Generally favorable reviews - based on 111 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 111
  2. Negative: 3 out of 111
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  1. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Jan 14, 2020
    A lot of interesting mechanics were implemented, but ultimately left stranded by tedious core gameplay. [Issue#242, p.44]
  2. With intensely interesting lore and characters, an awe-inspiring aesthetic and one of the most mind-crushingly dull gameplay loops I've ever experienced in a high-budget video game, Hideo Kojima's supernatural epic is pretentious and profound, filled with tedium and terrifying wonder.
  3. Nov 5, 2019
    Death Stranding is not a game for every type of player. Its special but repetitive and sometimes outright boring gameplay will make you either love it or stay away from it like fire (or BT). If you have weeks or even months of free time, Death Stranding is the game for you. Otherwise, it’s better to invest it on a real trip with less cargo and no babies.
  4. Nov 1, 2019
    Death Stranding is The Tree of Life of videogames. Some people will hail it as a technical and narrative masterpiece that pushes the medium forward. Others will simply be bored to tears by the slow, repetitive gameplay. Both takes are valid. Death Stranding is a bold project that’s sure to be as divisive as the political anxiety it’s commenting on. It won’t change the minds of Kojima detractors who think he should just make movies, but the game’s thoughtful social components showcase why he still plays such a vital role in the games industry.
  5. Nov 1, 2019
    The real issue is that Death Stranding’s gameplay really is as simple as it appears to be, and the elements around it – the story, combat, and lackluster mission objectives – aren’t satisfying enough to anchor the title and get players invested.
  6. Nov 1, 2019
    Death Stranding might be Kojima's boldest game to date. It may also be his most tedious. Either way, its originality outweighs its sometimes exhausting structure and poor pacing... but only just. Maybe not a game I would recommend to everyone, but certainly one of the most interesting games of 2019.
  7. Nov 1, 2019
    We will all remember Death Stranding, the game that was brave enough to oppose the norm. But in the end, it falls a victim to its high ambition as it struggles plenty due to numerous pivotal decisions in storytelling and gameplay.
  8. 70
    A work of unbridled ambition and imagination but also a pretentious, contrived, and frequently quite dull gameplay experience - Death Stranding is peak Hideo Kojima.
  9. Nov 1, 2019
    If Death Stranding wasn’t so padded out it could have been something special; instead, we’re left with a repetitive letdown that’s far more enjoyable to watch than play.
  10. Nov 1, 2019
    Kojima’s mysterious would be epic has its moments but can’t carry the weight of expectation.
  11. Nov 1, 2019
    There is a fascinating, fleshed-out world of supernatural science fiction to enjoy across its sprawling and spectacular map, so it’s a real shame that it’s all been saddled on a gameplay backbone that struggles to adequately support its weight over the full course of the journey.
  12. Nov 18, 2019
    Death Stranding is less like a masterwork from a newly liberated veteran, and feels more like a debut effort of an imaginative and yet still unrefined game creator. Its convoluted story is propped up by a solid cast, and the very dull gameplay is just helped along by the well implemented multiplayer. It will only really appeal to fans of a very specific game subgenre, or those who enjoy unbridled narratives.
  13. Nov 15, 2019
    In the end, there is much to like about Death Stranding, and I can’t stress enough how much I loved rebuilding America with thousands of concurrent players — that spirit of cooperation was magical. It’s just tragic that the core gameplay loop was let down by dodgy combat scenarios and a listless, meandering story. Death Stranding is still one of the most memorable gaming experiences I’ve had in a while and I certainly don’t regret playing it, but I can’t rate it higher when it whiffs so hard on so many areas that needed more focus.
  14. Edge Magazine
    Jan 3, 2020
    There is, after all, something quietly revelatory about a big-budget videogame that has as much in common with the work of Bennett Foddy as Ubisoft's boilerplate sandboxes. Far from a masterpiece, then, but Kojima's first post-Konami release HAS laid the foundations for something greater. Which is fitting, since that's what he's had us doing for 60-odd hours. [Issue#341, p.102]
  15. Dec 15, 2019
    If Death Stranding were a movie, it undoubtedly would have been a hit, which is a good sign for Kojima Productions’ move into the cinematic space. Though the video game has enough spectacular moments to earn a passing grade, the amount of downtime keeps it from receiving a glowing recommendation.
  16. Dec 5, 2019
    I wanted to like Death Stranding. I'm a big fan of Kojima's previous games and I enjoy them for the mishmash of ideas they always are, and in theory I've no problem with playing a delivery man (I've put far too many hours into Euro Truck Simulator), but this game drowns its exciting systems and ideas with a messy execution and dragged out campaign. By stretching it out to such a long playtime, you can't escape Death Stranding's weaknesses - repetitive missions, simple combat, and a badly told story.
  17. Nov 26, 2019
    I have to give credit to Hideo Kojima for trying to make something different. For me it didn’t pay off, but I did feel there were moments of brilliance here and there. Death Stranding is an ambitious game, but it’s also one that’s self-indulgent and overwrought. With better pacing and the excising of some of its less flattering content and features, Death Stranding could have been something special. As it is, however, it’s just a slog that ultimately turns around and spits in your face.
  18. Nov 8, 2019
    Perhaps the most interesting part of Death Stranding's legacy will be the fascinating and barmy hype train we've all been riding for the last few years. It's certainly been a fun ride, but the destination wasn't worth the wait.
  19. Nov 1, 2019
    If you do manage to hold out, you will be rewarded with flashes of brilliance, it’s just that those flashes are buried as deep as the core story is buried in the endless dialogue.
  20. Nov 1, 2019
    I cannot in good conscience recommend this game to all but the most rabid fans of Hideo Kojima's work. And even then, I feel like this game may cause some of them to balk and question their devotion. It pains me to say it, but Konami may have been a necessary evil for him, a check and balance against his crazier, more self-indulgent impulses.
  21. Nov 1, 2019
    A bloated, showy post-apocalyptic melodrama that makes a meal of some engrossing mechanics and themes.
  22. 50
    There is a lot to love about Death Stranding, it’s just whether players are willing to slog through the strains of fetch quests and collect-a-thons in the process to get to moments of genuine satisfaction.
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  1. Nov 1, 2019
    Try it if you want all the Metal Gear ridiculousness and overwrought drama with none of the stealth-action thrills.
  2. Nov 11, 2019
    I am so glad Death Stranding exists. It’s serenely beautiful and conceptually fascinating, while also being frequently tedious and at worst, completely laborious...An experience of visual wonder and quite incredible ideas; an impossible elevator pitch, somehow brought to fruition; something that you have to experience for yourself, just to see if you like it. All brought down by the underpinnings of a game isn’t refined enough in its core mechanics or coherent enough in its narrative delivery to justify the hubristic run-time.
  3. Nov 1, 2019
    Hideo Kojma's first post-Metal Gear game is a messy, indulgent vanity project - but also a true original. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  4. Nov 1, 2019
    Every inch of Death Stranding teems with meaning or implication. Even the stupidest and most pretentious developments build to create a multi-layered game, one with numerous potential points of attack to analyze. It is a story about fatherhood. It is a broad dig at the gig economy. It is deeply concerned with upcoming environmental disaster and American politics, old and new.
  5. Nov 1, 2019
    Death Stranding builds a complex and surreal world, and it's hard not to marvel at the way it all comes together.
  6. Nov 1, 2019
    Death Stranding feels like two games in one, designed for seemingly opposite audiences. One is a wholly unique open-world adventure with asynchronous cooperative multiplayer that allows me to feel like I’m part of a community, building a world from scratch. And the other is a long, confusing, deeply strange movie. The former is pulling most of the weight, but they share equal screen time. And, like a steamer trunk full of sperm, it’s impossible to separate the good from the bad. It’s all in the same box.
  7. Nov 1, 2019
    Death Stranding is a game that demands to be argued over and analyzed for years. It starts rough, and then gets better and better as it goes along, culminating in an ending that is both hugely important to its universe, and also very small and personal to Sam. It has big ideas for things it wants to say, and then it layers them in with heavy-handed messages about togetherness and bonding with your fellow man.
  8. Nov 11, 2019
    It's wonderful that Hideo Kojima gets to do whatever he wants to do. It's equally wonderful that I can do whatever I want to do, and what I did was stop playing his game...Death Stranding is a hassle. A slow, monotonous, fiddly, irritating hassle. It's pure indulgence, every whimsical fancy that crossed the studio's minds has been tossed in without regard for the player's time or the gameplay experience.
  9. Nov 1, 2019
    To fully embrace Death Stranding, you have to let go of that desire to know everything. Much like watching Lost or playing pretty much any JRPG, the overall narrative is just a means to an end. It’s a setup for creating dramatic, emotional moments. It’s not always easy to get to those moments, and you’ll have to suspend your disbelief quite often to fully enjoy them, but for a certain kind of player, that long, exhausting journey will be worth the effort.
  10. Nov 8, 2019
    I’ve never played anything like Death Stranding, and I doubt I ever will again. That alone is worth the $60 price tag.
  11. Nov 1, 2019
    A thoughtful and gorgeous game of work and exploration, held back by lackluster action sequences.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18192 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 9, 2019
    Definitely a waste of $. Good graphics and odd cinematic, but everything else is boring and stupidly over complex. You'll spend more timeDefinitely a waste of $. Good graphics and odd cinematic, but everything else is boring and stupidly over complex. You'll spend more time managing inventory and traversing overly detailed, poorly explained menus than you will actually doing something other than hold R2 or L2 to walk. The idea of different terrain aspects impeding your traversal is interesting, but Kojima doesn't do anything else with it other than make playing the game frustrating. So much with potential, yet the worse possible execution. This game seems more like a money grab so he can start his career making cheesy movies.

    The scenery is essentially 1 color pallet per region of the same things; funky terrain in green, magenta, grey, or white. I never knew the US had so many mountains... Many of the predetermined animations for movements locks your character into a path even when you try to change directions. This leads to janky movements, odd traversal, and stupid collisions that could have been easily avoided. The world is really empty, beyond the idea of feeling alone. You never run into other couriers, even though they say they're out there. There's a deer in the opening cutscene, but there are literally no animals in the game. There was more to the world in MGSV than there is here!

    In terms of NPCs, there are "characters" in the game that you'll experience through cutscenes, but there's no one to actually interact with beyond holograms of people holed up in a random bunker. the game tries to convey a sense of being alone, but you're constantly interrupted by everyone chiming in. I guess it was too hard to animate actual interactions with NPCs. If it weren't for the few predetermined cutscene/encounters, all of the enemies could be easily avoided and overcome. The enemy AI is near non-existent, even on hard. Pretty much the entirety of quests are all the same overall; be a delivery man. Yes, there are some unique "challenges", such as not getting an item wet, or keeping it "flat". However, it's still the same crap over and over again. Very little variation, which is disappointing and adds to the tedium. Don't expect any unique quests or side storylines.

    Overall, the game get kudos for its rendering of mossy rocks and always shiny looking skin. The story is just so cheesy, and not in an artistic way. If this game didn't have the Kojima name behind it or essentially a Sony console exclusive, it wouldn't have gotten any attention. The hype was fake with this one! Keep your money and buy a game from developers that actually care about their customers.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2019
    Is a very monotonous game, it has great music and world detail, but no more. The story is compelling but not enough to compensate for theIs a very monotonous game, it has great music and world detail, but no more. The story is compelling but not enough to compensate for the immense boredom. Full Review »
  3. Nov 9, 2019
    The trailers for this game sold me the idea of something awesome, like a spiritual succesor to Metal Gear....
    12 hours on this "game"... and
    The trailers for this game sold me the idea of something awesome, like a spiritual succesor to Metal Gear....
    12 hours on this "game"... and is all about walking and delivering all those packages...
    Clumsy mechanics... same repetitive action... fights or action sequences are extremely infrequent... It doesn't give me any excitement to keep playing. The graphics are nice, and the story seems interesting at best... but that's as far as good things go.
    For me is a total waste of money that I could have saved for some better game.
    Full Review »