Reviews - Updated on March 29, 2022

When Sony spoke in detail about the features of DualSense, players on social networks immediately began to imagine how Death Stranding would be played on such a gamepad. And adaptive triggers come in handy, and haptic feedback can work all the time. Called the Death Stranding Director’s Cut, the re-release of the game is coming to PS5 tomorrow, and the gamepad does indeed work as it should, but there are other innovations as well.

Hard work

The original version has already received our video review, but it’s worth briefly recalling what Death Stranding is. This is a courier simulator from Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid series. In the role of Sam Bridges, we have to walk around all of America (here it is called the United Cities of America, CCA) and build a chiral network – to establish communication between different regions.

You need to get to the next node on your own, but when the network is established, buildings of other players appear in your world: bridges, roads, power generators, even stairs. Yes, and you yourself can help yourself and others by collecting materials and erecting structures. But before that, you will have to suffer: the landscape here is very unfriendly – sometimes stones, sometimes large faults, sometimes mountains with snowstorms. And Sam, depending on the order, may have a bunch of packages with him, which, due to their weight, complicate the task.

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

During the deliveries of living people, the gamepad works to its fullest.

With DualSense, all this is felt in the hands, although Death Stranding does not offer anything original and unusual. According to the already established tradition, if it rains, then the gamepad vibrates sluggishly, as it happens in Returnal. The same with walking and running – as in Deathloop, the left and right halves of the gamepad vibrate alternately. Adaptive triggers work the way we fantasized before the release – they need to be pressed with force when the character falls sideways due to gravity. The gamepad at this moment makes the sounds of stretching rubber, which, together with everything else, better immerses you in the game.

It’s all been said

If you primarily want to purchase the reissue for the sake of new story content, I hasten to disappoint – there is practically none. I deliberately replayed the game from the very beginning, and during this time I came across only one new video – Sam’s dream for an incomplete minute of timing. The plot itself has not changed at all, so if you have old PS4 saves, you can safely use them in the re-release – don’t miss anything.

After completing the story, Diehardman will call you and inform you that he has a priority task, which he issues in a distributor west of the Capital Knot (if you skip this dialogue, you will find the hell yourself). The first quest sends the player to a ruined factory, which is closed until the end credits. We need to walk through several corridors, kill the MULEs (always have their backs to Sam) and steal the data. We take them back to the dispenser and we get the opportunity to paint the capsule of our baby BB in dozens of colors.

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

The palette is quite large.

The second quest is a little more difficult – we are going there, but now the MULEs meet us with firearms. In addition, inside the plant there is a kind of arena with a dozen armored MULEs – outwardly it seems like new opponents, but I could not understand how they differ from their “colleagues” with a lower rank. We complete this task, get a few more colors for the capsule and find out a small plot detail – so tiny that it is unlikely to be followed by heated discussions among the fans. But the ending of the second mission looks beautiful (although it was shown in the trailer).

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

The new MULEs have a menacing look.

There are a couple of additional quests in the reissue, but they have nothing to do with the plot. For example, closer to the beginning of the game, when you are taught how to build a road, order number 77 appears – you need to go to the same factory and pick up something from the MULE mailbox. As a gift, they will give two things: a support circuit (with it the speed increases and you can carry weights) and an electromagnetic emitter (non-lethal weapon that stuns MULEs). Both items are obviously meant to make the first few hours of the game easier – they probably caused problems for someone.

For beginners, the emitter will be the first weapon unlocked, and along with it, the shooting range will become available – another novelty that you can access in delivery terminals. All open cannons are transferred there, and you can shoot from them in the shooting range – there targets of different sizes are located at different distances. In the main game, you rarely have to shoot, but there is a terminal in the shooting range that offers regular and rating training – you need to shoot at all targets as quickly as possible or destroy all targets. Different types of weapons have their own tests – somewhere you need to use a thread, and somewhere in general only grenades will be issued.

There are tests with both targets and live targets.

About other innovations

  • After you complete the story tasks of the junk dealer (the one who will have to bring a living person) and connect the distributor south of the Lake Knot to the network, you will receive a letter. It talks about the “dream track” that was planned to be built near the time rain farm – thanks to the father of Fragil, who loved racing. They managed to install the corresponding terminal, but they didn’t complete the work. The community is required to bring the necessary materials to the terminal, and then there will be a track on which they will be allowed to ride on a fashionable roadster.

  • When you convince Lokni to connect the Mountain Knot to the network (at the end of the fifth chapter), a new building will be added to the PHC – a cargo catapult. It allows you to throw capsules with loads over long distances. Parachutes are attached to the capsules, which open manually, and before landing, you can control the capsule descending on a parachute.

Although you don’t have to mess with a parachute, everything will land anyway.

  • Order number 83 is available in the distributor south of the Lake Hub, asking you to find the injured courier and take him back to the workplace. For this, they will give a scheme of a robot partner with two modes: it either travels with Sam, or independently carries the cargo to its destination. In the second case, delivery is carried out only within the chiral network.

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

You can sit on the robot to send you to the nearest destination or to a nearby base.

  • New orders are accompanied by musical compositions that were not in the original. Among them are the tracks of the French artist Woodkid and the Russian band Biting Elbows, in which the film director Ilya Naishuller, beloved by Kojima, plays.

  • A couple of new backpack mods have been added, including a Tier 3 Stabilizer and a Tier 4 Auxiliary Battery. The latter differs from the third version in size – you can install other modifications with it or hang several batteries at once.

  • There are a couple of useful buildings. Firstly, jumping ramps, with which you can travel long distances in vehicles and even perform tricks. Secondly, chiral bridges – they can be installed in any places where ordinary large bridges cannot be placed. You can ride a motorcycle on them, but MULEs cannot step there. True, at the first rain these bridges will be washed away.

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

Convenient stuff.

  • In the personal room, when examining the figures, previously completed battles are available – now it is much easier to return to battles with bosses. There are ordinary battles, and “Nightmares of War”, and Cliff’s memories. Rating battles are also available – to get a lot of points, you need to complete the selected episode with minimal damage. The amount of blood spent on cartridges does not matter.

  • Half-Life and Cyberpunk 2077-inspired cosmetic items previously exclusive to PC are now available on PS5.
  • In the settings, there is a choice between performance priority (stable 60 frames / s) and graphics quality – it depends on your desire to see native 4K. Support for widescreen screens has also appeared – you can enable this option on a regular TV if you want to play such an art house with black frames.

Key points about Death Stranding Director's Cut

The game on PS4 was beautiful and photorealistic, and now it has twice the frames per second.

These are the main innovations – there are a couple of other things, but they are quite minor. The question remains: is all this worth the $10 Sony is asking for a PS4 upgrade? Hard to say. For those who have already completed the game, there are not many interesting additions here. The two “story” deliveries and a few more extras are good innovations, but they are not enough, and the DualSense features are unlikely to induce someone to return for a long time. And who in the game about the courier wants to arrange races and shoot at the shooting range is not very clear.

For a new audience that will first get acquainted with Death Stranding on PS5, everything is already more interesting. They made the first part of the game a little easier for them, added buildings with which it is easier to carry out some deliveries. In addition, beginners will immediately feel all the features of the terrain thanks to the gamepad. The plot has not changed, so it will be possible to see the genius or madness of Kojima (here everyone decides for himself) in its original form.

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