Death Stranding Director’s Cut is more than just a case of new technology, new opportunities. Yes, it does make use of the PS5’s adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and impressive power. However, it’s much more than that. Heading back into the world I visited almost two years ago made me feel apprehensive. It brought back all the feelings of dread and anxiety as I travelled on foot across tough terrain. All those tricky situations I found myself in while fighting Mules and BTs. The frustration of seeing my cargo deteriorate because of the damn rain. Despite all of those dreaded scenarios, I also remembered how much I adored it.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut: A true spectacle
After seeing all the improvements and additions the Director’s Cut has to offer, I’m happy to say this is indeed the definitive edition. That’s obvious and a little unoriginal to say, but it’s true. Visually, Death Stranding on PS5 is gorgeous. Character animations are crisper and more detailed; the environments are so realistic; cutscenes are as close to real cinema as you can get; and enemy models are so smooth. It’s a treat on the eyes in every way, and when you go back and check out the PS4 version, there’s a clear difference.
Haptic feedback makes all those tough journeys across snowy mountains, flowing rivers, and cliff faces immersive, feeling everything in the palm of your hands. Adaptive triggers when grabbing your cargo or using a weapon adds resistance to bring you into the game even more than before. As for the 3D audio, Kojima Productions has made all the nuances of BBs cries and other sound effects seep through the controller to improve the overall gameplay experience.
Cool new modes and content
Not all the new stuff on offer can be found straight away. If you’ve finished the game, it’s going to be easier if you start from scratch. The main new additional modes within Death Stranding Director’s Cut are the Firing Range and the Fragile Circuit. The Firing Range opens up once you dive into the game from an old save, but unless you’ve got a supply of guns, you’ will start with blood grenades. Weapons you’ve found can be used at the range, and you’ll get to practice on various targets, both moving and static. As for the racing, it’s a cool new feature that doesn’t need to feature, but offers a rather satisfying experience against the backdrop of a broken America.
The Cyberpunk 2077 and Half-Life content that featured in the PC version is included, too. I never got to see the Cyberpunk stuff, but I lost my shit when an email hit my inbox talking about the video game featuring Gordon Freeman. If you’re going into Death Stranding Director’s Cut after finishing the game, there’s still plenty to get stuck into. For me, going in from the beginning is the best way to enjoy it. You might not want to go through the lengthy campaign over again, but Kojima Productions has made sure all the new content, modes, and gear opens up gradually at lots of different moments. Playing all over again guarantees you won’t miss a thing.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut: Added equipment makes journeying easier
There’re also plenty of new pieces of equipment for you to fabricate and construct, making trips across America much easier. Chiral Bridges look like thin stretches of glass, but they act as a way to reach tough terrain. A big bonus is that Mules can’t touch you once you’re on it, but they do deteriorate quicker. Cargo Catapults launch precious cargo across tricky terrain without getting damaged. The Buddy Bot is a small robot than can carry equipment for you, and also take it to a nearby facility for safekeeping. My favourite new addition are the new Jump Ramps. Travelling through the ramps sends Sam speeding through the air, making terrain easier to cross.
If you’re new to Death Stranding and have no idea about the story, go in blind. I could try and explain it to you, but where’s the fun in that? It’s Hideo Kojima. Personally, I think he’s a genuinely fantastic game developer. His ideas and themes within Death Stranding touch on some heavy subject matter, but it helps to make the journey all the more important. It’s worth playing just for the wonderful performances from Mads Mikkelsen, Margaret Qualley, and Léa Seydoux. The rest of the cast give solid performances, but these three elevate the story, especially in the darker moments.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut is a phenomenal game. It always was, but with these additional changes, it reaches another level. The technological improvements make it more immersive, and the fast loading times are a godsend. The new modes are OK, but the new equipment are what make it special. All the new content is entwined with the original experience, so it gives old players a reason to head back to the beginning and start again. For those who never played DS when it hit PS4, there really is no better time than now. A wonderful soundtrack, a powerful story, and enjoyable gameplay made better thanks to the additions mean Kojima Productions found a way to make a great game greater.
New modes are nice additions
New equipment is wonderful
Looks insanely good
Technological improvements provide more immersion
Carrying cargo is still a pain in the ass