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Death Stranding Review Thread - MC: 82 / OC: 83 / GR: 83.17%

Forums - Sony Discussion - Death Stranding Review Thread - MC: 82 / OC: 83 / GR: 83.17%

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youngbr said:
DonFerrari said:
It seems that against some predictions Death Stranding held a higher score than Pokemon Sword and Shield.

I am glad you brought this up. I am trying to understand what is going on when I go to Twitter and other places.

I see most people saying how "Pokémon" reviews have been "GREAT" and how "Death Stranding" are "MIXED". I may be living in a different reality because "Death Stranding" Metacritic is higher and it has so many 100, but Pokémon has 0. Not trying to compare or anything, but how is the concept that Pokémon got Great Reviews and Death Stranding got Mixed? Why no one is saying Pokémon reviews aren't good, but keeps says 1000 times how Death Stranding were not good. I don't get it. 

Yeah, I wouldn't call it mixed for Death Stranding, because the vast majority are positive. And it has a very notable amount of high end/perfect scores. But it is polarizing enough that the lower end reviews affect the average score in a notable way. And this is partially because the review scale for games is pretty strange. Numerically you'd think 5.0 should mean average, but it does not here, because the entire scale is essentially never used. The majority of reviewers tend to only use the upper end of the review scale. So it becomes a situation where we see incremental changes in less than single digits between ~70-100, while ignoring the bottom end of the review spectrum completely.
Granted, few games with any effort put into them should be anywhere near 0, but that doesn't mean that essentially half of the review scale should be ignored.

Though scores aside, it seems like there's a not insignificant chance that DS is the type of game you may either love or hate.

Omar500 said:

Because Nintendo games are almost always overrated from critics side of view. They are almost scared to give bad score for it 

That may be true in some cases, but incidentally I think Kojima games have traditionally fallen under that category as well, if we're talking scores.
I was surprised at just how positive reviewers were with Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5. They received Metascores of 94 and 93 respectively.
Which is even higher than MGS3's metascore. And I'm not sure about that one...



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Omar500 said:

Because Nintendo games are almost always overrated from critics side of view. They are almost scared to give bad score for it 

That may be true in some cases, but incidentally I think Kojima games have traditionally fallen under that category as well, if we're talking scores.
I was surprised at just how positive reviewers were with Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5. They received Metascores of 94 and 93 respectively.
Which is even higher than MGS3's metascore. And I'm not sure about that one...

That's because they were fucking amazing games. And this comes from a person who thinks MGS 4 suffered with the sames problems Death Strading does but in a even worse level: cheesy dialogues, messy script, stupid moments (I HATED AKIBA WITH A PASSION, almost ruined the game for me). But like Death Stranding too, when the story and characters work, they really really work, and make for some of the most memorable moments in gaming (everything Snake and Liquid related in that game was amazing and i loved it). That's what Kojima gives to you. I accept the bad if i get this level of good too.

As for MGS V, MGS V is another amazing game. Its gameplay is still unmatched in an open world/sandbox-stealh/action game. The amount of different aproaches/ways to play the game are masterfully crafted. Yes, the story is inconclusive and lacks any good direction for the most part, but still talks about interesting ideas like imperialism, pacifism, identity, family, treason, loyalty, etc....It's production values are top notch too and is still one of one of my most played games this gen. And what gives if it does not have a good story??. Zelda BOTW does not have a good story either and nobody cared and received a 97 on metacritic....In fact, because it was a Kojima game, I think MGS V was unfairly trated after launch just because it was not treated like a normal game. 

As for the fact that those games received better scores than MGS 3, that probably happened because the original version of MGS 3 had that fixed camera from above a la MGS1-2 that made things way more difficult than necessary, a thing that was fixed with the Subsistance version. Oh, and by the way, MGS 3 is one of my top 5 games ever, with the best story Kojima has written by far. If MGS 4 and MGS V were 9/10 games (like Death Stranding) for me, MGS 3 (Subsistance version of course) is the pure definition of a 10/10.

Those games deserved the 90+ scores...They're classics, even with their faults. And Death Strading should have been treated the same way, i mean like a 90+ scored game.



colafitte said:

That may be true in some cases, but incidentally I think Kojima games have traditionally fallen under that category as well, if we're talking scores.
I was surprised at just how positive reviewers were with Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5. They received Metascores of 94 and 93 respectively.
Which is even higher than MGS3's metascore. And I'm not sure about that one...

That's because they were fucking amazing games. And this comes from a person who thinks MGS 4 suffered with the sames problems Death Strading does but in a even worse level: cheesy dialogues, messy script, stupid moments (I HATED AKIBA WITH A PASSION, almost ruined the game for me). But like Death Stranding too, when the story and characters work, they really really work, and make for some of the most memorable moments in gaming (everything Snake and Liquid related in that game was amazing and i loved it). That's what Kojima gives to you. I accept the bad if i get this level of good too.

As for MGS V, MGS V is another amazing game. Its gameplay is still unmatched in an open world/sandbox-stealh/action game. The amount of different aproaches/ways to play the game are masterfully crafted. Yes, the story is inconclusive and lacks any good direction for the most part, but still talks about interesting ideas like imperialism, pacifism, identity, family, treason, loyalty, etc....It's production values are top notch too and is still one of one of my most played games this gen. And what gives if it does not have a good story??. Zelda BOTW does not have a good story either and nobody cared and received a 97 on metacritic....In fact, because it was a Kojima game, I think MGS V was unfairly trated after launch just because it was not treated like a normal game. 

As for the fact that those games received better scores than MGS 3, that probably happened because the original version of MGS 3 had that fixed camera from above a la MGS1-2 that made things way more difficult than necessary, a thing that was fixed with the Subsistance version. Oh, and by the way, MGS 3 is one of my top 5 games ever, with the best story Kojima has written by far. If MGS 4 and MGS V were 9/10 games (like Death Stranding) for me, MGS 3 (Subsistance version of course) is the pure definition of a 10/10.

Those games deserved the 90+ scores...They're classics, even with their faults. And Death Strading should have been treated the same way, i mean like a 90+ scored game.

Well I can only speak from my personal experience, but I played MGS4 after my friends had already played it. And so before starting it, I was curious what I was in for and asked a number of my friends how they would rank the game in the series, and what they thought of it.
What stood out to me was how in every case, they without hesitation ranked it at the bottom, or second to last above MGS2. That in itself isn't necessarily a worrying factor because I don't think any of the previous mainline games were bad. But the lack of hesitation was definitely noteworthy.
But then they coupled that ranking in with rather un-enthusiastic impressions of the game. It seemed alright. And not much more. 

And after I played it myself I felt the same way. I'd say I even found it underwhelming for a MGS game. At this point it felt like MGS had 'jumped the shark' to a notable degree. (And perhaps Konami forcing Kojima to constantly work on these games started showing in the games to a degree.)

As I sit here I struggle to think of any new interesting gameplay mechanics in MGS4. The stealth camo was an evolution of the camo outfits from MGS3, but I actually found it more interesting to use certain camo in certain environments rather than having one suit for any occasion.
And they took out the ability to eat a lot of different things (and have very interesting conversations about it with Paramedic, which I miss) as well as the ability to injure and heal specific parts of your body.

Though my biggest gripe with the gameplay was definitely the warzone setting. I felt that the 'Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide' aspect just did not work well with how they designed that area. (It did work very well in MGSV though, which I'll get to below.) The only memorable thing about that setting for me was how boring it looked (everything was beige) and played.

I did however like the stalking mission that came after, where you follow an agent while trying to listen in on their radio, and stay out of sight while also not losing your target in a new city type setting. But it was very short, so I would have liked to see more of that mechanic in the game.
Later on when you return to a certain familiar location, that was brilliant and nostalgic. And unfortunately also pretty much the only time where I thought MGS4 was a really good game.

As for the story, I won't go into much detail here, but I felt like they made Snake pretty uninteresting. Mostly just just moping about how he's not a hero. Meryl tried to make interesting and meaningful conversations with him, but he just ignored it all. The villains were just mindless soldiers, except for Liquid Ocelot. He was fine. (Although that plays into a criticism I have of MGSV.)

So MGSV...
You mentioned how not having a good story isn't necessarily important. And I do agree with you there.
However, there's also a difference between not a good story, and a bad story.

For example, Ocelot.

Ever since MGS1 they established a working relationship lore between Ocelot and Big Boss. So for many years I wondered how they went from being enemies (sort of) to colleagues.
Well, apparently he just... randomly joined. That's it. Definitely not what I expected.
But on top of that, they made him almost completely insignificant. He was essentially just there to keep Miller calm. And it doesn't end there. They inexplicably changed his personality. He went from hot headed and eccentric in MGS3, to extremely calm, mellow and rational in MGSV, back to being hotheaded and eccentric again in MGS1. Wtf?
Was that even Ocelot, or Troy Baker?
Speaking of which, using Kiefer Sutherland for Snake was a really bad decision.

And Snake playing in a puddle of water with Quiet (someone whom he barely knew at that point) is something I did not need to see.
The overall tone and world building in MGSV was just very weird, even for a MGS game. It focused heavily on gruesome elements, which up until that point had been more of an undertone in the previous games. The negatives in the story department stood out like a sore thumb.

The gameplay however I thought was fantastic. I spent a lot of time just trying out fun stuff like taking down helicopters by having Quiet bounce a grenade I threw. It was really fun the whole way. But since everything else was so bad to the point that it bothered me, it wasn't a legendary game for me, and I wouldn't rate it anywhere near MGS3 or 1.
For reference, in the 10th Annual Greatest Games Event, both MGS1 and MGS3 rank extremely high up in my list. But MGS 4 and 5 are not in my top 50 at all, and wouldn't be in my Top 100 even.

I do agree that the adjustable camera in MGS3 Subsistence was a positive, and in some cases necessary fix. But at the same time I didn't think the lack of that feature was a determent to the original version of the game.
Unlike MGS 1, 4 and 5, it didn't have the luxury of being the first entry on the platform. So it wasn't as much of a technical showcase in that sense. But it still managed to impress me on every level.

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 November 2019

Well, when i meant the score MGS 4 received was fair..., i meant it was fair in 2008 when it launched, when it was rated. MGS 4 is my least favorite main MGS game too. MGS 4 had an interesting story, a funny villain and gorgeous moments, fantastic audiovisuals at the time and it was pure nostalgia for fans that played and loved the saga. It was what it was, good and bad, but mostly good.

As for MGS V. Ocelot acts the way it does in MGS V because he is not 18 years old anymore like he was in MGS 3. He is close to 40 right now. You have to take into account that in MGS1, MGS2, MGS3 and MGS4 he was a double and triple agent at time doing an act. in MGS V he probably is the most honest version of him, a matured and more calmed version of a Snake fanboy, that like to interrogate people in its free time....XD.

As for Quiet and that puddle. By the time you have that scene, you must have played a lot of missions together to reach that affinity level. Quiet and Snake had already a good chemistry since they met in that duel in Afghanistan, so i don't see the problem here. The subtle relation between both during the game was one of the best things of the game in my opinion, and it made their last mission a sad one. Despite all of that, an awful story has not avoided multitude of games to have 90+ metacritic countless times (i see Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, etc as examples), so because of that MGS V should not be penalised either too.

So despite all those (reasonable and fair) critics about those games, MGS 4 was a legit 9/10 game in 2008 and MGS V was a legit game 9/10 in 2015, in my opinion of course .



colafitte said:
Well, when i meant the score MGS 4 received was fair..., i meant it was fair in 2008 when it launched, when it was rated. MGS 4 is my least favorite main MGS game too. MGS 4 had an interesting story, a funny villain and gorgeous moments, fantastic audiovisuals at the time and it was pure nostalgia for fans that played and loved the saga. It was what it was, good and bad, but mostly good.

Well what I experienced from the game, coupled with what people in my circle told me they felt about it, did not line up with the reviews. But it wasn't until MGSV reviews that I got the impression reviewers had reservations against properly criticizing the games.
The issues I had with MGSV were commonly not expressed in reviews I read. They mainly just complained about how the end felt unfinished. Fastforward a few years though, and as I listen to podcast from some gaming publications, I started hearing my issues with the game echoed quite frequently. They even laugh about it, like it's an inside joke. But then when I checked the reviews from the same publication/person, those things were not mentioned.

Perhaps it didn't dawn on them until later. That happens. Especially after you talk about it with other people.
But I felt like some of those things were very obvious and should have been addressed from the start.

colafitte said:
As for MGS V. Ocelot acts the way it does in MGS V because he is not 18 years old anymore like he was in MGS 3. He is close to 40 right now. You have to take into account that in MGS1, MGS2, MGS3 and MGS4 he was a double and triple agent at time doing an act. in MGS V he probably is the most honest version of him, a matured and more calmed version of a Snake fanboy, that like to interrogate people in its free time....XD.

I wouldn't have found it strange that he changed personality between MGS3 and V, if it weren't for how he went back to being eccentric again in MGS1.
Being a double agent has nothing to do with acting like he's a hoteheaded eccentric when he's actually calm and rational. If anything, it should have made him look more suspicious to Liquid, how he went from mellow and level headed, to that.
And he was a double agent in MGSV as well. (He was working for someone else.) But again, he played a very small and insignificant role in MGSV, which is a wasted opportunity. Why would you have him on the team, and then not partner up with him in the field, even once?

He even rode all the way out on the battlfield with Snake, for some inexplicable reason, and then just left.

colafitte said:
As for Quiet and that puddle. By the time you have that scene, you must have played a lot of missions together to reach that affinity level. Quiet and Snake had already a good chemistry since they met in that duel in Afghanistan, so i don't see the problem here. The subtle relation between both during the game was one of the best things of the game in my opinion, and it made their last mission a sad one.

I sure did spend time with her on missions. But since Quiet doesn't talk, we had 0 conversations. Have you ever seen Snake do anything like that? It seemed pretty awkward. So I would want more than just some off screen character development to swallow a scene like that.
By the end of the game though, their final mission felt appropriate and well written.

colafitte said:
Despite all of that, an awful story has not avoided multitude of games to have 90+ metacritic countless times (i see Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, etc as examples), so because of that MGS V should not be penalised either too.

I can't say much about Bayonetta because I didn't play much of it. But DMC essentially invented the genre, and had that going for it. And the story, while extremely cheesy, also had its charm with some memorable one liners from Dante. A characteristic Capcom doubled down on with subsequent games (with the exception of DMC2), and turned it up to 11.
If DMC1 tried to have a well written story, and DMC4 and V messed it up, it should get penalized for it. But they instead went for the over-the-top cheesy angle. So bad that it's good.

Though for me the gameplay wasn't really there either for MGS4. While in 5 it was mainly just the story, but at the point where it really stood out.

Btw, funny you mentioned DMC and story. Because when DMC2 came out my friend told me how the story was bad. And I told him "Who cares? I don't play DMC for the story". And then I played the game and realized I actually missed the story. Even though it's less significant in non-story driven games, it can still be a notable factor to spice things up. And so any time it becomes relevant, I think back on this example.

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 November 2019

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Metal Gear Solid 4 is a great game, on par with MGS1.
Damn you can even play some MGS1 on MGS4 xD



Hiku said:
colafitte said:
Well, when i meant the score MGS 4 received was fair..., i meant it was fair in 2008 when it launched, when it was rated. MGS 4 is my least favorite main MGS game too. MGS 4 had an interesting story, a funny villain and gorgeous moments, fantastic audiovisuals at the time and it was pure nostalgia for fans that played and loved the saga. It was what it was, good and bad, but mostly good.

Well what I experienced from the game, coupled with what people in my circle told me they felt about it, did not line up with the reviews. But it wasn't until MGSV reviews that I got the impression reviewers had reservations against properly criticizing the games.
The issues I had with MGSV were commonly not expressed in reviews I read. They mainly just complained about how the end felt unfinished. Fastforward a few years though, and as I listen to podcast from some gaming publications, I started hearing my issues with the game echoed quite frequently. They even laugh about it, like it's an inside joke. But then when I checked the reviews from the same publication/person, those things were not mentioned.

Perhaps it didn't dawn on them until later. That happens. Especially after you talk about it with other people.
But I felt like some of those things were very obvious and should have been addressed from the start.

colafitte said:
As for MGS V. Ocelot acts the way it does in MGS V because he is not 18 years old anymore like he was in MGS 3. He is close to 40 right now. You have to take into account that in MGS1, MGS2, MGS3 and MGS4 he was a double and triple agent at time doing an act. in MGS V he probably is the most honest version of him, a matured and more calmed version of a Snake fanboy, that like to interrogate people in its free time....XD.

I wouldn't have found it strange that he changed personality between MGS3 and V, if it weren't for how he went back to being eccentric again in MGS1.
Being a double agent has nothing to do with acting like he's a hoteheaded eccentric when he's actually calm and rational. If anything, it should have made him look more suspicious to Liquid, how he went from mellow and level headed, to that.
And he was a double agent in MGSV as well. (He was working for someone else.) But again, he played a very small and insignificant role in MGSV, which is a wasted opportunity. Why would you have him on the team, and then not partner up with him in the field, even once?

He even rode all the way out on the battlfield with Snake, for some inexplicable reason, and then just left.

colafitte said:
As for Quiet and that puddle. By the time you have that scene, you must have played a lot of missions together to reach that affinity level. Quiet and Snake had already a good chemistry since they met in that duel in Afghanistan, so i don't see the problem here. The subtle relation between both during the game was one of the best things of the game in my opinion, and it made their last mission a sad one.

I sure did spend time with her on missions. But since Quiet doesn't talk, we had 0 conversations. Have you ever seen Snake do anything like that? It seemed pretty awkward. So I would want more than just some off screen character development to swallow a scene like that.
By the end of the game though, their final mission felt appropriate and well written.

colafitte said:
Despite all of that, an awful story has not avoided multitude of games to have 90+ metacritic countless times (i see Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, etc as examples), so because of that MGS V should not be penalised either too.

I can't say much about Bayonetta because I didn't play much of it. But DMC essentially invented the genre, and had that going for it. And the story, while extremely cheesy, also had its charm with some memorable one liners from Dante. A characteristic Capcom doubled down on with subsequent games (with the exception of DMC2), and turned it up to 11.
If DMC1 tried to have a well written story, and DMC4 and V messed it up, it should get penalized for it. But they instead went for the over-the-top cheesy angle. So bad that it's good.

Though for me the gameplay wasn't really there either for MGS4. While in 5 it was mainly just the story, but at the point where it really stood out.

Btw, funny you mentioned DMC and story. Because when DMC2 came out my friend told me how the story was bad. And I told him "Who cares? I don't play DMC for the story". And then I played the game and realized I actually missed the story. Even though it's less significant in non-story driven games, it can still be a notable factor to spice things up. And so any time it becomes relevant, I think back on this example.

As for the 1st point, the fact that most reviewers didn't talk about the shortcomings about MGS V and its "unfinished ending" (i'm one of the few people that considers the game has an actual ending, not maybe for Liquid's and Psycho Mantis arc, but for everything else, just that the endings were made abruptly) tells more about those reviewers than the actual game, and the game should not be extra penalysed for that. And that's been my main critic about gaming journalism the last few years. 90% of them are just glorified average gamers that don't have the talent or criteria to actually make an optical, objective analysed review of each main point of a game. Most of them only say vague and generic comments that not explain nothing concrete about the game, and when a game comes that's so different from the usual structure like Death Stranding is, is when you see how awful and useless they are.

I've just saw, just before posting this, the SkillUp review about Death Stranding, a guy who doesn't give a score, who needs to explain things to make you understand his point of view, and his review is sooooooooo much more well done than the Easy Allies, IGN, Game Informer, Gamespot ones....but he and people like him are mostly the minority here, because then, you can find too, youtubers that are going to trash the game after playing a couple of hours because it's fun to do and because they can't or just don't want to actually analyse the game, because they want the clicks, the likes and number of views. We live in a cynical and superficial world and in the end, you have to trust yourself more than anyone of those guys, and now is more easy than ever because almost every game can be watched or played with more accesability before actually buying it.

For the 2nd point about Ocelot. Look, if he is acting in some way or another, calm or eccentric, and you don't know in the end how to feel about it, then it's Ocelot doing its job perfectly because he, doing one or thing or another, is a way to never know what is really going behind his mind, that's his job. He does what he considers is necessary to doing his job, that has been his character since the original MGS. As for Liquid seeing Ocelot from calm to crazy, since he was a kid to adult..., well i could explain that easily saying that from Liquid's perspective, war had a toll in Ocelot and he became more a more crazy about it, which would make sense in that world. He didn't knew how he was in MGS 3 either...As for him not been in the battelfield with you..., well Ocelot never was a soldier, he always was counter intelligence guy, a classical spy, KGB style. There was no sense to put Ocelot in the battelfied alongside you.

As for the last point. What i am trying to say, is that some games were never penalysed in the score because of a bad story when everything else was sensational. If MGS V would have had a great story alongside everything else, then maybe the game would've been a 96-98 metacritic game, we will never know. As for you not liking MGS 4 gameplay either, that's a legitimate opinion too. I'm not that fond about MGS 4 gameplay either, but i have memory, and when i played this game in 2008 when it launched it was an experience like no other at the time. Despite its shortcomings in some aspects from gameplay, story and characters, most people back then, like me, loved the production values, the scope of the game, the ambition and the memorable interactive story moments. There was no game that was remotely similar to MGS 4 in 2008. It was a different videogaming industry...., way less cynical, less politically correct, less full of trolls and haters. During 2007-2010 there were lots of games that received very high scores that probably, with 2019 mentality would not had received. Halo 3 received a 94, Mass Effect 2 received a 96, LittleBigPlanet received a 95, Bioshock received a 96, Fallout 3 received a 93, and GTA IV received an incredible 98. Standars were way different back then....



BraLoD said:
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a great game, on par with MGS1.
Damn you can even play some MGS1 on MGS4 xD

It's very telling that my favorite part of MGS4 is when you play MGS1 in it. MGS1 will always be my favorite in the series, MGS 4 was a big disappointment for me.



Signature goes here!

Funny when I stop and think the amount of time I am putting on "Death Stranding" is more than I did with all the other MGS together.



youngbr said:
DonFerrari said:
It seems that against some predictions Death Stranding held a higher score than Pokemon Sword and Shield.

I am glad you brought this up. I am trying to understand what is going on when I go to Twitter and other places.

I see most people saying how "Pokémon" reviews have been "GREAT" and how "Death Stranding" are "MIXED". I may be living in a different reality because "Death Stranding" Metacritic is higher and it has so many 100, but Pokémon has 0. Not trying to compare or anything, but how is the concept that Pokémon got Great Reviews and Death Stranding got Mixed? Why no one is saying Pokémon reviews aren't good, but keeps says 1000 times how Death Stranding were not good. I don't get it. 

And it becomes funnier when user review of pokemon is a lot lower than DS, and both are to low (must have troll reviews by the dozen).



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994