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Video GameDeath Stranding Review
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Posted: 13 months ago, last updated 5 months ago.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Death Stranding is an exploration game where you deliver supplies across a vast shattered, post-apocalyptic America while protecting and caring for a baby. It's intentionally slow, sometimes excruciatingly so, which means you carefully consider your actions. This unusual aspect is amplify through its unique physics-based controls that make even a simple task like walking up a hill, challenging. It's a game that looks like an action adventure but hides within it a study of loneliness and landscapes.

Set in North America with just pockets of civilisation surviving, you play Sam Bridges, a courier delivering essential resources to the various towns and outposts remaining in an attempt to restore some level of communication and normalcy to the world. You brave the hostile, time-warping enemies, bandits and highwaymen while navigating and caring for an unborn child you carry in a strange, womb-like capsule.

Each item you carry adds weight and size to your load, making it more difficult to traverse the hilly, rocky terrain without falling over and potentially losing lots of progress. Enemies are often invisible, sometimes you need to fight them, but other times you need to carefully sneak past them. You can build bridges and roads to help you traverse the terrain, but these do little to change the grindingly slow task of making deliveries on foot.

The result is a stunningly unique game, with a huge, sprawling map, and moody visuals. These are put to work not as a context for warfare or combat like other games, but as a space in which you must traverse, survive and come to terms with. The challenging mechanics, weighty story and unique visuals differentiate it from similar games such as Red Dead Redemption 2.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 20% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Stealth

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Hideo Kojima EN (@Hideo_Kojima_EN)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 25 hours and 60 hours to complete. The regular version will likely take somewhere in the region of 40-60 hours to beat. The Director's cut edition adds several features that can speed up the pace of the game and make certain sections more straightforward, slightly reducing the time to beat. on both versions, play sessions can run easily over an hour.
 

Play StylePlay Style

This is a single-player game. While you can see the effects of other players on the environment, such as a ladder on a cliff, you never come face-to-face with or interact with any other players.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for Violence and Bad Language. This game contains infrequent depictions of violence towards vulnerable human-like characters. The most notable example of violence is seen during a cutscene in which a human baby is shot and killed. In the scene, a man holding a baby in his arms is shot. When he turns around and falls to the floor, it is revealed that the baby has also been killed. The baby’s dead body then falls onto the floor as a pool of blood builds up around it. In a later scene the baby’s dead body can be seen with an open bullet wound visible on its torso. It is also possible to attack and kill non-adversaries that pose no threat. The game also contains frequent use of strong language ('f*ck'). This game also includes sequences of suicide, including when characters choose to end their own lives rather than be killed by enemies. These sequences are graphic and feature sight of blood and realistic reactions. There is also a scene of euthanasia in which a character ends the life of a person who is on life-support, and said to be brain dead, by placing a pillow over their face.
 
User-Generated Content: This game includes content created by other players, such as maps, outfits and items, that are not reflected in the game rating.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Restricted (R 18+) for Strong Themes and Violence; also with Moderate Language and Mild Nudity and Sex.

Skill Rating

16+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content.

CostsCosts

Death Stranding usually costs £34.99 to £59.99. 

DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR'S CUT

Steam Store PC £34.99

Death Stranding

Death Stranding Digital Deluxe Edition

Death Stranding Director's Cut

PlayStation Store PS5 £44.99

Death Stranding Director's Cut Digital Deluxe Edition

PlayStation Store PS5 £49.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £49.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
There are two versions of the game; the regular edition is available on PC and PS4, while the Director's cut is exclusive to PS5. It has an extra level and contains features that quicken the pace and make some sections more straightforward. 
 

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Death Stranding Accessibility Report documents 28 accessibility features:
The PS5 version, the Director's Cut, has several ease of use and quality of life changes that aren't present in the original game, and we've chosen to highlight the Director's cut in this report.

There are 5 difficulty levels to choose from, ranging from Very Easy to Very Hard. On harder difficulties, fights are made more challenging and the deliveries you have to make will be over harder to cross terrain and may take longer.

There is a firing range where you can use every weapon in the game and get to grips with how it works. You can also practice in a drill against enemies in lots of different scenarios, meaning you can learn the basics without fear of losing any items.

On PC, under the controls tab in the options menu, you can remap all buttons and actions.

You can adjust the text size in the game, but even the largest text is still rather small, and there are several segments where it isn't high contrast. While the subtitles are big, they aren't always high contrast and as a result, can sometimes be difficult to read. Many sections of the inventory are very densely packed with information and can be confusing to understand.

While there is a fast-travel system, it can only be activated from certain points on the map, and getting to these points can sometimes take several minutes in and of itself.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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