Misunderstood. That’s the word that I think defines Death Stranding, more than a year after its launch and before its arrival on PS4. Hideo Kojima he devised a triple A production with the bravery that has always characterized the indie scene.
A title that has been described as “walking simulator” or “delivery game”. Phrases that show the little interest in knowing the world created by the former Konami.
One of the fundamental pillars of the game and that I value the most about Death Stranding, is its online component. Is about an essential section of the work and without it, the game loses much of its meaning and potential.
Every mailbox, road, or vehicle we create It bears our name, but it belongs to everyone. The packages that we have to distribute must reach their recipients in the best conditions and collaboration between each Sam Porter is key.
Because it is wonderful to see how other players have thought not only about them, but about those who will arrive after him. We have all found that anti-slope shelter positioned at the exact point to shelter from the rain or that zip line that allows us to advance hundreds of meters without any effort. Like bombardment is the norm in those situations.
That is why, a year after having finished it, I decided to check to what extent the community has been concerned with maintaining the structures built. Have the plains I traveled through changed or does everything remain the way I last saw it? Let’s go find out.
My recent PS5 welcomes Death Stranding without any problem. My memory takes time to remember the controls of the game, but I quickly return to the traveling habit and prepare myself. Photo Mode will help me perfectly to illustrate all my steps.
I decide that the Central Region is the place where I explore how everything has changed. To do this, I move to Lake Knot City, thanks to the invaluable help of Fragile, to make a route to the north. Towards the snowy peaks.
Since no trip can be wasted, I pick up a few loads for the road and point my next destination: the Craftsman. An intermediate stop, on the ring road between the north, south and west. A refuge that I have visited hundreds of times.
I stock up on it, borrow a motorbike and prepare to go down the ramp. More than 29,000 Likes accumulated throughout this year welcome me; a part of me has helped connect this world.
Possibly the structure I most wanted to check was the roads. They are the basic circuits once you have accumulated dozens of hours of play and their destruction is a serious step backwards to speed up the distributions. First joy: they are still there. As does the mailbox I placed off Lake Knot City. Rusty, yes, but still standing.
We all know that the first area of Mulas, near the Ingeniero refuge, becomes an anecdote as soon as the road takes shape. In addition, the electric track allows me to move at high speed without worrying about them. I don’t have to stop there, although I take a look at another structure that helped me a lot in its day.
Sure enough, there it is. The passage of decline and time for its metal is evident, but the bridge that allowed me to approach the Engineer remains above the stream, with 18,683 Likes. All of us who have passed through here have generously appreciated the gesture.
Little more journey remains until the Craftsman. Once I arrive I find the old signs and Aloy waiting for me, like a year ago. Even an abandoned cargo truck is next to me. I could use it to carry more packages and be a good delivery man; I decide to stay on my motorcycle.
Packages delivered, good note stamped on the card and Heading to the Distribution Center south of Lake Knot City. There is a zip line near there that I want to check.
On one side of the road I find the aforementioned zip line. I built it in its day to facilitate the movement between the Craftsman, the Elder and the Distribution Center. Result: did not set. The 0 Likes I received are a reflection that my idea was not so good, although it strikes me to see that I cannot connect with the zip lines in the mountains either.
I understand that they are difficult to access areas, transit points for delivery people and that their repair would be a very specific objective. Still, I am surprised to see that, despite its usefulness, no one has bothered to repair them. A penalty.
A fragile and resistant world
Said and seen all this, I turn around and head north. He Distribution center north of Mountain Knot City It will be the stop to refuel.
The road is relatively long: a few corners and a lot of gas to hit. That doesn’t stop me from looking at the world around me. Death Stranding is a work that reflects wastelands, no more, no less. However, they have a presence of their own, which It does not invite you to explore them, but to travel them.
The scenery is not kind to Sam; neither is it hostile to him. It is simply one more obstacle to overcome, a series of tests that must be solved in the most efficient way.
During the journey I cannot stop observing anti-slope shelters, mailboxes, generators, beam towers and bridges. The appearance on both sides of the road is still the usual. Nothing seems to have changed beyond the rust.
And although there are structures that have not received proper maintenance, it is surprising how good the asphalt looks. It is seen that the fundamental constructions are especially appreciated by the people.
Either way, I get to the Distribution Center. I keep my bike, load Sam packs for Mountain Knot City and head to the Mountaineer shelter. The frozen snow awaits me.
My determination falters shortly after starting. This one I did not expect. The first piece of road that has been lost. A piece in the middle avoids the stamp of two consecutive missing sections, but the disappearance of both is a reality.
The truth is that there could not have been a worse place for the highway to disappear: in the middle of the Mulas territory. I imagine that the first thing the players want is to pass by the area as soon as possible, but hell, it’s bad luck.
The terrain is more or less flat and a bridge helps me to continue. Gone is the full opportunity of the entire Central Region highway.
The last trip
Mountain Knot City. The last great refuge. Aaron Hill welcomes me in his Christmas outfit. I appreciate the festive detail, I deliver my packages and prepare everything for the Mountaineer.
If the structures I built at the time are not where I left them, the road will be terribly complicated. And if that was not enough, the damn EVs will be in the snow and I will have to face them for the first time after I return.
Maybe it’s the moment when you have to rely more on the good work of the delivery community; do not fail me, please. I leave the shelter and the snow begins to fall little by little.
I have abandoned the motorcycle, I have to cross a section on foot and hold on to some zip lines to avoid the mountain peaks. The EVs appear, but I overcome them with less difficulty than expected and I manage to avoid being detected.
And there it is, camouflaged by the fog and next to a shelter. It still connects to the next zip line so the ride will be over in less than a rooster crows.
Victory! I arrive in a jiffy at the Mountaineer’s refuge (there is a truck there, WTF?) And I deliver all the load. I have used three zip lines and the second belongs to another traveler, all three standing and especially the last one in very good condition.
I surrender everything and complete my northern route. End of the road. Mission accomplished.
I’ve looked at the map a few times and I have seen quite a few structures with red dots, which equates to not being operational. They need a rebuild or they will eventually disappear.
The drop in the influx of players after the launch in 2019 has logically affected. Time is unforgiving, even in Death Stranding and most structures are doomed to extinction.
However, yes, I have seen hope in this world. The UCA has a future, especially with delivery men willing to take care of the past. The fundamental places, those that most required my need to deliver packages were still there.
Virtually the entire highway was complete (the parts that remained standing were over 90% durability) and the elements that the community, organically, has considered essential do not fail.
I have hardly had a hard time getting to the shelters. My experience has been similar to what I could have on any day in November last year. And that is why I see that what Hideo Kojima planned is being achieved. A reading of a virtual world that allows to draw conclusions for the one who truly surrounds us.