Thursday, November 7, 2019

What to Expect From Death Stranding's First 10 Hours

It is no secret at this point that Death Stranding is a divisive game. Some have found central its cross-country walking and inventory-management mechanics frustrating, some have found them mediative and rewarding. What people seem to agree on, however, is that it takes things slowly in its first 10 hours, to the point that what Death Stranding actually is is still something of a mystery until it settles into more of a rhythm in its third act. If you're confused as to what to expect during these ten hours, we've rounded up our unique experiences with them below to alleviate - or exacerbate! - any concerns.

Having previously never played more than a few hours of a Hideo Kojima game, I really had no idea what to expect of my first 10 hours in Death Stranding. They were a mixture of plenty of cutscenes and much slower-paced gameplay than I was expecting. But I reveled in that slowness, and I think it’s worth setting those expectations for what you might jump into. Because Sam Bridges has relatively few options in his arsenal at the start of Death Stranding, making a package delivery comes down to his ability to walk over rough terrain. The challenge is the journey, but so is the reward — after my first run or two, I loved taking a slow approach to plotting a best path from Point A to B, and then dealing with whatever curveballs the terrain, or BTs, threw my way. It’s slow, meditative, and not something that’s going to thrill you quite from the jump. Sidequest deliveries start to open up pretty early, but I’d advise against jumping on them at first — though I’ve spent most of my subsequent 40 hours with the game on those side deliveries, doing them at the start can be a bit too punishing. Death Stranding offers a slow trickle of new tools and mechanics that make those deliveries easier and, for me, more fun. - Jonathon Dornbush

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