The best moments of Death Stranding are the quietest

Death Stranding, The long-awaited debut of Hideo Kojima under his new studio, is a big and complicated game. Most of your time is spent navigating through uncipherable terms such as & # 39; chiral network & # 39 ;, or delivering packages and struggling with goo-ghosts. A lot of headspace goes to balancing your load and building in-game structures such as bridges. When you encounter downtime, this is a welcome break – especially thanks to how interactive and strange these moments can be.


Large hubs in Death Stranding, like cities, include underground private rooms where Sam (Norman Reedus) can relax. Each room has a place for its baby companion, BB, to hang happily in its pot, as well as a combo shower and a bathroom for all its toilet needs. On a practical level, these rooms are a place to refresh and recharge things such as health or stress levels of BB. The game makes it a point to collect your body fluids, from blood to "no. 2-inch samples for environmentally friendly grenades, and occasionally forces you to reach a plot point. It is also full with fourth wall-breaking moments and jokes that make the experience feel full.

Although some are obvious – it is impossible to miss the AMC ad being slammed over the bathroom door for the Reedus show To drive – others need patience to discover. Reedus often winks or shakes his head at the camera, as if he wants to let him know he's watching. Try to drink him too much or stare improperly, and he can take revenge. The game encourages you to check in on BB by gradually increasing your band, but once in a while a well-intentioned tap on his tank will give you something of a noisy night.

As the game progresses, private rooms begin to become fuller. Action figures of enemies that you have fought may appear on your shelf; the equipment you have put together is easy to adjust; extra snacks or drinks gradually find their way to your bedside table. Each room is identical to the previous one, regardless of when or how you have access to it, up to the number Monster Energy drinks on your table. But the fame makes it homier, a normal place to take a break.

Death Stranding is overwhelmingly a lonely game, one in which you are often charged with tasks for which you have to fight against the earth itself. You can play for hours without seeing another person in the game. You will probably spend a lot of time outsmarting rivers, mountains, or really any steep slope. The moments in the private room are a chance to mentally prepare and recuperate before you take that dreaded mission through a snow-covered mountain – a chance to feel human in a game that is otherwise incredibly strange.