Here it is: PC Gamer’s 2020 of the year. If you want to catch up with all of this year’s awards and employee selection, visit GOTY axis.
James Davenport: Get rid of the hype surrounding all kinds of weird Kojima, the myth of illogical two-hour scenes, unnecessary engraving and indulgent winks on the camera – it’s all there, and I love it, but it’s a tiny fraction of the more than 100 hours of wandering in American trash.
What’s important: Death Stranding is one of the best Point A to Point B games ever – looking at you in Breath of the Wild. It’s a logistical and physics game, firmly and finally where it belongs to the computer among its simulated siblings, all of Nurmi’s legs have given the same attention that SCS gives to the 18 tires in a semi-truck.
It is a wonderful exercise in isolation and serenity, it touches on the themes of what happens when the late capitalist culture alienates us from each other, and our attempt to chase any rise in the mindless serotonin level we can instead of those relationships. Death Stranding wants to find purpose in action, to direct what we accomplish toward serving each other rather than the ideas of misguided leaders. And it does it really well. Every hike up the hill is fraught with tension and danger, both from multidimensional ghosts actually pinned through adorable umbilical cords and … your clumsy foot.
Death Stranding is all about keeping going anyway and trying not to panic when things go wrong. Because they will. I’ve gone off cliffs and slipped into a river or a dozen, but scrambling to adjust and save my cargo is just an unexpected increase in the challenge. Just another excuse to tamper with the dozens of tools that support deep traverse and survival systems that make or break every trip. Wrap it all up with apocalyptic themes and visually stunning sci-fi concepts, and Death Stranding will transition from a hiking simulation to an indescribable mood at real speed – like Journey but with cuteness and outcome.
Once unlocked in Death Stranding, it’s easy to see the spirit of Metal Gear Solid 5’s hidden sandbox applied to the act of walking here, but with more confidence given to the player. It was enlightening, talking to the other people who had played Death Stranding. We all have similar experiences, these self-imposed objectives naturally arising from the express mailbox along with asynchronous multiplayer features, where certain structures and items are synchronized between players. We dedicated weekends to highway end, hauling comic towers of cargo between Death Stranding’s tallest and most treacherous peaks to build a sliding net.
None of them are even required to remotely end the campaign, and none are routed by crypto missions or prompts, but knowing you might make someone’s journey a little easier, well, it turns out it’s a much better reward than XP or any weapon. Kindness may seem superficial, but there’s really no reason to do these things to strangers besides knowing how it feels to eat shit and stumble upon a hill running from the creeping black spray of a BT squadron. Or any other, less dramatic form of getting stuck on your feet.
The transition from point A to point B is an exercise in poor confidence with physics, augmented by a completely optional exercise of trust with strangers. Can you carry a tower of resin up that mountain on your back, across snow deep in the waist, all before an accelerating snowstorm arrives? Do you have enough climbing gear? Heat pads? New shoes? Confidence? Faith? And why do I explode like a few nuclear weapons when I die? The only way to find out is to do the slow, steady climb. Baby steps.
Andy Kelly: Death Stranding has completely changed the way I think about crossing in video games. As much as I love Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, hopping hilariously through Norwegian mountains seems, all of a sudden, pretty silly. I don’t think every open-world game has to go to the same lengths of simulation as Death Stranding, because the grueling struggle to cross a river or climb a mountain top is very specific to that game. But I would like the other developers, which are inspired by Kojima Productions, to make terrain traversal a lot more engaging and study. It kind of diminishes the majestic Scandinavian peaks in Valhalla when you can jostle it effortlessly.
I also love the way Death Stranding constantly feeds tools and gadgets to make your job progressively easier. At first, you are all alone, your shoes, and the items, but later you have access to floating charging pads, electric tricycles, and exoskeletons that allow you to carry more weight. However, even with these helping hands, getting from one place to another can still be a challenge. When you come across one of the game’s many varied and rugged Icelandic landscapes, it feels like a puzzle to solve. You’re standing at the foot of a mountain, huge bundles tied to every inch of your body, wondering how you’ll get to the top. And when you do, after so much effort, you feel incredible.
Wes Fenlon: Who cares if Death Stranding is released to consoles in 2019. That is it The Best Video Game of 2020 – And as James said, it’s a completely PC simulation. Like its predecessor Metal Gear Solid 5, Death Stranding is a game that understands the satisfaction of choosing from a wide variety of tools, creating a challenging plan, and executing it.
And the They understand physical comedy. On MGS5, attaching a balloon to a ranger (or bear) and sending them flying in the air was a fun every 500 times I did. Death by strand Poses You have to stack a wobbling tower of cargo on your back and run down a hill so that when you finally lose your balance, you eat shit Difficult. In a game full of melodrama, falling on your ass is still the most exciting thing that can happen in Death Stranding.
The conversation surrounding Hideo Kojima’s games tends to focus on their themes, silly stories, and his obsession with Hollywood. Chris also brilliantly noted On the topic of Twitter When highlighting the names of the characters in Death Stranding, it can be hard to tell if Kojima’s thoughts are full of fun or are hilariously stupid. In the case of Death Stranding, I don’t think it matters. 2020 lent the game to added oomph – its theme of reconnecting with isolated, post-apocalyptic America has real power, even alongside scenes with characters called Die Hardman and Sam Porter Bridges.
Again, is the way in which you frantically mash the “Like” button after encountering another player’s online bridge or zipline clever comment on excess social media, or something Kojima thinks is really cool? I don’t know. But this is funny. And it does the job, pushing you to help other players you’ll never see, leaving you grateful for a lifeline that someone else built for you along treacherous terrain.
The “walking simulator” was used as a form of disdain, and it seems as if Death Stranding saw this as a challenge. It’s a deeply satisfying simulation about walking over hills, and it’s somehow a touching story about human communication as well, even when you’re walking around with a baby named BB strapped to your chest.
Judy MacGregor: It is a complete game about terrain, what could be more than PC games? How about the fact that there’s a whole side story about NPCs who are so obsessed with Valve games?
Every now and then, you get an email from a Portal fan who sends you in search of missing mate cubes – which fits strangely with Death Stranding’s idea that post-apocalyptic survivors really are in pre-cliff pop culture, from Seven Samurai to God From war music. Your reward for finding the accompanying cubes are valve-themed merchandise, like Gordon Freeman’s glasses, a truck covered in tampons, or a wearable headscarf that you might forget you’re wearing for a serious movie scene. I don’t have to tell anyone here how much these rules are.