Video Game Review: Death Stranding

Death Stranding is an action game set in a post-apocalyptic United States. Death Stranding refers to an event where BTs (Beached Things) have escaped their afterlife “beaches” and are free to roam the earth. Their presence is followed by an acid-like rain that causes everything it touches to age and deteriorate at an extreme rate. They consume the dead through necrosis, which causes substantial void-out explosions, leaving massive craters in their wake. What’s left of the American population settles in no-contact Knot cities to survive. Porters bring supplies back and forth between these cities using BBs (Bridge Babies), a premature baby between the world of the living and the dead, that can alert to the proximity of BTs. This game centers on Sam Porter-Bridges as he tries to reconnect the United States and unknowingly discovers vital parts of his past.

Death Stranding won many awards upon its release in late 2019, including Game of the Year. It’s the first game solely created by Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions. Kojima believes this game is the first game of its kind due to the gameplay’s social elements. While the game is praised for its graphics, cast, and audio, gameplay opinions are polarizing.

Starting this game, I was left scratching my head a lot. The scenery was dazzling, the music catchy, and the voice-acting was engaging – I just had no idea what was going on. You’re thrown some jargon and vague descriptions of creatures and events that you piece together bit by bit through experiences and key conversations. I found the mystery of it all to be incredibly captivating, though I see why others find it frustrating. I HAD to push through to see what was around the corner or what weird apocalyptic-death-magic I was going to experience next (think tar pits with creepy tentacle monsters). I eventually understood more of the story, and that pulled me in more. This game’s plot has so many unexpected twists and turns that you can’t possibly predict what will happen next. I’m rarely surprised or shocked by a game, but this one did just that many times over.

I think this is the most unique apocalyptic title out there to date. In a genre that’s honestly oversaturated, this game stands apart as something new and exciting. The connections and emotions portrayed feel real and developed. Every time I rocked Lou, Sam’s BB, to sleep, I felt more connected to it and Sam. I think that’s why it’s hard to figure out where everything is headed; we’re distracted, concentrating on their survival and happiness. I think this game is especially relevant now considering the pandemic and our isolation from each other. I think we can all understand Sam’s condition and associated loneliness better. This game may not be for everyone, but I highly recommend it if you have a little patience and determination.


I rate this game an 8 out of 10

This game is available through our library on:

Link to Death Stranding video game in library catalog

This game has an ESRB rating of M for Mature ages 17+

Also check out:

Link to The Art of Death Stranding book in library catalog


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