Death Stranding review round-up: Critics divided on Kojima’s epic
Review scores go live ahead of November 8 release
Death Stranding reviews have gone live across the video games press, ahead of the game’s release on November 8.
Hideo Kojima’s first post-MGS release has received an incredibly mixed reception from the media, with scores ranging from 6 to 10.
In VGC’s Death Stranding review, we call the PS4 exclusive “an unusual and fascinating game by triple-A blockbusters standards” with a score of three out of five.
[UPDATE: Hideo Kojima has said he expected a mixed reaction to Death Stranding because of its unique design.]
Death Stranding is available to pre-order from retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, ShopTo and Game.
Death Stranding Review Scores
- VGC (3/5) – “If only the narrative that encloses all this wasn’t a bunch of old rope. Death Stranding is an unusual and fascinating game by triple-A blockbusters standards, but its workings are clogged by its creator’s self-importance.”
- Game Informer (7/10) – “Like Sam himself, I often wasn’t sure why I kept going in Death Stranding. Maybe there was a little bit of pride in another task checked off the list, another job done. Unfortunately, this added up to little reward in the end.”
- US Gamer (3.5/5) – “Death Stranding might be Kojima’s boldest game to date. It may also be his most tedious. Either way, its originality outweighs its sometimes exhausting structure and poor pacing… but only just.”
- Polygon (No score) – “Death Stranding feels like two games in one, designed for seemingly opposite audiences. One is a wholly unique open-world adventure with asynchronous cooperative multiplayer that allows me to feel like I’m part of a community, building a world from scratch. And the other is a long, confusing, deeply strange movie.”
- VG247 (3/5) – “If you do manage to hold out, you will be rewarded with flashes of brilliance, it’s just that those flashes are buried as deep as the core story is buried in the endless dialogue.”
- Gamespot (9/10) – “Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message.”
- Daily Star (5/5) – “Death Stranding is the most unique big-budget game I’ve ever played, a socially-minded injection of inventive ideas into a genre that has long survived by being lazy and brutish.”
- PS Universe (8/10) – “Death Standing proves itself as a unique, palpable new IP, filled with rich storytelling both in narrative and gameplay.”
- IGN (6.8/10) – “There is a fascinating, fleshed-out world of supernatural science fiction to enjoy across its sprawling and spectacular map, so it’s a real shame that it’s all been saddled on a gameplay backbone that struggles to adequately support its weight over the full course of the journey.”
- The Guardian (4/5) – “Your relationship with Death Stranding will likely shift in waves. After the strain of uncovering the game’s mysteries has subsided, you’ll discover new ways to traverse the world.”
- The Verge (No score) – “Death Stranding is a game that seems to fight you every step of the way, whether it’s with clunky menus or nonsensical dialogue. It can be downright boring, but there’s also beauty and heart to discover if you can stick with it.”
- Push Square (10/10) – “It may become slightly tiresome as you hit the halfway mark, but the phenomenal narrative is on hand to pick things back up again and its outstanding visuals are the cherry on top.”
- Kotaku (No score) – “Death Stranding is not a subtle game. The mechanics are the message. Build connections, use those to literally span divides. Even as the story swells to a convoluted chaos that would make Metal Gear Solid 4’s monstrous canon-welding blush, Death Stranding’s most fundamental point is not hard to understand.”
- Games Radar (7/10) – “Kojima’s mysterious would be epic has its moments but can’t carry the weight of expectation.”
- EGM (5/5) – “Even from a man known for making love-them-or-hate-them projects, this may end up being one of the most divisive games ever created.”
- Eurogamer (No score) – “Death Stranding is nothing if not an event. It is at once unmistakable as his work and surpassingly strange. It is grandiose and goofy, liberating and frustrating, thrilling and audaciously dull.”
- Metro (7/10) – “A work of unbridled ambition and imagination but also a pretentious, contrived, and frequently quite dull gameplay experience – Death Stranding is peak Hideo Kojima.“
- God is a Geek (9/10) – “Death Stranding is an ambitious game, filled with so many different mechanics and ideas that almost always work well together. The story and acting is fantastic, and its visuals are a thing of beauty, not to mention the powerful soundtrack.”
- Digital Spy (3/5) – “Despite the beautiful graphics, masterful soundtrack, solid voice acting and fun combat, it’s not enough to counterbalance how much of a chore lugging around boxes is.”
- Shack News (9/10) – “This is one of the rare times I wish Hideo Kojima had created a lengthy film or a series instead of a video game. At least then people might not approach it with trepidation or with derision.”
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