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Handle with care
It should go without saying, but this review will contain spoilers. However, all said spoilers will only be what is revealed within the first two hours of the game. It's impossible to speak about the premise and mechanics of a game without letting a little slip out. You've been warned, if you want to go in blind, read no further.


“I'm Fragile, but I'm not that fragile”
So what the heck is Death Stranding anyways? Is it really a walking simulator? To me, Walking Simulators are games wherein the only interaction you have with the world is just that, walking. In Death Stranding, it's anything but.

Primarily, you'll be taking orders from facilities, choosing a route, managing stress, stamina and conditions of gear as you traverse the environment. But let's not to get too far ahead of ourselves; the game throws a lot of terms and phrases at you right out of the proverbial gate. Terms like Chiralium, Timefall, Voidout, Cryptobiote, DOOMS, Bridge Babies, BT's (Beached Things), “Beach” as a location otherwise not presumed by its name, Repatriate, even the phrase Death Stranding itself.

All of these things matter — so here's the gist of the premise:

You'll play as Sam “Porter” Bridges, you deliver packages to and from distribution centers and shelters around what used to be America, now called the UCA or United Cities of America. While trucks and motorcycles are in the game, they are not always a feasible means of travel due to the Death Stranding, a nearly apocalyptic event that brought the dead back to life. Well, sort of — it brought Beached Things into the real world and the surface is effectively uninhabitable because of them. Did I mention the rain also ages you and anything it touches? That's the Timefall, any precipitation actually.

More to the point, Sam is a Repatriate and he can die, go to a beach, and come back to life. Trust me, that makes sense in the lore. Without telling the reason, a reluctant Sam Bridges is convinced to re-connect the UCA and expand the Chiral Network, that's the Chiralium, a metallic substance left behind by Beach Things in the real world. Used to essentially explain all the high-tech, nearly magical things in the game. And that's as much as you need to understand going in.

Between the environment itself, the beached things and gear management, there's also people out in the wild that live off of stealing cargo from porters, some orders will have you entering their camps to steal it back.

”Everything is true, except for the lies.”
The game features a number of aspects from other games, it's always online, the gear you leave behind gets shared with other porters, lost cargo can be picked up, delivered or entrusted to another porter. You can even leave signs on the ground like Dark Souls. That said, due to the timefall, structures also degrade over time from exposure.

You're also able to share resources to build larger structures, watchtowers, timefall shelters, generators and bridges.

Fun Fact: Death Stranding uses an evolved version of the same engine that Horizon: Zero Dawn uses — it is not the FOX engine from MGSV.

"My body may be present but my soul is on the Beach, I'm already dead."
Death Stranding is, as expected, a highly narrative title. But it's MUCH, much more than a simple walking sim. A term likely adopted as an endearing term, once used as a pejorative.

I would actually liken this game to Spintires or Mudrunner/Snowrunner but with a story. A very big, epic story.

If you've found this review helpful, consider following my curation — Station Argus
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I know it's tough, but please... be as detailed as you can. Who stole your sweet roll? :D
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69 Hours played
”Nothing says true love like dog skulls”
Days Gone is an open-world post-apocalyptic zombie game with survival elements. It's a LONG game. At the time of this review, the 68.7 hours I have in the game is a single playthrough doing only the main story with a fair number of extras.

You'll take the role of Deacon St. John, an abrasive character for sure. The game throws you not only into an active virus outbreak that leads to a zombie apocalypse, but into Deacon's relationships with a number of people. People he seems to not have the greatest history with — “burned bridges”. He's also stuck on his lost love, two sentiments I identify with more than I care to admit in my real life. Ultimately, this makes him slightly unlikable. That combined with the game's length makes this a game for people looking for a certain experience.

My bike, my bike, my kingdom for my bike!
Being reductive, this game feels a lot like Death Stranding meets Far Cry. But I don't think it would be inappropriate to draw comparisons to Red Dead Redemption 2.

Your bike is your lifeline. It's how you travel, it's how you save. It will literally save your life. Fast travel is allowed if you have the gas and the path is not obstructed by things like infestation zones. Otherwise you need to get around without it. The bike does need gas to function but this is relatively trivial as an aspect of the game's survival traits. For one, gas cans respawn and do not run out of gas. And gas pumps are still active in this time, it's only been a few years. When I first started playing, I became rather anxious thinking I'd need to be constantly concerned about gas. You're always getting something as well. Killing stray zombies (freaks) or marauders will earn you XP to upgrade Deacon's abilities. The freak ears and other zombie types can also be sold to camps for credits and that will also build trust.

You do need to be careful however, ambushes can happen out of the blue. Not only this, but the gunfire or explosions can cause more freaks or non-infected wildlife to show up. Wolves, bears, mountain lions. The game can go from 0 to 100 real fast.

Your bike can be upgraded upon building trust with camps. As a drifter, you're able to go out on missions for a number of camps and establish more trust within them. You'll earn both trust (a type of XP really) and camp credits to refill things like ammo. Other resources can be pilfered out in the wild. You'll learn where to find certain types of resources as well — scrap can be found in almost any vehicle if the hood is still shut, gas cans are usually found around industrial vehicles such as tow trucks. Ammo can usually be found in police vehicles, medkits in ambulances — things you'd expect.

Much like Death Stranding, while you aren't a “Porter”, you are effectively playing that same role within this world. You'll learn the map and better ways to navigate it to perform the tasks the camps want. Bounty hunting, horde killing, resource retrieval and more.

There's also a bit of conspiracy if you investigate the NERO checkpoints and go down that path.

The Gist
I think this game appeals to a rather specific audience. It does have multiple endings and there's a TON to do in this game. Granted, it can be a tad grindy. But the gunplay is great, the bike riding is great and I personally identified with Deacon in a number of ways. More prudently, if you feel... lost in your real life, this game might be the exact thing you need to distract yourself for a time.

If you've found this review helpful, consider following my curation — Station Argus
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FOX|BLOODLINE ✅ Dec 31, 2023 @ 3:10pm 
Happy New Year !!!
Sky Dec 30, 2023 @ 1:01pm 
Hoping you drink and dance your way into 2024! Happy New Year!

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Razziano Dec 24, 2023 @ 10:58am 
☆.*★Merry Christmas★° 。•˛•˚ *•˛• •
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ _Π_____*。*˚•˛•• ˚•˛•˚ *˚ •˚ *
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˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚ ☃ •˚ *•˛ * •˛•
☆¸.•°*•˛•* 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓗𝓪𝓹𝓹𝔂 𝓝𝓮𝔀 𝓨𝓮𝓪𝓻 ᘖꝊᘖᔦ.
SpaceCouncil May 16, 2023 @ 6:41pm 
I don't trade anymore, sorry.
Federom May 16, 2023 @ 6:39pm 
Hello, I would like to ask if you trade humble bundle, indiegala cd-keys, even if you do not trade them, I am looking for a few old bundled ones, so you might have a few and I'm ready to offer some games from your wishlist, in case you are interested - accept my friendship, I'm also ready to go first if we find decent trade for both of us, thanks(seen your profile on humble games group)
Bouncedheart24 Apr 29, 2023 @ 1:11pm 
pls add me for an interesting conversation!!