You never chimed in...? Were those 3 days worth it?
...did Death Stranding kill you?
Sorry for the delay. I was pulled to the Beach, and I could not return until I completed the experience.
So I had planned for 15 hours a day starting the Friday I requested off. This is something I have done for countless other titles in the past. Sometimes I end up playing, sometimes I don't get hooked, and I end up doing something else with my extended weekend. Death Stranding hooked me on par with the most hooked I have ever been.
I ended up at 47 hours by the end of the day Sunday, and I was not even close to finishing, and even further from loosing enjoyment with the experience before me. I debated in my head what to do next, and after much thought, I did something I have never done for a game, I called in sick, because the experience had to continue. At the end of the day I was sitting at 61 hours, and still far from the finsh, and just as far from loosing excitement for every moment played.
Since the decision to commit was already made, I decided to call in again Tuesday, at this point I had to push to the end. We are only allowed 2 sick days in a row without a doctors notice where I work, so this was the day, I had to finish. I work a late shift, so I played Monday until 20:00. I knew I had to call in at 22:00, so the alarm was set for then. Just over an hour after heading to bed I woke up. The clock was just past 21:30, there are explosions happening all around my house. It is Veterans Day, and the Local Football team just won, pushing the community into a fireworks frenzy. Well, I'm up, I think damn, an hour and a half is not enough sleep, but I had to push on. I called in, and returned to the journey.
Finally, at 19:30, Tuesday, November 11th 2019, I finished an adventure that has already claimed a spot in my top 3 favorite games of all time list. Where it lands in that list over time is still yet to be determined, but I am already certain that I will be doing a fresh start come this holiday season, to get a better idea of just where it ends up.
My previous top three where:
1. The Last of Us
2. Horizon Zero Dawn
3. God of War (2019)
Death Stranding will now be knocking last years God of War down a notch. Still a great game, but not in the elite category of the other three.
Keys to why I feel this way:
-Incredible Conrtols across all forms of traversal.
-Rewarding loop of collecting and delivering, backed by a desire to reconnect the Map, and build relationships with every character encountered.
-Even more rewarding network of interacting with other players, all working together to build a better world, and seeing it all unfold.
-Boss battles, that deliver on scale, combat, and story.
-Top notch characters at all levels, that actually make you care, and deliver emotional impact.
-The relationship between Sam and his BB.
Those things, amoung others, wrapped in the best Graphics, Animation, and Voice work of any game to date (and by a long ways), all add up to a Masterful experience.
The thing that really shocks me, is this is the only game out of TLOU, HZD, GOW(2019), and itself, that I went into feeling very disinterested. I went back and forth over whether I was even going to take Friday off in the weeks leading to release. My full expectation going in, was that this would probably be a game I would end up walking away from after 15 or 20 hours, similar to stuff like Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption 2 (which are actually two titles I was extremely hype about). Instead Death Stranding grabbed me, and didn't let go until I completed the experience it presented me.
For me, Death Stranding is truly a Masterpiece.
Stop hate, let others live the life they were given. Everyone has their problems, and no one should have to feel ashamed for the way they were born. Be proud of who you are, encourage others to be proud of themselves. Learn, research, absorb everything around you. Nothing is meaningless, a purpose is placed on everything no matter how you perceive it. Discover how to love, and share that love with everything that you encounter. Help make existence a beautiful thing.
Kevyn B Grams
KBG29 on PSN&XBL