Sunday, February 2, 2020

Good article about Death Stranding, and growing up in Dartmoor

Robin Rendle:

In videogames you are often pitched against everyone in the world; you must stomp and murder them, block their path, or trick and ultimately deceive them. You steal other players’ gold and their time, you take their weapons and sometimes even quite literally their beating hearts (which you happen to gently place in your backpack full of them). You use pistols and rocket launchers, grenades and the momentum of a car going full speed; everything in a videogame is a weapon.

That’s not the case in Death Stranding. Instead, this game does something remarkable; it places you in a traitorous, evil landscape and it encourages gift-giving in the form of ladders, ropes, and equipment. As you traverse the environment you’re constantly thinking about the obstacles in your way—the rocks, the rivers, the cliffs—but you’re also careful to help players that you’ll never meet, players you’ll never even see. You can leave ladders and ropes in the environment and over time you’ll see the brutal landscape change as more folks leave equipment for you to use as well.

...

although Death Stranding is set in America, and eventually what remains of California itself, it doesn’t feel ‘American’ to me at all. Instead, Death Stranding is the first game to accurately portray what it feels like to walk across Dartmoor. Every step requires energy and effort. Every breath, every heartbeat is in conflict with your surroundings; the rivers can knock you over and drown you in an instant; the mountains can appear out of the fog and block your path; invisible monsters lurk under the snow, watching and waiting.
*The Death Stranding Collector's Edition is $30 off at Amazon.