Release Date: September 24, 2021
Developer: Kojima Productions
Designer: Hideo Kojima
Awards: The Game Award for Best Performance, MORE
Platforms: PlayStation 5
Genres: Shooter game, Adventure game, Fighting game
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment, 505 Games, PlayStation Studios
"Review Copy Provided By Sony"
2019 was a year that saw the release of one of the most anticipated games of the year and the return of the legendary Hideo Kojima who created the Metal Gear franchise. Death Stranding went on to become one of the most divisive games to come out and while critically praised, was not universally loved by gamers the world over. Many felt that the game was incredibly hyped and did not live up to that while others found it to be a true masterpiece of the generation. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of loving or hating the game, it did well enough to warrant a rerelease on the PS5 like so many of the best selling games that have released in the last 2 years. The question now is does this rerelease with added content and improved performance warrant a second trip into this new world from the mind of Kojima, or are you better off just sticking with the original release? Let’s find out!
Taking place in a post-apocalyptic USA, an event known as the Death Stranding occurred which damaged the country on a metaphysical level which has a unique instance where those who die end up causing an event called the voidout which brings BTs to the world effectively causing a purgatory effect where the afterlife and the world of the living collide. Taking control of Sam Porter Bridges, you must navigate this living limbo to try and reconnect America.
The gameplay is unchanged from the original release as it is a 3rd person action adventure/stealth/shooter that has a unique gameplay mechanic where you effectively have to deliver cargo from point A to point B across a broken United States of America to link the different places in the US to the Chiral Network. So if you’re wondering, yes, you are effectively playing a modern day PaperBoy game with horror elements and shooting. If you felt the game previously had missions that you felt were repetitive or if you felt the controls were unwieldy at times or that the UI was needlessly complicated; then don’t expect any of that to be changed or addressed in this Director’s Cut.
The newest addition to the game is the Maser Gun which is an incredibly powerful gun which takes down MULEs with ease in a nonlethal way. The cargo catapult allows you to load it with cargo and fling it across the environment allowing you to deliver cargo quickly. There’s also the new firing range to help you get accustomed to using the various tools and weapons that Sam has access to. The firing range will feel most familiar to the VR missions found in the Metal Gear games.
The Ruined Factory is a brand new location that emphasizes stealth. The factory is home to a lot of shady and unsavory dealings and you’ll need to sneak around tactically and take down MULEs without alerting any others in the factory. This is most definitely a call back to Kojima’s previous works on the Metal Gear series although I wish it had more than the few missions that it offers.
The Racetrack is one of the most interesting new additions to the game where once it’s connected to the terminal in the central region, you’ll be able to utilize all kinds of vehicles to race about Fragile Circuit. It’s a great change of pace from the rest of the game.
Aside from the added content, the Director’s Cut is the increase in performance and graphical fidelity with the game now running at a buttery-smooth 60 frames-per-second. The game was pretty smooth when it launched on the PS4 and ran at 30 frames-per-second and when the game was ported to PC it ran silky smooth and now here it is on the PS5 and not only is it running smoothly but also looks absolutely beautiful on the system. The game was no slouch at all on the PS4 and was one of the best looking games on the platform and on the PS5 it’s made even more gorgeous than it’s ever looked.
Due to the game now natively running on the PS5, its able to take advantage of M.2 SSD for substantially faster loading times which is always an upside. I love that the 3D Audio functionality incorporation of the directional sound capabilities of the PS5
Death Stranding Director’s Cut offers up the best way to experience Kojima Productions first major title. The Directors Cut introduces tons of new features from new items and locations along with enhanced graphics and a big boost in performance that takes full advantage of the PS5’s capabilities. If you’ve been considering picking up the game before then there is no better time than now to dive in and if you never enjoyed the game previously then honestly theirs nothing here that will change your mind although I think you should consider giving this a go.