Death Stranding Director's Cut | Review, better or worse?

Death Stranding Director's Cut | Review, better or worse?

Death Stranding Director's Cut | Review

Death Stranding, since its announcement dated 2016, has divided the community: there were those who idolized regardless of the last work of Hideo Kojima and who, however, never lost an opportunity to tell him four, a situation that did not stop even after the launch took place in 2019, precisely in November and exclusively on PlayStation 4.

The announcement of the Director's Cut designed for PlayStation 5 was enough to rekindle the debate in a vulgar way, this time even with the support of those who had enjoyed the game during the first release. All because the communication of the video game, for obvious reasons focused on the improvements made, has raised many doubts: between ramps, robot assistants, chiral bridges, catapults and stabilizers that allow you to launch yourself from high heights, many have wondered where the tiredness and the fatigue of the journey, that sense of communion between the players. We also asked ourselves a little, but without necessarily abandoning ourselves to overly negative thoughts, also because, judging by the work done by Hideo Kojima and his companions, it is legitimate to have a little trust, right?

So, these are precisely the doubts that we will try to dissolve in this review, after thoroughly trying all the additions and tackling the entire journey again, from start to finish.

Are you ready to connect America a second time?

Foliage, moss and rocks are among the most well-kept elements

First contact

First we tried to import our old but very complete save of the PlayStation 4 version, in order to have access immediate to new content and gadgets. Unfortunately, in the attempt, we struggled with a very confusing system: in essence, you will necessarily have to upload your save directly from the PlayStation 4 version, which must therefore be temporarily installed on your console; only then will it be possible to download the data in the Director's Cut and finally recover all progress, except for some structures built previously.

Having overcome this first obstacle, the first thing that immediately catches the eye are the exceptional loading times, really reduced to the bone. Furthermore, returning to the world of Death Stranding, receiving new calls on the radio, deliveries, interviews and emails gave us great pleasure, a sign that Hideo Kojima's adventure remained in our hearts. This approach, however, ie starting from one's own rescue, is strictly discouraged, except - clearly - for reasons related to completism. We tell you this because having immediate access to the new tools, or in any case the possibility to unlock them, will surely make you turn up your nose, since you may think that the balance has been completely altered or that some tools you were very attached to are now reserved a role. marginal, no longer a priority. We thought so and we are sure you will think so too: what should I do with my old cableways if I can now place a ramp and fly to the other side? Here, we already hear you.

The first contact with a crater On the splendid notes of Don’t be so Serious, we then started a new game. Our aim? Go hunting for every single addition.

The first moments of the story, accompanied by a series of very suggestive images, testify once again how the imagery set up by Kojima Productions was of an absolute level, unprecedented, a new science fiction, very current and still fresh today. The same goes for the technical sector, which does not seem to have aged one iota: the faces and expressions of the characters are still among the most credible in the gaming industry, and the landscapes take your breath away, honorable mention for the water, completely distorted compared to the basic version, due to the moss and rocks.

Death Stranding Director's Cut offers two rendering modes: Priority to quality and Priority to performance. Both modes support Ultra-Wide and HDR viewing.

Quality priority: pushes resolution up to native 4K, aims for greater graphic fidelity and fixes the frame rate at a maximum of 30 frames. Performance Priority: 4K Dynamic Scaling, Fixed 60 FPS. We thus advance within a prologue with very interesting implications but almost identical to those of the base game, just like the gameplay mechanics, which remained unchanged in these early stages. Only a few hours later, during what we might label as "the first, true order", the news began to knock. First of all, the game tutorials and the general user experience have been improved: the dialogs now have better timing and the calibration of the route to be tackled benefits from a completely new introduction, perfect for explaining to novices how to set the route and face the most difficult tasks.

News also for the Dualsense of PlayStation 5, which has been exploited in an excellent way. It's probably not the best implementation to appear on Sony's new hardware, but among cross-gen games it certainly is. Thanks to the haptic feedback and the speaker present in the controller, impacts with the ground gain involvement, and the incessant rain that commonly accompanies the populated areas of CA, does the same. Significant improvements also with regard to the adaptive triggers, which as the weight carried by Sam increases, becoming more and more resistant, inevitably increasing the general immersion of the product.

Even the beautiful interlude sequences benefit from these additions, once again reaffirming the potential of Dualsense.

Volcanic smog is part of the pitfalls of the journey

An even more pounding progression

Hideo Kojima's latest effort is a divisive video game. And so far, here we are. However, there is one element that we believe may have all agreed: the incessant progression and release of new tools, as well as ways to deal with deliveries. Already in the basic version of Death Stranding everything was quite brilliant and the moments in which the progression stopped could be counted with the dropper. Now, in the Director's Cut, Kojima and his companions have decided to match access to these new tools precisely with moments in which the continuous playful stimulus was somewhat extinguished, or gave way to frustration. In this way, from start to finish, you will always have a new toy for your hands: something concrete, which you will have to carry on your shoulders and try on the field, not a weapon with increased damage but identical to the previous version of the same.

The entry into the game of these tools is therefore well balanced, but how do they interact with the accessories and gadgets of the base game? It is perhaps appropriate to start with the one that, from the very beginning, aroused the greatest doubts: the enhanced stabilizer (level 3). As visible in the trailers published by Sony and Kojima Productions, it is now possible to launch from very high heights and cushion the impact with the ground, unless you have a battery to charge the instrument. As guessed by the community, there is an overlap with stairs and nails, which will immediately be less effective (especially the nails, you can also use the stairs to climb). You might think the same of the ramps, or rather that they replace the cableways. If on the one hand it is true that you will be able to perform a very violent chiral leap capable of making you cross rivers and impassable paths, on the other hand, by making a careful analysis, it is clear that the use, however effective, does not go into any way to interfere with the cableways, which unlike the ramps allow you to create real routes to be combined, a bit as if we were aboard a cable car. Ditto for the Robot assistant, who is not a substitute for overcars, since the AI ​​will have a hard time following you during the most complicated paths; not to mention that using him as a Delivery Robot (not an assistant) prevents Sam from getting the maximum score.

Utility aside, given that Sam's space is quite limited, some of these tools will also need to be analyzed and compared with your own style of play. For example, the very powerful level three stabilizer takes up almost the entire backpack, preventing the transport of batteries and bags that are much larger than normal. What we try to explain is that the improvements, seen as destructive in the announcement phase, are actually inserted with intelligence, and if associated with the new level of difficulty, the degree of general challenge remains even more iron, practically always balanced. br>
Very Hard Difficulty

The new difficulty level makes both orders and encounters with ACs or human opponents more challenging. Just to give an example, shoes and batteries last much shorter, and the transported load is more fragile and sensitive to impacts. Even the boss fights benefit from some improvements: we report the presence of new attacks and a greater reaction speed. However, in some situations, due to the high degree of challenge, the fights could double their duration and, to put it Higgs, become an "endless pain in the ass" for some of you.

Even the early access to some instruments is not without logic: two truly perfect examples are the last delivery you will find yourself making in the first region, the one that takes you to Port Knot City, now accessible with a new model of exoskeleton; and the first trio of deliveries to be made once you arrive in the second region, in the basic version of the game impossible to complete all three at the same time. Now, using the new exoskeleton, it is possible to transport the load of all three orders at once, without forcing the user to accept only two and go back to retrieve the last one. Improvements that liven up progress and decrease frustration, managing the pace better.

Tired, completely broken, but at their destination

An expanded narrative sector?

In the months leading up to the launch of this Director's Cut edition, we did not perceive any movement related to the actors and motion capture sessions. As expected, the new contents related to the main narrative are indeed interesting and focused on some elements that remained quite smoky in the basic version, but do not boast the exposure to which we have been accustomed with the traditional experience. Expect documents to be read or, at best, to listen to a hologram. However, this information is well guarded by donkeys or terrorists, and imagining yourself as the Snake of the situation you will have to sneak in or face enemies openly.

Users know this and Kojima is probably aware of it too. Productions: the action and stealth phases are the true neighbors of Death Stranding, and these new content will lead us straight to them. However, we noticed a very clever level design and positioning of the enemies: the stealth sections are immediately readable for players with a minimum of familiarity with the genre, and the shootings, being concentrated in closed places, feed more the enemy pressure, giving to AI a better and lively attitude. Situations that, in truth, we have partially noticed also in the common fields of the donkeys and the terrorists, testifying to the fact that the AI, especially on Very Difficult difficulty, has been slightly improved.

Committed to facing one of the many tests of the Polygon Episode after episode, then, some new deliveries will also appear: the first concern the rescue of some couriers; the others the delivery of dangerous materials to be transported, similarly to what was experimented with the assignments that involve the transport of a bomb.

Shown in the final trailer as side additions, the Races and the Polygon play a marginal role, but there is a difference between the two contents: the polygon, being the world of Death Stranding quite dangerous, is a remarkable playground within which to experiment approaches, challenge the AI ​​and try every single weapon without the risk of leaving craters behind. The races, on the other hand, introduced with little enthusiasm by the same game and quite redundant in execution, represent the worst side of the Director's Cut. During our test we completed all the available circuits, but the only desire to unlock new content pushed us, since the unlocking of some interviews is reserved for the completion of some paths, for pure whim and personal fun we would never have them faced.

Sam, Deadman and the beloved BB

The heart of Death Stranding beats even more

Two years after its release, it should now be known: the beating heart of Death Stranding resides in its multiplayer component, fortunately expanded properly in the Director's Cut. First of all, it is finally possible to choose to have your friends on the server, an introduction that could create a very close-knit community eager to take care of the structures and to expand and complete the entire road network to the maximum (partially extended in this PS5 edition). Furthermore, with your friends and the whole world, we will also be able to compete: in Sam's private room it is now possible to repeat some of the boss fights of the main story, at the end of which a score will be assigned to be included in the ranking. Even more interesting are the classified orders: very demanding deliveries which, by necessity, deny the use of structures and vehicles, giving rise to quite complicated situations. In all of this, it is not yet clear to us how this content will be updated. According to our tests, they should receive a monthly refresh, changing in rotation, but we still have no way to confirm it.

Finally, in conclusion, we point out the presence of all the contents that, before the Director's Cut, were exclusive to the PC version.

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