Review: Death Stranding Director's Cut

Like Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding is back as a Playstation 5 title in a Director's Cut. Playstation 4 players are allowed to transfer their save file to continue playing, but the Director's Cut adjusts the game from front to back for a ride with fewer bumps.

While Ghost of Tsushima gets a whole new island on the Playstation 4 version, the changes in the Death Stranding Director's Cut are a bit more subtle. But no less impactful. While the Playstation 5 version of the game adds some new missions in new areas, the game's meat remains largely the same. For a good few hours you're still Sam Porter Bridges, the UPS Man.

The subtle adjustments and additions provide a better balance in Death Stranding. The long routes and many packages become more bearable and the additional action breaks the order of the day, but not so much your shoes. The original game dates back to late 2019. Did you miss this one? Then we go very quickly over the basic principles of the game. For an extensive look at the base game, I would like to refer you to our review from 2019 .

What is Death Stranding?

Death Stranding is a Kojima game through and through. If you are familiar with the works of Kojima you know what I am referring to, are you not familiar with the works of Kojima? Then think of all the madness aside. Crazy situations that you can't imagine in your wildest dreams. Think of a long game with lots of intermissions from long, but very nicely narrative cutscenes. Death Stranding is no different.

You play as Sam Porter Bridges and if while reading you get the impression that there are a lot of funny puns, the game is packed to the brim with them. Sam is a delivery man who takes packages from point A to point B and to point C. Sam works for Bridges, an organization that wants to reunite America, because everything is completely broken. The wilderness is not safe and together you are stronger. So you have to make your way to other settlements that range from remaining cities to small air raid shelters to connect all the nodes.

On your path you will encounter various dangers such as the MULEs and the BTs. BTs are figures from the afterlife. You can't see them with the naked eye, but a scanner on your shoulder warns you about the presence of the BTs and how close they are. MULEs are really just a bunch of assholes out to steal your load.

Many things happen on your journey to reunite America completely. The story goes in all directions and for the first few hours you don't get it at all. That's how it should be, don't worry, just keep playing. The further you go, the more interesting it gets. There will also be a lot more action, luckily, because I don't drag all those weapons and tools with me for the cat.

Is someone there?

The great thing about Death Stranding is that you don't really have to play alone. You play in a shared open world, but you don't see any other players anyway. huh? To make your ride enjoyable in Death Stranding, you can build a number of things on all routes. A climbing rope, a ladder, a bridge, a generator and so on. If the area you're walking in is connected to the Chiral Network, you'll also see other players' builds. So you can use a generator and ladder from other players to make your journey more enjoyable. Super convenient and free! So you don't have to climb a rock wall while you have 70 kilos of found objects and test samples hanging on your back. Talk about a lot of cargo.

Ordered today, delivered today!

In Death Stranding's Director's Cut, transporting packages quickly becomes a bit easier than you're used to from the base game (if you've played it). Early on you get access to a number of skills such as a support skeleton and a Maser Gun. Super handy because with such a support skeleton your packages are less heavy and you can also run faster if you switch on the boost mode. You do lose your cargo space on both legs, but that doesn't matter much because your reinforced posture makes you less likely to wobble and you can carry more boxes and crates on your back.

With that Maser Gun you keep the annoying MULEs at an appropriate distance. It's actually a kind of super taser pistol with which you lay the MULEs horizontally. You can't kill them, because dying in Death Stranding has very nasty consequences. You are also not a Snake, but a Porter.

There are also a number of new additions that make your job as a mail deliverer a bit more pleasant. I'm not going to tell them all, but a very cool one to mention is a cannon. You have to build this somewhere and you can then fire your heavy boxes with it. This is very useful if you have to pass through a BT area, for example. Is just a little easier without a tower of heavy boxes on your back. Then pick up the packages where you shot them and deliver them without any hassle.

More action

The Death Stranding Dirctor's Cut gives you access to more missions with new rewards. These new missions will take you to new places like the Ruined Factory. The new area becomes more accessible as you progress and may give you some flashbacks to previous Kojima titles in terms of gameplay and general atmosphere.

To get started with your arsenal of weapons and gadgets, a new practice area has been added to the game. You can reach this from any station where you also have your own room. In this practice area you can get started with your current gadgets and weapons through target practice or various simulation missions. A handy addition to test the precise functioning of a certain weapon before you start wasting your resources in the real world.

You can also race in Death Stranding this time. A little later in the game you are given a mission to finish the race track. Then you can spend some time here to switch off between delivery, BT chasing and more with some handbrake turns. So is this really why Gran Turismo 7 was delayed to 2022?

Verdict

Death Stranding Director's Cut is a pleasant and slightly more extensive version of the Playstation 4 title from 2019. If you already have the PS4 version, an upgrade will cost you only €10 . A reasonable price for the small additions and improvements. Of course you also benefit from some Playstation 5 advantages. For example, while playing, you feel the weight of your load in the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in your DualSense. It is very subtle, but adds just a little more experience.

The small additions make for an overall refined way of playing, especially when delivering cargo. You still have to take into account battery percentages, durability and such, but it's a lot nicer than before. Especially with the later additions to the game. The added missions ramp up the action, especially in the beginning of the game, giving the first very long-winded intro a bit more life. It's a slightly more realistic sketch of what the rest of the game can offer you.

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