One of the stupidest things you can do in your free time since Oldsmobile began large-scale car manufacturing in 1901 is to walk everywhere. It’s easy to argue that cars are terrible for the environment and forced us all to deal with Elon Musk, but grabbing the steering wheel and going anywhere is much easier and harder than using your feet. It cannot be denied that there are few. Why do you walk on earth? It’s ridiculous. Your little feet don’t have the power of hemi, and they definitely can’t hit 85mph on the highway. You can’t even attach accessories to your feet like a car. Try throwing truck nuts at something other than the F150. Then you can be put in jail.
Video games also know the facts of this life. Since Mario first hit Yoshi behind his head, developers around the world have been experimenting with new ways to allow players to cross the world in a more convenient way. Grand Theft Auto has spread the idea of driving an open world with any vehicle that can move quickly from point A to point B. And people certainly like these games. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most successful entertainment venues to date. In fact, it was a hit that prompted developer rock stars to add horses to Red Dead Redemption 2.
This is all to say: the car shakes! Lowrider, motorcycle, monster truck, Ford Pinto, you name it, bud. The car is cool and one of the best ergonomic achievements. They have made modern life bearable. If I was born before 1901, I don’t know what to do with myself. Walk half a mile to the store, USA Today?? I would rather die.
For my money, one of the best games in the last decade is Death Stranding, a walking-centric game. Like most games, Hideo Kojima’s very expensive vanity project on the loss of human-to-human connections and the destruction of the environment is a very political story. It’s a story about our current civilization and the dehumanization of automation. How the quest for convenience through companies like Amazon has left a deep scar on the planet and our personal lives. It’s also a farewell song about Konami, a former employer of Kojima, but it’s neither here nor there.
Death Stranding has cars – and they are terrible. For most of the play time, I’m just walking from A to B, B to C, and so on. As a guide played by the main character, Sam Porter Bridges, it takes a long time to find the US truncated version of the game (which actually looks like Iceland). The walking dead Norman Reedus embarked on a journey to deliver packages and reconnect to the United States. It’s an incredibly orderly and painstaking journey, where you slap your nose with bricks, rather than humming sentences and metaphors. And that’s great.
My favorite thing about Death Stranding is walking. I also like this story. I think the star-studded cast featuring Mads Mikkelsen, Margaret Qualley, Léa Seydou and more is doing a great job. But the appeal of Death Stranding and the reason it thinks so much more than the most expensive Triple A games always depends on the time spent walking from here to there and everywhere. In fact, even if you unlocked all the different vehicles offered by the game, you rarely used them. No matter how far along the sidewalk, the terrain, or the danger, I intended to walk.
The easiest way for a Death Stranding walking mechanic to work is for the purpose of presenting yourself in a particular trek and for micro purposes. Since Bridges is a porter, we carry as many packages as we need to deliver on each journey. From one to dozens, it depends on what suits you. Along the way, you may find more packages discarded by other porters. These packages can be picked up and delivered as needed. It feels good to offer these packages. At the very least, you’ve completed many tasks with your docket, so it’s an easy way to give your players a sense of accomplishment, even with low deliveries.
This is exacerbated by the Death Stranding skill level. It’s a little modest to say that you’re just walking from here to there. In reality, you manage your baby with stamina, balance, and, strangely, your own needs and emotions. You’re doing all this on difficult terrain-sometimes over deep ditches, rushing through waters and climbing snow-capped mountains. Occasionally, you have to deal with hostile NPCs-in the form of MULEs trying to steal your packages, or a kind of ghost trying to steal your life.
Death Stranding’s delivery components, coupled with the satisfaction of completing a tough journey, constantly generate progress and satisfaction. It’s rare that you’re playing Death Stranding and not doing something that is rewarding to you in some way. Often, you stack goals to create multiple ways to complete a task at once. feel well. It’s like a constant infusion of dopamine for my stupid little brain. Kojima-san, thank you for temporarily healing my depression.
But my favorite part of walking on Death Stranding is that it’s slow and often quiet. Video games, especially triple A video games, rarely make players think. We are constantly being attacked by stimuli such as shooting new ones, performing new explosions, or inserting many others out of fear that developers may get bored with their games. There’s certainly a lot going on with Death Stranding, but especially narratively, I’m not afraid to be quiet. Leave the player alone for more than an hour to do their own thing. To walk to complete the work.
When I think of Death Stranding, it’s these quiet moments that I often come back to. The moment I saw a big journey coming, made a plan accordingly, and walked my cheerful ass there. In fact, I was hooked on them and planned an afternoon around them. Excited to know that I had to take off with Bridges on a walk that could take an hour, I started thinking about how I would like to go trekking, even when I’m not actively playing the game. The tranquility of the world, the time to think and ponder (combined with the dopamine infusion) was my reward. I rarely brought out a car in Desstrand. Because they robbed me of those moments. I didn’t want to arrive at my destination early. I wanted to enjoy each footprint even when it became more and more difficult.
Since wrapping the game in 2019, Death Stranding has always been in my head more than most other games of the previous generation. Still, I never think of anything superficially noteworthy, such as the celebrities, strange stories, or cult of personality around Hideo Kojima. I’m just thinking about that walking. In real life, I don’t want to walk anywhere. If possible, I would drive around the house to save myself the trouble of walking between rooms. But at Death Stranding, walking has become the only attraction of the experience. In a world where there are many things that make our lives much easier, such as cars and Amazon Prime, we rarely pray. It may be a personal failure that you can only get from video games, but like Death Stranding, I’ll cover what you get.