In the lead-up to our Best of 2019 ceremony on March 7, OnlySP will be running through each of our Best Game nominees to discuss why each title deserves to win the highly coveted award. Today, Daniel Pereira talks about why, in spite of the odds stacked against him, Hideo Kojima managed to develop one of the best games of the year in Death Stranding.
In 2019, Hideo Kojima had all odds stacked against him. Not only was Death Stranding hyped beyond belief due to its potential and legacy to follow up on, but also because of it being the first project from a new studio formed only four years prior. True, much of Death Stranding’s hype is due to Kojima and his own marketing, but most others would do the same for their art. Many words can be used to describe Death Stranding; some are kind, and others are not, but only one word can sum up every explanation that one can surmise: Art. Love it or hate it, none can deny the fact that Death Stranding is a work of art.
If we were to tell you that Death Stranding is a game about a man tasked with reconnecting the United States by walking from objective-to-objective hand delivering packages, you would question the sanity of the title — and you would not be wrong to do so. On paper, Death Stranding presents an experience that is largely mundane and tedious. Having inventory and stamina management be a primary game mechanic does not seem enjoyable to most gamers. Yet why is Death Stranding held to such high praise? In this case, the correct answer is the simplest one: you have to play it to find out. To describe why Death Stranding is great is difficult, because much of the title’s unique appeal is discovered in the moment-to-moment experiences derived from playing.
Death Stranding stands out in 2019 among the other colossal titles due to its ability to challenge traditional video game conventions and present a thought-provoking narrative that encourages positivity in the darkest of times. As the player, you will never physically interact with another individual, despite the game being connected to an online network. In fact, the connection to a nation-wide network serves as the premise of Death Stranding’s overall narrative. Despite having no interactions with other players, you work together towards a common goal to end the suffering of those who will follow your path. Death Stranding’s narrative is a metaphor for society, and how every-day individuals work together for the betterment of our species. Hideo Kojima does not force players to support others in their adventure, but he rewards those who try; understanding that together, we can make the world a better place. Death Stranding is more than worthy of a spot among OnlySP’s Best of 2019.
Check out the other nominees for Best Game here:
- Children of Morta
- Close to the Sun
- Disco Elysium
- Katana Zero
- Resident Evil 2
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
- The Outer Worlds
- Untitled Goose Game
And don’t forget to tune in to OnlySP’s Best of 2019 Awards ceremony at 3pm EST on March 7, 2020! Check out the full list of nominees here.
Which game are you hoping will win our award for Best Game? Let us know in the comments below, or make your case in our community Discord server with other fans of single-player games.