Death Stranding Director's Cut Death Stranding Director's Cut

Gaming

Death Stranding Director’s Cut: Best game I don’t enjoy

Brilliant but tough to power through

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Maybe it was already my mindset heading into this review. But I’d like to think I really gave it a chance. Despite that, every time I launched Death Stranding Director’s Cut on PS5, I felt burdened instead of excited.

That said, I don’t think this is a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. Full disclosure, due to the burdensome feeling I only managed to get to about 30-40 percent of the game. That, on top of other responsibilities for this publication.

So yeah, I think it’s a combination of things. The generally slow pace of the game, the premise of avoiding enemies you can’t see, and just the grind work of having to lug around packages — these all contributed to an experience that I cannot describe as fun.

You can say, that isn’t the point of the game. After all, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic America and you make your way around the open world wary of enemies you can’t see. But isn’t that something we’re already kind of going through. I guess I could just never wrap my head around my form of escape mirroring bleak real world situations a little too much.

Early game additions

Hard to see here, but the Support Skeleton is equipped

Death Stranding Director’s Cut goes out of its way to make sure players feel less strained. About five to seven hours into the game and you’ll gain access to two key additions: the Maser Gun and the Support Skeleton.

The Maser Gun is essentially a high-powered stun gun. It electrocutes MULEs (human enemies) you’ll encounter in deliveries. And immediately after acquiring it, you’ll also gain access to another addition in the Director’s Cut — the shooting range.

Death Stranding Director's Cut

At the shooting range, you’ll be faced with various challenges in taking down MULEs. Most importantly, you’ll be able to practice your aim while dealing with multiple MULEs.

Meanwhile, the Support Skeleton is as straightforward as it sounds. It’s equipped on your lower body to help with traversal. It’s an especially helpful tool early in the game when you don’t have access yet to vehicles and other support items.

Death Stranding Director's Cut

Oh and no more Monster Energy drink in this version

Overall good game design

Death Stranding pulls off many interesting ideas and presents them in ways that undeniably gives it the feel of a AAA (Triple-A) game. The character models and environments, as you may have seen on trailers, are brilliant and blockbuster-worthy.

In terms of gameplay, I was particularly impressed by how you can traverse every single element in the open world. Whether that’s a dirt road, grassy fields, and rocky terrain, the game doesn’t make any completely inaccessible.

Of course, sometimes you have to get creative. Crossing waterways and rock formations may require that you use ladders. You’ll also sometimes find yourself looking down on a cliff. Thankfully, you can also carry items that will let you rappel.

Social Strand System

But perhaps the most unique game mechanic is the Social Strand System. If you play online, this means you’ll gain access to ladders and other structures that other players have built. If any of these structures were particularly helpful for you, you can smash likes to show the other player your appreciation.

It’s such a creative way to include some form of community building in a single player game. It’s a fantastic idea and one I hope we see some iteration of in other games in the future.

In-game interface

If I had a bone to pick with the visual presentation, it would probably be the mail. The text is incredibly tiny, even if you choose the large option. It’s no fun having to read blocks of text and the game encourages you to read the emails as part of the story. I mean, I already read tons of emails daily. I don’t need that in games I play. I think this is another part of the game that really lowered the fun meter for me.

Other improvements

Death Stranding Director's Cut

Buddy Bot!

Death Stranding Director’s Cut also comes with plenty of the usual next-gen improvements on PS5 games. You get the usual upgrades in haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on the DualSense controller. Although, I would argue that they could’ve been utilized better especially for sensing BTs (the ghost-life figures you have to avoid) nearby.

I’ve already gushed about the visuals but playing this in 4K 60fps was really a treat for the eyes. I personally am not a fan of the graphics setting that prioritizes refresh rate. I’m always after a more cinematic feel which I think is what this game suits best. So my recommendation is to play the game prioritizing resolution.

Other in-game additions include the Cargo Catapult and Buddy Bot. Both will help you complete deliveries and quests faster. They are helpful tools that improve the pace of the game.

Should you play Death Stranding Director’s Cut?

Firing up this game felt like work after I’ve already done my work for the day. That just isn’t the experience I long for in games. But maybe, that’s just me.

I think most gamers know exactly what they want to play. But if you’re only now dipping your toes into Death Stranding Director’s Cut because you missed the first launch and you’re a Hideo Kojima fan, it’s definitely worth picking up. But my recommendation is to get the physical copy so you can flip it for cash as soon as you find that it’s not for you.

Death Stranding Director’s Cut is brilliant. However, it’s not for everybody.

Gaming

Google is closing down Stadia

Ending mid-January 2023

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The concept of cloud gaming is pretty simple. With a decent internet connection, players can have access to the best games today without the need for expensive hardware. However, for all the promise that the technology held, cloud gaming’s journey has been rough. Today, one of the technology’s biggest names is closing up shop. Starting early next year, Google is shuttering Stadia.

According to a blog post from the Stadia team’s vice president Phil Harrison, the device never really took off in the way the company was expecting. As such, the entire team is shutting down and moving on to other ventures inside the company. However, Google still hopes to use the technology (and the lessons associated with the failed venture) to other branches.

Now, for consumers, the Stadia store is now closed. Anyone who purchased hardware or games through the Play and Stadia Stores will receive refunds during the shutdown period. (However, Stadia Pro subscribers will not get refunds. On the upside, they won’t get charged for additional months.)

The service will shut down on January 18, 2023. In the meantime, Stadia users can still access their library until that date.

The writing has been on the wall for a while now. Previously, the company also shut down the team’s in-game development, limiting what the service offered.

If you’re enjoying cloud gaming as a technology, Google isn’t the only player around. Amazon and Xbox both have their own services dedicated to cloud gamers.

SEE ALSO: Google will alert you if your info pops up in a search

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Gaming

Razer, Qualcomm tease gaming handheld device

Officially debuting next month

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The Steam Deck really set off a new wave of hype for handheld gaming consoles. Chipping away at the Switch’s dominance, the next generation of mobile gaming wants to wrest gamers away from the clutches of smartphones and Nintendo. Today, another player is joining in (or returning to the fight). Razer and Qualcomm are teaming up for their own handheld gaming device.

Well, it’s not an official reveal yet. During MWC Las Vegas, Verizon teased the upcoming partnership and revealed a few details about the device. Much like the new Logitech G Cloud, the Razer Edge 5G, as it’s called, will run on Android and will play the usual cloud gaming services.

Since the partnership involves Qualcomm, expect a good processor inside, too. Plus, with Verizon’s partnership, the device will come with 5G connectivity, as the name also implies.

The Logitech G Cloud also came with a Snapdragon chipset. However, it has a smaller model, the Snapdragon 720G, skipping out on Qualcomm’s handheld gaming platform. Presumably, Razer’s device will come with the G3x Gen 1. When the platform launched, Qualcomm did tease a product with Razer. It’s the device’s first appearance since last year.

Unfortunately, the teaser video does not reveal much outside of what we already know from previous teases. Thankfully, it won’t be long before the official reveal. Razer is expected to unveil the product during RazerCon on October 15.

SEE ALSO: RazerCon 2022 set on October 15

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Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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