I have previously questioned the need for a Death Stranding Director's Cut. Don't get me wrong, I think Hideo Kojima's work is masterful in many respects, and it seems to me that the game deserves to make the leap to the next generation on PS5. But it is also true that Death Stranding was already a tremendously personal game. It was an explosion of creativity from the author, with all the good and bad of his best games, in particular the Metal Gear Solid saga.

The fact that this game is called Director's Cut (just like it happened with Ghost of Tsushima) makes us think that perhaps the original did not show the idea that Kojima had in mind. That there were things that had remained in the pipeline, for reasons of time, technical limitations, or due to the dictation of Sony itself.

However, after playing Death Stranding Director's Cut, we were left with the idea that it was better to have called it a "special edition" or something similar because the news does not alter the message of the work.

We have more possibilities and mechanics, and a technical leap that feels great (although the original was already at an outstanding level), but some of these changes, in a way, detract from the message.

We mean, as you will see later, that giving Sam Porter more facilities or allowing him to participate in races, shooting galleries, and training missions, makes his mission seem less important.

An Unbeatable Experience

Death Stranding was one of the most relevant games of 2019. 

It is a unique adventure that takes place in a future world, which suffers an extinction event known as Death Stranding. At the time, after overcoming the initial 14 chapters (approximately 40 hours of play), we can say it is complex and exceptional.

As for the gameplay, the idea consists of carrying a series of charges between different enclaves of the United Cities of America, as a "porter" in an open world. On the first few rides, we have to pay attention to Sam's stamina. Each package that we carry on our back limits our movements a bit, and we also need to carry tools that facilitate transport.

In fact, before embarking on a journey to our destination, we must place our load and equipment in different parts of the body to walk as balanced as we can. We remember that it is an evolution of what was initially shown in MGS V.

This approach grows exponentially as we move forward, always adding new possibilities. We can use motor vehicles, load shipments on sliding platforms that we can drag, build structures that facilitate transportation ... and also face new difficulties.

The enemies that cross our path can be simple MULES (groups of renegades that assault the messengers) or E.V. that is to say, stranded entities that appear with the decline and that are invisible, although BB (the little one that Sam carries in a capsule) can perceive them.

And from there we will also face unforgettable final enemies or enjoy the feeling of being in a persistent world, in which other messengers (through the online connection) build structures that facilitate the task.

From the "playable" point of view, it is quite an exercise. Death Stranding does not stop offering new options to the player, who ends up having a great feeling of control of this world.

What's new in the Director's Cut?

Death Stranding Director's Cut adds quite a bit of content to the original. We can visit a shooting gallery from the private room to test our weaponry (which now includes an electric pulse rifle).

This practice field contains a series of virtual missions (something that Kojima already brought us with the VR Missions of Metal Gear Solid) in which to improve our control with the arsenal of the game facing MULES, waves of E.V. or with more complex objectives.

Even more striking is that a racing circuit has been introduced, with different vehicles that are also exclusive to this version. In the Fragile circuit (which has several tracks) we can compete against the clock or in an online classification

Inside the Director's Cut, there are also additional missions, 8 new pieces of equipment (such as an improved exoskeleton that allows us to perform great jumps or robotic legs that accompany us in shipments).

And customization options are incorporated: 18 backpack functions and 6 new colour schemes. To all this add structures, such as the catapult to launch the load at great distances, the anti-slope shelter or the ramp to jump with the inverted Tri-Wheel, and new tracks from the soundtrack.

As you can see there are not a few additions, and many of them greatly facilitate the task of Sam Porter but do not change the essence of the game. We can access them as we play or move our saved game from PS4 (if we had already finished it) so that they are unlocked immediately.

With all these additions (in addition to the possibility of repeating missions in qualifying mode) the game is bigger and offers us more freedom. It is not a different experience, if possible a little easier.

This is what we meant by the "missing" part of the message. We don't see Sam Porter, humanity's last hope, entertaining himself in the middle of his journey for a few races.

Technology on par with the PS5

It's no secret that Kojima likes movies, and in many cases, it might seem that inside him is a frustrated director. In the case of Death Stranding what he achieves is simply colossal. The sequences have an unbeatable pulse and the camera moves masterfully in numerous videos.

Death Stranding manages to be moving, terrifying, intriguing. From a narrative point of view -with its times- it is colossal, and this director's cut simply reaffirms it. It was very difficult to beat the look of the original, but with wide mode, 4K resolution, and 60 FPS, the experience is even better.

A masterpiece, with new content

After all, Death Stranding still seems like a masterpiece to us. An impressive game, which in the new generation shines again. The plot and technical section are flawless, and the way in which new mechanics are constantly implemented is prodigious.

This Director's Cut benefits from visual improvements, and a lot of content that, as we have already said, add more options, although it does not change the essence of the game. It is more, but not necessarily better.

For us, it's been a joy to play Death Stranding again after two years. It has impressed us again, even though the story no longer surprises us (I admit that listening to Mama's or Cliff's stories again continues to make my hair stand on end).

But you must bear in mind that the pace of the game is very particular. The startup is slow, and it takes us a while to understand how this world works. For some players, it may be too slow an approach. For others, a game that they will remember all their lives.

For more on the best games around, stick around at GamesAtlas.

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