||BTs before they scare the hell out of you (Photo: Sony)||||||The villainous Higgs from Death Stranding

Photo: Sony

So Many Spoilers Ahead

Hour 0: Its midnight. I’ve been stuck in an amazing match of TeamFight Tactics that’s delayed my launch of Death Stranding by roughly 20 minutes. My girlfriend, a non-gamer, is still at the desk in our living room. I dread the moment I begin the game with her present. She is not privy to the brilliance of Hideo Kojima. Ok, I’ll be frank. I don’t want to explain this game to her. I fear the game and, by proxy, I will be judged. She leans over to tell me she is going to bed soon….

Hour 1: I’ve finally started the game at roughly 12:23 a.m. Friday. A sense of wonder and mystery fills my belly. My girlfriend is still working diligently at the desk. I’ve been tasked with my first delivery. The landscape is breathtaking. Truly its some of the most amazingly rendered moss and rocks I’ve ever seen. That sounds innocuous, but poor atmosphere can take top level gameplay and cheapen it because the world sucks. “That’s pretty.” My girlfriend says. I simply nod my head as the I make my way to Central Knot City.


Hour 2.5: After the insanity that was Central Knot I make my way to the Capital. The game is throwing so much jargon at me I don’t know what to make of it. Humans characters are few and far in-between. But I never feel like world is empty. There evidence of other players by way of lost cargo, and ladders and climbing ropes. I’m tasked with taking someone to an incinerator so they don’t turn into a massive nuke monster. Dead bodies sway more than packages. I thank the person that littered ladders and ropes all over the cliff face impeding my route. I hope the run back is just as picturesque and stunning.

Hour 2.75: HOLY HELL THERE’S GHOST THINGIES EVERYWHERE AND I’M SCARED AS HELL. If there’s one thing Death Stranding gets right in its gameplay, its tension. My girlfriend asks me why I’m breathing so hard. I ask why she’s still awake. Its nearly 3am. I sleep on the couch.

BTs before they scare the hell out of you
(Photo: Sony)

Hour 3: After making it through the BTs (Beached Things, the name of most of the enemies in the game. Don’t ask, I can’t explain it either.) I finally get back to the Capital. I’m told that I have to take my magic baby and reconnect the internet across the continental U.S. so people can share knowledge and review history. I think about how devastated humanity would be if most libraries were just blown up and there was no internet. Think of how far that would set us back as a species.

Hour 5: After making a few superfluous extra deliveries. I’m told I can make my way to Port Knot City and begin my journey proper. I’ve encountered enough BTs that I know how to avoid them. I haven’t been caught yet. I have access to the motorcycle now, so I’ll just speed through the rocky canyon.

The Trike. My greatest tool and my greatest downfall.
Photo: Sony


Hour 5.5: I’m ok. I happened to have enough blood grenades (Again don’t ask) on me to defeat the massive cuttlefish, goo-monster that appears if you are actually caught by BTs. The bike is ruined, but my packages are in good enough condition that I can still get a good rank on this delivery.

Hour 6: I’ve made it to Port Knot City. The homegirl, Fragile, is going to ferry me over the lake to the next zone. She is clearly best girl.

Hour 6.3: I finally meet what seems to be the principal antagonist, Higgs. He’s voiced and face captured by Troy Baker who is damn good. There’s a boss battle. Its fairly easy especially after my previous encounter on the way to the city. I clean up Higgs’ mess and make my way to the ferry. I hear this is where the game truly opens up. I hope they are right.

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