one of my attempts so I reloaded the game. I then tried going by foot and this was also a challenge. I'm playing on the hard difficulty so the BTs are in far greater numbers than usual. I got caught by them a few times and had to keep reloading my game and starting again. I eventually figured out a decent route through the area and made it through unharmed.

It's interesting playing through an area that has yet to be connected. I spent the past couple of days delivering in areas that are connected and have lots of bridges and ladders scattered about the place, not to mention the land being pretty flat for a bike to get across. Being stripped of all of these comforts just highlights how helpful it is to have people building in the same world as you. It makes you appreciate every little structure that pops up in your world and reminds you that you are not alone when playing the game.

The story of the game is still pretty baffling at this point. There are lots of things i'm still not sure about but the emails and interviews that get sent to you do help fill in the blanks and are well worth reading. When a cutscene occurs this is basically what i'm like...

:D 

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Higgs has such a cool design. 

Higgs_headshot.jpg

And Troy Baker is nailing the performance. :peace: 

All characters are designed brilliantly. They all share a certain theme, yet are still very unique. The entire asthetic of the game (scenery, UI, technology, characters, audio) is masterfully crafted. You may not like Kojima but you can't deny he's a master at creating distinctive worlds. And we should, of course, also mention the developers and artists bringing Kojima's vision to life.

1 hour ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The story of the game is still pretty baffling at this point.

Indeed :D But it's all so intriguing. Especially the scenes with Mads Mikkelsen.

I decided to progress the story and not dabble with the side quests because I just want to know what's going on. Looks like I'll have to do all the side missions after I finished the story :laughing: I do have a theory regarding one character, which isn't particularly "out there" since one word has been used a couple of times now and there's a scene that's a little "in your face" with a certain piece of information. I won't even mention it in a spoiler tag, because if I talk about that theory I'd be revealing something that should be experienced without any prior knowledge.

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Death Stranding has a strong launch in Japan. Impressive given how Japan has given up on regular home consoles. It also highlights just how well new IPs have done on the PS4, with 5 of them being exclusive.

I really need to pick up Judgment and Sekiro, the latter of which never seems to drop in price. :( 

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A bit surprised by that. It was behind Days Gone (and Luigi's Mansion) sales this year so I figured it wasn't doing so well. Obviously it's more suited to the Japanese market than Days Gone which is more of a Europe/US type game.

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6 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

A bit surprised by that. It was behind Days Gone (and Luigi's Mansion) sales this year so I figured it wasn't doing so well. Obviously it's more suited to the Japanese market than Days Gone which is more of a Europe/US type game.

Days Gone has honestly been one of the biggest surprises of the year for me in terms of it's sales. It didn't resonate with me but the general public lapped it up.

I don't expect Death Stranding to have long sales. I imagine it will drop like a rock after a week or two.

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Death Stranding has a strong launch in Japan. Impressive given how Japan has given up on regular home consoles. It also highlights just how well new IPs have done on the PS4, with 5 of them being exclusive.
I really need to pick up Judgment and Sekiro, the latter of which never seems to drop in price.  
Yep, Sekiro has been reduced quite a lot on X1 but not PS4 unfortunately.

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Showing a friend Death Stranding while drunk out of your mind is not a good idea. Unsurprisingly, inebriation translates quite well into the game's movement mechanics :D

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Finally had some time for Death Stranding again. 

I only managed to complete one story mission, though. It did, however, take me quite some time as it was a very long delivery. Can't wait to see where the story will go from now. It's even more intriguing now.

If everything goes well, I'll have some more time to play today :D 

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After taking a break from the game to get through Pokemon and Fallen Order, I fired the game back up this morning. It was great to see a bunch of roads had been built in my absence. The game world really is alive in that sense.

I completed a mission that had me sneak into another Mule base camp and steal some goodies. I managed to get the items needed without anyone seeing me and I was going to sneak my way out as well but then I seen they had left a truck parked in the camp. That was nice of them. I loaded all of my gear into it and then got the hell out of there, Simpsons style.

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The truck came in useful for my next mission as I had to carry a hell of a lot of materials with me. With a few roads built up and a truck at my disposal, it made for a very easy trip. :D Sadly, I had to ditch it after that mission due to the terrain in the next area not really accommodating the vehicle. :( 

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I am not emotionally equipped to listen to more songs by Low Roar. :(

Anyways, going to take a break because it looks like I've reached a chapter that I need to play when it's bright outside and not scary and dark :p 

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What episode are you on @drahkon?

I'm still on episode 3 as I've spent a lot of the day just building roads/bridges and then doing standard missions. With me playing on hard difficulty I was doing some Premium runs and nabbing the Legend rank. Doing the prep work of building stuff up really paid off. My overall rank has shot up and I think I'm kicking around rank 150 odd at the moment. I'll probably move the story forward tomorrow.

I did have a laugh doing the pizza delivery mission. The way the game tells you how to travel with it as if you are carrying a bomb was hilarious. :D 

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3 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

What episode are you on @drahkon?

7

Haven't done any side missions for quite a while because I reeeeeaaaally want to know where the story is going. 

4 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

My overall rank has shot up and I think I'm kicking around rank 150 odd at the moment.

That's where I'm at and I've maybe done 20-30 side missions so far :D I might actually go back to the first area once I'm done with the current chapter. But maybe not, depending on how the plot will develop.

1stWorld.jpg

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