In a year where players yearned to take on the roles of rude geese and amnesiac detectives, Death Stranding somehow seems the least odd of 2019's menagerie of titles. It also took the gold when it comes to introducing some of the most exciting and out-of-the-box mechanics currently seen in the PlayStation 4's catalogue.
Death Stranding is our best PlayStation 4 game of the year for many reasons, least of which the fact that it happened to debut first on the PlayStation 4. In fact, it's already been confirmed for a PCrelease very soon. But it has everything to do with the fact that, out of everything that came to the system this year, it had the rest beat – completely and utterly, in my mind.
There are so many exciting facets to Death Stranding to explore, especially its usage of the "Chiral Network," which Sam Porter Bridges is charged with connecting the members of the would-be United Cities of America to as he makes his way across the country to bring humanity together again. The Chiral Network is a futuristic form of a more functional "internet," which allows people to send and receive items that they can print via chiral printer. It's one of the most interesting parts of Death Stranding, just like the BB Pod system.
You've no doubt seen the BB Pod, or the fetus in a jar Sam carries around his midsection. It looks like a simple tank with a baby floating around in it, connected via umbilical cord. When Sam enters an area where there may be BTs, or the tar-covered beings known as Beached Things, the BB will react to their presence with the pod's Odradek (the bracket you see on Sam's back) responding to the imminent threat. You'll even hear BB's cries through the DualShock 4's controller, if you have the mechanic turned on via the game's menu.
There are several instances like this, as well as some truly engaging other aspects of Death Stranding that work in tandem to make a truly unforgettable experience. Beyond the gameplay loop built from a technologically impressive series of landscapes, the motion capture techniques used to bring actors like Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen to life as well as the near-complete lack of loading screens while out exploring the world all combine for an impressive and immersive adventure that begs for gamers of all stripes to experience it.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should pick up Death Stranding to add to your PlayStation 4 collection, be sure to check out my full review. And if you do grab a copy and give it a chance, be sure not to spend the majority of your time in Chapter 3 and get on with it. There's a whole wide game to explore out there, and you need to see it all.
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Shacknews Best PS4 Game of 2019 - Death Stranding