Well, we can congratulate each other on being alive to see the “director’s cut” of video games. Not “extended” and not “complete”, but directing, as if we were talking about the hundredth reissue of some cinematographic masterpiece. Maybe it’s a fact that Hideo Kojima has always considered himself a movie buff. Maybe the publisher needs to repackage a fresh game that doesn’t require a new edition or additional content. Given that “Genius” itself doesn’t like the new name, the latest version seems right.

Well, we can talk about marketers for a long time, but that’s not going to make anyone any better. Let’s take a quick look at the game itself – or rather, at the new version of the best games of 2019 according to our portal version.

Death Stranding Director's Cut

Despite all the updates, it’s still the same game at heart, so first I’d direct you to read the original material, which remains more than true. Death Stranding is a good game. Slow, contemplative, beautiful and very bold. It’s a game you want to keep coming back to, which we do.

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that playing Death Stranding in 2021 is weird. In 2019, Kojima’s ideas seemed fantastic and abstract, but now, in the second year of the pandemic, the game is starting to feel like a bleak omen. There are so many random similarities to the new realities of life that it’s even somehow scary. A world torn apart by tragedy. People hide in bunkers and replace themselves with holographic avatars. A superhuman courier ready to deliver anything to you in any weather… Death Stranding was bleak before, but now you see it in a completely different way.

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Death Stranding Director's Cut

I’ve written about the fact that Kojima knows how to create a cool world, but he doesn’t always know how to present it properly. To quote myself from 2019:

“I admit, the premature Death Stranding plot never really got me excited. Mysterious clues, incoherent narrative style, and other favorite techniques of arrogant directors – all this was enough for me in Beyond: Two Souls. And Death Stranding, for all its endless originality, never reaches the narrative peak it promises. It’s an unstable “picture” that tries in vain to weave the story into the fabric of the gameplay. However, whatever happens during Sam’s adventure, will not affect the screen saver and the predefined story.

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Hideo is a visionary, but not a brilliant screenwriter. The characters talk like actors in a musical. Sadly, to the public, freely showers quotes and metaphors. Sometimes it fits, sometimes it’s ridiculous. It’s hard to take a dramatic conflict seriously when one of the main protagonists is called Diehardman, and when the protagonist only needs to empty a can of Monster Energy to survive.”

Death Stranding Director's Cut

In this case, nothing has changed – except that the energy can is different, and now, instead of a naughty commercial, Sam is drinking a drink called Bridges Energy. The deal in the real world has ended, and the game world has changed forever.

Boring, slow, sad? I’ve heard a lot of criticism, and Kojima must have heard it too. And let us both disagree, demiurge decided to change something to please less impatient players. In Director’s Cut, you can earn points for good shots, even though shooting is never an essential element of the original. The battle with the boss – an emotional and tragic event – now you can go through and compare your success with others. And instead of climbing mountains on foot, you can build race tracks and organize races!

Like… the shallow addition doesn’t match the original atmosphere. The original, where even adding a catapult seemed like a slightly dishonest way to make your courier’s life easier. But now they have appeared even simpler package delivery way. I rarely see short-lived attempts to regain interest in the game. I’ve seen lots of weak and unnecessary re-releases, but few that add content to the game so clumsily. The latter doesn’t happen much, does it? Not when it goes against what was in the previous game. If I didn’t know the current situation, I would have said that the Konami guys made Kojima dance to their tune again, but no, it seems the game designer has been hanging around for a long time now…

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It sounds like I was angry – even offended – at Death Stranding Director’s Cut, but I wasn’t. I’m glad the marketing engine is selling this great game (yes, it’s true) again, and PS5 players, long in the tens of millions, will be able to play the best version of one of Sony’s most important games. console exclusives in recent years. In 2019, I was obsessed with visuals on a basic PS4, and now I see a version that loads in seconds and lets you play at 60 fps and native 4K. This world, however pathetic it may be, should be seen as such. By the way, once again keeping in mind his enduring love of cinema (and “Cinema”, although sadly you won’t hear Tsoya here), Kojima added an “ultra-wide” mode so that even casual TV owners can get the widest possible. viewpoint. It’s an interesting new way to add greatness to an image, but it’s black bars at the bottom and top (which shows not necessarily a pleasant association with The Order 1886 – an underrated experiment from the last generation that everyone completely forgets about) instead distract rather than enhance perception. Tsushima’s ghost did better.

Also read: Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut Review – Last year’s most beautiful game just got better

Death Stranding Director's Cut
By the way, the Digital Deluxe Edition includes an interactive artbook and digital soundtrack. The latter is cool, but the art book surprised me: I already have the exact same in print on my shelf, as well as in Russian, while the virtual version won’t translate.

And we wonder again: what is this, the extraordinary vision of a true master, or some other attempt to add something, while adding nothing?

It’s much more interesting to consider a DualSense controller – still the main reason why I review the PS5 the most, rather than the Xbox Series X. Adaptive triggers and next-generation vibration motors also come in handy here: Death Stranding is rightfully created to promote this technology. Now the harder it is for Sam to pull something, the harder it is for you to push the chicken. The controller vibration makes it clear which ground our hero is walking on. All of these are not only impressive examples of why DualSense is the best controller on the market, but also real improvements that make this game XNUMX% better.

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And like other moviegoers, Kojima hasn’t forgotten about sound. Let’s not forget that we’re talking about the guy who (allegedly) refused to release Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots on the Xbox 360 partly because he insisted on using only uncompressed audio files that wouldn’t fit on DVD. And Death Stranding is great not only for its music (which is even more so), but also for its use of three-dimensional audio technology thanks to the Tempest engine. Some games seem to sound good on the PS5. Honestly, sometimes you even forget that 3D Audio exists at all, but such releases remind you that the potential of this technology is huge.

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Death Stranding Director's Cut
To transfer your saves from the original, you’ll need to download the PS4 version, export your saves to the cloud, and then find them in the menu on the PS5. Uncomfortable.

Technically, Death Stranding Director’s Cut is a huge improvement, but it’s not all for the better. Some things stay exactly the same, and this is very, very bad. I’m talking about a growing file storage problem: the original file keeps creating new storage without deleting the old one, causing the storage to swell to several gigabytes. That’s not fun, especially given the very strict limits on the amount (not volume) of cloud storage. But on PS5, the old pain returns, and it becomes much more dangerous: the fact is that if on PS4 it is always possible to manually delete unnecessary storage, then on PS5 there is no such possibility. You delete everything or nothing. This is a very frustrating situation and I hope the developers release a patch this time.


stranded death – it’s a big game, huh Death Stranding Director’s Cut is an expanded edition of the great game. What else can you say? The grass is greener, shipping is easier, and the world is scarier. Everyone should play it.