Press Start’s 2019 GOTY #2 – Death Stranding

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There’s no other game that came out this year quite like Death Stranding. From Kojima’s bold claims of it being the first in a new genre to the sheer confusion of its nebulous marketing push, no other title has demanded a spotlight quite like this game about a lone-wolf porter. Of course, the discourse that came in the fallout of the game’s release remain as fascinating as the game itself, some holding the game up as a saving grace and breath of fresh air, others condemning it to certain, swift death.

There’s no other game like it in 2019.

With stellar, award-nominated (and winning if you’re Mads Mikkelsen) performances, Death Stranding’s plot wastes no time descending into sheer insanity, a line it happily walks for the entirety of its forty-hour runtime. There’s a peace that settles over the core of Death Stranding, as wanderlust takes hold and drives you from point to point in a baffling quest to reconnect America, one hub at a time.

In his review, Brodie said:Hideo Kojima has long been a visionary auteur, his feted career stands as proof. With no walls to contain him, he has given birth to Death Stranding. It’s an experience that will be remembered for a long time, from its early hype to the untethered lunacy of its narrative. It’s an art installation of a game that filled me with rage as often as it did joy. It is sweeping in both lustre and purpose, though it wears a few warts on the pleasant, bare bones of a game about deliveries that has no right to be as memorable as it somehow is.”

Press Start Australia gave Death Stranding an 8 out of 10, much in line with the 82 it currently holds on Metacritic.

Kieron said: Everyone had some kind of expectation for Death Stranding. Some expected a masterpiece; others anticipated a bloated, over-hyped mess. I tried not to situate myself too far into either camp and temper any preconceived notions I had about the game. What I didn’t consider though, is that I was still making assumptions about the game’s creator, Hideo Kojima himself. I assumed, based on his track record, that I was in for a game that would be needlessly confusing, mired in its designer’s self-importance and need to be esoteric and edgy. What I got instead was a surprisingly simple story in a world that excels in its attention to detail, giving every narrative beat, every strangely in-depth gameplay mechanic and every single step taken an importance that cannot be ignored. Playing Death Stranding isn’t ‘fun’ in a traditional sense, but it’s probably one of the most engaging and compelling gaming experiences I’ve had in a very long time.

James said: I still don’t quite know how I feel about Death Stranding, but I can’t deny that it left its mark on me. A game that shouldn’t work on paper, but somehow does, Death Stranding is one of the bravest and most original AAA games in a while. Equal parts tedious and engaging, it’s incredibly satisfying to look back on all the trailers and marketing material and know exactly what it all means. And obviously, Mads. Whew.

Congratulations to Kojima Productions and Sony for adding yet another fantastic title to their first-party catalogue, Death Stranding is our runner-up for the game of the year, earning our #2 spot.

Current Top 10:
2. Death Stranding
3. Resident Evil 2
4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
5. Devil May Cry 5
6. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
7. Apex Legends
8. Untitled Goose Game
9. What The Golf
10. A Plague Tale: Innocence

 

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