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Death Stranding is getting a lot of heat for having a lot of walking. The game is pretty much a delivery simulator, but how much walking is really involved, is it as bad as everyone says or has the hype train made this seem worse than it actually is? Having completed the story, here are my thoughts on it.
The short answer is yes there is quite a bit of walking. For the first 3 or 4 hours, you will be walking a lot and this is the part that people complain about. At this point in the game, you have hardly any good walking gear, no access to vehicles and you won't have “leveled up” any of Sam's hiking abilities.
The moment you unlock vehicles, the game completely changes. Having to travel 2km to deliver a package is a quick spin on your bike. It takes the huge chore out of a small side quest to deliver a box. You can often deliver several other things in the process.
Further on, you will unlock additional gadgets like an exoskeleton that allows you to carry lots of weight, run faster and be far more sure footed over uneven terrain. Gloves to help you climb, more durable boots and a little carrier to help you with cargo.
Once you have gotten over the initial hump, you will have access to enough technology to make the delivery parts of the game a lot less painful.
Walking is not something you will do much of later on. You will always have access to bikes. You can either construct them at the major cities or you can “borrow” them from the shared garage. They are cheap enough to create, so you will never be stuck for a bike.
Trucks are also scattered around the place and can be stolen from MULE (bandits) camps. If you destroy your bike out in the wild, you will have to walk some distance, but may find another easily. Sometimes, its actually faster to just jump off your bike and walk by foot. Walking over a mountain can be faster than driving around it.
For a bigger overview on all aspects of this game, check out my full Death Stranding review.
Sponsorships and product placement are fairly common these days and for the most part, it isnt a big deal. If Ford want to pay money to have their vehicles used in a movie, who cares? If Sony way to use their technology in movies they produce, who cares? This kind of product placement doesn’t cause any harm because it fits the setting. A TV is a TV, the brand makes no difference. The cans of monster in Death Stranding are a much different story, what the hell is with them?
Speaking from a business side of things, it is a bit shitty that people pay $60 for a game to have advertisements shoved down their throats. If the bikes in the game were Honda branded or something, you could deal with it because it makes sense, but Monster?
The first thing that bugs me is that not only is Monster in this game, but there is some kind of suggestion that it is good for you. Monster is like some magical elixir that will give you a boost. Surely with the technology they have, they would have a more advanced way of giving you a boost then having to neck a can of Monster.
The product placement not making sense is one part of the issue, the second is the logical side of it. How the hell did Monster survive the Death Stranding? The world is at its knees. Resources and supply lines are non existent. We know this because porters are the only remaining method of delivering packages.
Are we really meant to believe that not only did Monster survive the Death Stranding but they somehow managed to maintain an independent supply like and can somehow have fresh cans of their product delivered to every knot city in the game?
It isn’t significant enough to ruin the game, but it’s a pretty big sellout. It is frustrating to see those cans there on multiple levels. “Fuck the lore and story of this game, Monster are paying us a fat stack of money, lets do what they want”. I’m sure in the next update for the game, Sam will be collecting dildos from the Amazon Warehouse.
Kojima is known for writing some highly complex stories and the story of Death Stranding is no exception to this. If the trailers are anything to go by, this game is going to be fairly confusing, but how bad is it? How confusing is the story in Death Stranding?
The story is complex and you will need to pay attention. If you zone out during an important conversation, you will obviously struggle to know what the hell is going on. So long as you can stay tuned in, it should be no bother at all to the average player.
For people who love sci-fi stories, a lot of aspects of this games story will make more sense. The multiverse is a pretty confusing thing and it is mentioned in this game. Advanced technology is also a big focus, so some familiarity with other science fiction writing will definitely be an advantage to you when you are getting stuck into this game.
The game does a very good job at wrapping up the story and making sure everything has been explained in a clear and easy way. There was no point at which I was like “that makes no sense at all”. There were some things I was confused about because they were just complex, but thats different.
If you are just looking to figure out, based on how complex it seems from the trailers, whether the actual game is going to have a confusing story, you have nothing to worry about. It is not confusing and is so well written that you will be able to keep your head wrapped around everything.
Do you really want to know this in advance of playing the game? I will admit that it is one of the more intriguing aspects of the game but it gets explained fairly well in the game. After an hour or so you will know everything you need to know about the baby.
Spoiler Time* - So if you really can’t wait, and want to know what this baby in a pickle jar is all about, I will explain enough so that it makes sense. If you have played the game and are confused as fuck about it, then this might clear things up. There will be no story spoilers here but I will explain everything about the baby and what the point of it is.
The baby is known as a Bridge Baby or a BB for short. They are attached to the world of the dead and they interface with you via the pod they are living in. There is definitely a moral issue around it all and Sam does seem to feel a bit uneasy about them being babies but they assure you that they are not actual children and would die outside of the pod.
The BB helps you spot the ghost like things you see in the trailer. That little clappy scanner thing around your shoulder is how you locate the ghosts known as BTs. These will kick your ass, so knowing where they are is important. The BB is how you know where they are.
Why didn’t they just make some sort of gadget to detect them instead of a baby? The reason for this is justified in the story, but ultimately it seems to just be a cool decision from a development perspective. I’m sure they could have come up with something else but a baby is very impactful and it has worked. Everyone has been asking me for weeks “what’s the deal with the baby”. At least now I can finally talk about it.
Medievil was one of the first PS1 games I really loved. The spooky, childlike halloween style to it made it scary and cool but not so scary that 8 year old me wasn’t scared to death of. With the HD remaster of Crash and Spyro, I have been hoping that Medievil would eventually happen and it did!
The release schedule for games is tight as hell this year. So many awesome games to play like Outer Worlds, Death Stranding, Luigi's Mansion and a Pokemon game on the Switch. There are so many more too. I was surprised myself to see how much I still wanted to play Medievil despite all of the games it was up against.
The reviews have really hammered this game though. Saw one 10/10 on metacritic which should instantly ruin the credibility of that reviewer. Generally speaking, most are around 5/10 which is pretty shit for a game that has a lot of nostalgia going for it.
The gamespot review in particular has caused me to take the game off my list completely. I was hoping for a fun experience like I had with Spyro. Not a rage filled, leg punching session trying to deal with all of the games terrible design flaws.
I’ll keep this game on my radar in the hope they fix some of the silly design decisions they have made. From the sounds of it, most are fairly small things like camera, hitboxes and platforming. Core to a game, but shouldn’t require a huge team of developers to fix. If it were a PC game, a mod would probably exist to fix this stuff already.
This is one disappointment of the holiday season. Good thing there are so many other awesome games to play. Almost finished Death Stranding so it’s time for Outer Worlds.
Gaming on laptops is far more accessible now than it ever has been. Components that go into the average gaming laptops are getting more powerful with every iteration that allow a laptop to stand up to the performance of a desktop PC. The main issue with gaming laptops these days is getting the balance right between performance and cost.
On paper, a laptop might have all the specs you need to play a game. What people don’t often consider are the more detailed specs that games don’t specify. Most gamers appreciate the performance that comes with an SSD over a standard hard disk drive. Another thing to consider is the clock speed of the GPU and the speed of the RAM. These two things aren’t just about GBs.
Budget gaming laptops are something we see a lot more of lately. With games like Fortnite and Minecraft being incredibly popular with younger audiences, hardware manufacturers have found a way to capitalize on this. Seeing a “gaming laptop” at the local supermarket for $899 or $999 isn’t out of the ordinary.
The definition of a gaming laptop is not set in stone. A hardcore gamer would expect something that could play AAA games without having to sacrifice on resolution, frame rate and be able to set most settings to high or above. The supermarkets selling laptops to innocent mothers who need gaming laptops for their children, will provide the absolute minimum to be able to play a game at medium to high settings.
What to look for in a good gaming laptop
The first thing to look for is the GPU, you want to be going for an i7 as this is the highest tier. Since there are new revisions released regularly, you will need to check for the latest model in order to see if the laptop you are buying has the latest tech or one that is a few years old. It might have an i7 but if it is 5 years old, you are getting screwed.
The next is the GPU. Don’t focus on the amount of memory too much. Yes it is very important to have a few GB in there, but if it has a slow processor, then you are wasting your time. Much like CPUs, GPU tech is evolving incredibly fast. The GeForce line of GPUs has a constantly increasing model number. The higher the number generally means it is the better model. For example, in the current line up, the GeForce RTX 2080 is better than the GeForce RTX 2060.
RAM is another thing often advertised poorly. 16gb of RAM sounds great, but if it is cheap it will be slow. Always check for the speed of the memory. This is measured in MHz. The higher the better.
Storage is cheap these days and it might not seem like it matters, but it does. Games will load faster and perform better if they can read data from the disk faster. SSDs are the latest technology in storage and they are incredibly fast. They are also quite expensive compared to traditional HDDs. A 280GB SSD will cost you more than a 2TB HDD. Don’t get caught up in GBs and TBs. SSDs will make your games perform way better, they are well worth the money.
Expect to pay for a high quality gaming laptop
High end gaming laptops are not cheap, but they aren’t meant to be. If you want to have a high end, PC level gaming experience on the go, then you need to be prepared to pay a little more than what you would pay for a gaming PC of a similar spec. A $999 laptop from Walmart is not going to compete with a $2000 liquid cooled desktop PC.
Before you go shopping for a new laptop, you need to know what to expect from the price. If you want to play 8-bit indie games and nothing more, that cheap gaming laptop might be all you need. If you want to play high end 3D games, then you will need to put the money toward a high spec laptop that can support your needs.