Death Stranding Directors Cut Review

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut

Death Stranding was a massive step in a different direction for Hideo Kojima, who had made a name for himself being the creator of the Metal Gear franchise. The gameplay was a bit of a mystery and when it was finally released and provided us with a very unique experience for a high budget game.

As with Ghosts of Tsushima, Death Stranding has gotten an official release on the PS5 with the directors cut. This new and improved version of the game features several technical improvements that will bring sharper visuals and better frame rate but also some pretty exciting new content.

The Firing Range Is Exactly What This Game Needed

Death Stranding was primarily based around the delivery of cargo but gun combat was not completely absent. Killing enemies is discouraged due to the fact that a dead body going necro causes a massive detonation which prevents you from ever really being able to exercise your trigger finger.

The introduction of a firing range is a huge addition that expands an aspect of the gameplay that never really got to hit its stride in the base game.

shooting rance

The firing range offers a series of timed challenges where you are given a specific loadout and must complete the object within a certain time. Some of these can be quite restrictive such as only being able to use explosives. It gives you a completely new challenge to sink your teeth into when you don’t feel like making deliveries.

The best part of the firing range is being able to enjoy combat without the cost of killing enemies. You can shoot and blast your way through the challenges without any consequences to worry about. Get caught by a BT, simply start the challenge again!

To add to this, being able to revisit boss fights is another consequence way to itch that trigger finger and put any newly learned skills from the firing range to the test in a real combat scenario.

The Racetrack is….interesting

Vehicles do play a big part in Death Stranding. When you build the highway, deliveries become a breeze. Bikes and trucks will be no stranger to you by the time you build the racetrack but racing vehicles isn’t quite what you might be expecting.

You shouldn’t visit the racetrack with high expectations. For starters, there isn’t any racing as such. They are time trials and you must race around the track alone to set a new time record. There is some fun to be had here and it is a welcome break from the darker theme of the main game but you won’t be having as much fun here as you did in the firing range.

race track
The race track is interesting but it just doesnt kick things up to the right gear in terms of speed

It isn’t a major problem when you are dodging rocks and BTs to deliver goods, but when you are on a racetrack, the vehicles feel incredibly slow. Even when you max out the bike, you feel like you could look at your watch and wait for you to reach the finish line on the home stretch.

Turning corners is a rather underwhelming part of this too. Tight turns are difficult at full speed, as they should be, but slowing down is just far too sudden. Turning at slower speeds is also far too sudden. It’s a miracle the drivers don’t end up with severe whiplash. Clipping a corner acts like a static shock that makes you come to a stop which is another strange mechanic.

Don’t expect Gran Turismo or even Need for Speed with the racetrack here. It is a bit of fun competing for the fastest times and the rewards you get for ranking will incentivize you to spend some time here. The unfortunate part is the racing just isn’t as thrilling as it needs to be, the best part about it is the awesome soundtrack that accompanies the races.

New Delivery Tools Rock!

Having spent 40 hours on a previous save, anything new that helps with delivery is pretty exciting. The cannon is by far the biggest winner. Anyone who has spent time playing this game knows that trying to climb a cliff or rough terrain with a back full of containers is difficult. Worse when there are BTs in the way.

The cargo cannon puts an end to the struggle and adds some fun to the process by blasting cargo across difficult terrain so you can run over and fetch it easier. Combine this cannon with the new jetpack style thrusters and you will find the terrain becomes far less formidable than it once was.

deliver ycannon

Floating carriers were often helpful when you wanted to cram as much cargo as possible into a delivery…or maybe you just like to hoard resources you find out in the wild. A new addition to this area is the butty bot. A torso-less robot that looks like it may have borrowed its legs from the MGS Gekko robots. This robot will follow you across the wild and carry a rather impressive load of cargo for you, allowing you to cram a few more deliveries into each run.

The Directors Cut Is A Must Have For New Players

Death Stranding was a stunning game when it was released on the PS4. If you played it on the base PS4, you are in for a nice upgrade. Although it isn’t quite at the level where it will steal the crown of best looking PS5 game from Ghosts of Tsushima, there are plenty of moments that will have you in awe over just how good-looking the scenery is in this game.

When it comes to value for money, the directors cut packs a huge amount of new content into a game that already delivers a solid 40-50 hours of missions. For those who played the original game, the value does diminish considerably.

Although there are a few new missions, challenges, and new items to help you with delivery, none of it really provides much for those who have already completed the game. If you have never played this game before or have played it and wanted to play it a second time, you should delay no further and pick up a copy of this game.

THE VERDICT

8/10
Death Stranding: Directors Cut adds a lot of new content that greatly enhances the base game. For those who have never played Death Stranding, the Directors Cut will provide a version of the game that is far more exciting and enjoyable than the original. For returning players, you may not find enough substance to make it a worthwhile purchase. The firing range, racetrack and new mission will give you some moments of fun but unless you plan on playing the game from the start, the new content will not occupy your time for long. 
Pros
  • The visual upgrade makes an already good looking game, even better.
  • The firing range and ability to repeat boss fights give an exciting way to take a break from delivery and to exercise your combat skills. 
Cons
  • The Racetrack, while interesting, does not provide an exciting enough experience to make you stick around for too long.
  • There isn't enough new content to make it worthwhile for those who beat the original game on PS4.