Every time i load Death stranded, I’m basically complaining about the face of Hideo Kojima, its creator. Pictorially speaking, of course. Before I walked through the vast and desolate land, I entered the network menu of my PlayStation 5 and disconnected my console from the Internet. I flew directly to the creator, ignoring one of the core design tenants. I won’t have any other way.
The most prominent theme of “Death Stranding” is to reconnect the disconnected people on a broken land. The only way out of the chaos we have caused—global warming, rising political tensions, etc.—is to unite. This is achieved by connecting people to a chiral network (essentially the Internet*). This allows people to transmit information in the United States and 3D print the necessary goods. The job fell on one person: Sam Porter Bridges, who had to walk from coast to coast to connect people with chiral networks.
The connection theme of death stranding is mechanically expressed in its online mode. You will never meet another real-world player, but you will often meet the buildings they built on their journey. For example, in a particularly rugged part of the terrain, you may find another player’s bridge, which can help you get where you need to go. If you want, you can leave a like for the player. This asynchronous multiplayer game creates a sense of camaraderie and blind appreciation for the work of others. As a combination of narrative and mechanism, this is a genius way of expressing the theme of the game “make America complete again”.
But when I play Death Stranding, I don’t want any of these. For me, this game is best played offline.
I love Death stranded walking partLoading my cargo, planning my route every step of the way, and starting a new adventure in a dangerous and unforgiving world is the most exciting part of the game. I especially like the way “Death Stranding” allows me to think about my own balance and the terrain I cross. It forces me (literally) to think with my feet, considering gravity, the humidity of the ground, and a thousand other small details. . When I got stuck in a stalemate and had to use one of my many tools—a ladder to climb a steep cliff, a rope to climb, a bridge to cross a chasm—I felt like a true explorer. I am not changing the environment according to my own wishes, but accepting the environment on the surface and figuring out how to use it for my own benefit.
But when I started to explore a new area of the Death Stranding map, I found it very frustrated, only to find that its online connection had filled my game with many structures I wished to build myself. When you find the right route and tools for any particular situation, overcoming the challenge of death stranding is the most valuable. When the choice of overcoming the environment disappeared from me, it eliminated my favorite thing to play Death Stranding. It eliminates many challenges. My work has been done for me.
I firmly believe that you should play the game as you want; if the author’s intention prevents you from appreciating a work of art, then it doesn’t matter. In this case, I rejected the creator’s core intentions. I admire the online mechanics of Death Stranding, but as far as I am concerned, they are inconsistent with the deep-rooted challenges and satisfactions of real-time gameplay. Although I hope there are some ways to better customize your online experience according to the way you want to play, completely isolating yourself from the creation of other players is my best and only solution. I am very happy to reject Kojima’s paper in order to better enjoy his game.I have done this twice now, both in the original version of the game or in the brand new version Director’s Cut On PlayStation 5.
In summary, if an online connection is useful to you, be sure to stay connected and play as much as you want. I also encourage you to play offline for a while to experience the other side of the coin; this is a more challenging experience, but I think it makes more sense. Again, enjoy the game the way you want, not how you think you should enjoy the game. Death Stranding is a special and great game, and I hope that no matter how you choose to play in its world, you will play it in your favorite way.
*By the way, I think Kojima’s belief in the Internet is a bit strange. If it is not short-sighted and naive. Personally, the Internet has little benefit in my life. Especially the invention in the comment section below.