“Dead Stranded” Graphic Evaluation: Express Delivery on the Back, Rebuilding the WorldSince its release, “Dead Stranded” has attracted a lot of attention from players with the reputation of the producer Hideo Kojima, the participation of a movie star and the mysterious settings of the game itself. However, with the release of the media evaluation to the official release now, the relatively slow pace of the game and the maverick “Open World Delivery Express” gameplay have made the evaluation appear polarized.
▲About this work, Hideo Kojima originally wanted to make people realize the meaning of “connection”. Compared with the friendly atmosphere of “mutual benefit, mutual assistance, and common construction” among players in the game; outside the game, people’s opinions are leftward, and the situation of forming two factions is very delicate.
As Hideo Kojima’s first solo work after leaving his old club Kelemei, “Dead Strand” has his distinct personal style in both the gameplay system and intentional narrative. Therefore, at first I thought that this was a “radio wave” game with obvious audiences. I felt really fragrant when I was on the radio, and completely uninteresting if I didn’t.
But with the deepening of the process, I found that the game’s system content is not as unattainable or boring as possible. The excellent asynchronous interaction mechanism combined with a certain degree of freedom in the infrastructure system of the system fully mobilized the player’s desire for exploration and creativity, and It also brings a unique experience not found in ordinary games.
▲Rather than feeling that the road is difficult, start now
In the game, a disaster called “Death Stranded” swept all over, and only a few humans were spared. Affected by the “stranded death”, the rain that should have nourished everything has become the lifeblood of global creatures-“time rain”. Wherever raindrops hit, people or things will quickly age and damage. However, the torrential rain is not the most terrifying existence, and the following “grounded body” (BT for short) attacks humans like ghosts. This is the biggest threat.
▲After connecting the BB, the scanner on the shoulder can detect and sense BT
Affected by this, the advanced network and logistics transportation system between city bases have to be interrupted. Survivors can only complete the transshipment and distribution of materials through the most primitive human transportation methods. The courier who was able to take advantage of Shiyu and BT to deliver goods to mountains and rivers became an important link to maintain human contact.
The protagonist Sam plays is a courier. He has a baby named “Briggie Baby (BB)” on his chest. This baby in a jar has the ability to detect BT but also has a small emotion like ordinary babies.
The pre-game map looks relatively straightforward; however, with the opening of various facilities and routes, when all the elements are presented on the map, it becomes very confusing. The UI is not divided into major and minor fonts, and the font is small. Get up a little hard.
▲In addition to saving the world, players occasionally have to appease the BB around them. Be careful not to shake too hard, he will turn his face
This setting background constitutes the basic gameplay of the game-delivering goods. Just like the courier in reality, after receiving the order, the player needs to send the item to the designated destination. According to the prompts and the type of goods, players can choose the equipment to carry on the road, plan the route, and so on; and the transportation rules along the way are to maintain balance and load, and do not damage the goods due to falling or being attacked by the enemy.
It seems very simple to transport, but it is not easy. The rocks, mountains, and rivers on the road are all obstacles. When adjusting the balance by using the left and right trigger keys, you often have to build bridges and pavements, and go over mountains and mountains; some fragile items and food also have special requirements on the time limit and placement of players. . And when players are stuck in the middle of the road because of various unexpected situations, the sense of despair and frustration is also very strong.
▲The arrangement and arrangement of goods and equipment in the game are a bit tedious
After finishing sorting, every time you press and hold the ○ key to confirm the operation mode also requires the player to have a process of adapting to habits.
▲People have to bow their heads under the roof
After the freight is completed, the protagonist’s various transportation capabilities will be improved, and more equipment items will be unlocked.
Although the Decima engine provided by Ranger Studios has given “Dead Strand” a first-class game screen of this generation; the open world of the game itself does not produce too much content for everyone to explore and interact, and the tasks It is a uniform delivery of goods. This form makes the game at first glance a high-profile “walking simulator”. Anyone will feel boring for a long time.
▲Use the detector
Players can judge the ruggedness of the ground, the depth of the water bottom, the resources around them, and the enemies through the icons.
▲The feedback design of the handle vibration in the game is very detailed.
Through different amplitudes of vibration, players can experience different feelings when Sam’s body is out of balance, inertia rushes forward, and grasps the cargo.
But the above is only the basic part of the game, and there are many elements on top of this to ensure the playability of the game. For example, during transportation, players will also encounter obstacles from BT, Mills, and Time Rain. “Time Rain” is a very frequent weather phenomenon in the game, and continuous walking in the rain will cause rapid aging and damage to the cargo container.
Whether it’s building, finding a place to shelter from the rain, or planning a route out of the rain zone quickly, it is a test for the player.
As for BT and the Mill, it leads to the infiltration of the game and the way of fighting. Even in this difficult mode, the difficulty of the battle is not too high; and from the perspective of game clearance, the price paid by the player after death is very limited. However, when facing BT, players still have a very strong sense of tension and oppression.
This is a setting that BT can’t fully see with the naked eye, so that players will have a sense of fear and bump into corners, which enhances the horror atmosphere of the game. Second, it is because of the outstanding sound effects and BT’s roar The rapid sirens of the scanner and the solemn background music exacerbated that sense of presence. Before getting a weapon, the player mainly avoids BT by holding his breath and squatting slowly. Every time he passes through the rain zone, he can feel the step by step.
When he is out of danger, the screen gradually It became brighter, the raindrops stopped falling, and the relief of the player’s body was also exaggerated. Of course, with the gradual unlocking of various weapons, the pressure on players when facing BT will be a lot less, and the inexplicable horror atmosphere will be replaced by the fun of battle.
▲When dragged down by Hunter BT in black water, large Catcher BT attack protagonists will appear. These monsters are usually whale or lion images with tentacles in their mouths
Compared to BT, the Millers have to deal with much better in the early games.
These zealous terrorists have a pathological obsession with delivery and will track the goods of the protagonist on the road. When the number of Mills is small, players do not feel too much threat. Whether it’s punching, kicking, twisting ropes, tying a pola gun to play PLAY or throwing smoke bombs, you can always think of strange ways to deal with and play with them.
When entering the Mill camp to recover goods, in principle, players need to be cautious to sneak in when facing a large number of enemies. At this time, the gameplay is more similar to the traditional “alloy equipment” series.
▲Continued attack by the Mills will cause the protagonist’s consciousness slot to fall and then faint. After fainting, the protagonist’s cargo will be looted, and the player needs to go to the nearby camp to retrieve it.
▲Set by the Mill. From the current experience, it seems that most players are more like Mills
When dealing with the Mills, you will also find some very real and interesting details and settings. For example, if the cargo pile is too high, it will be found by the enemy even if it hides in the grass. When the Mills see the stunned teammate, they will run Wake them up in the past and continue patrolling and so on. The processing of these details enhances the fun of exploring battles and always brings some unexpected “joy” to players. On the whole, the battle with the Mills is more about the player’s imagination. Compared with the horror-like atmosphere when encountering BT, the experience difference is still very obvious.
▲It can be said that it is a true portrait of some players (comic source: Nasu Peach)
▲In the face of BT, I was stubborn, and in the face of the Mill, I hit hard. Of course, it wasn’t so easy for players to deal with them when the gunmen began to appear later in the game.
Because of Sam’s special identity, he also shoulders the task of expanding the “Cairo Network”, connecting survivor bases scattered around the country, and rebuilding the United States. In terms of gameplay, players need to constantly connect and open up areas so that they can get more human and material resources and can further promote the game flow.
▲The American setting in the game is actually not too relevant to reality
[Asynchronous connection and infrastructure]
Asynchronous connection is not a new concept. If you do n’t say far, talk about the nearest, players ’messages in“ Dark Soul ”and“ Blood Source ”,“ Let It Die ”,“ Hater ”,“ Sword Mound ”and so on All are considered asynchronous online. There are more attempts and manifestations of asynchronous connection in “Dead Strand”, which is also what I think is the most commendable.
”We can make a game that is no longer based on competition, but will provide them with ropes. They can use the ropes in their hands to connect with beautiful things. We no longer need to divide players into winners and losers in the game. Instead, they should create a different connection at this level for them. I hope this can be achieved through the “stranded death” I am making. “
“Stranding” that refers to “Dead Strand” in both the previous publicity and the game also means “connection.” Reflected in the gameplay is to share information and facility resources through asynchronous interaction, and ultimately achieve mutual benefit and mutual assistance between players. Unlike normal games, where you ask for help in the public screen, I fly over to help with the synchronous interaction method.
The concept of asynchronous stranding in “Dead Stranded” is that players encounter difficulties and obstacles in the game, think of solutions, and leave signs or facilities to help the latecomers. Later people can directly get help according to the tips left by their predecessors, or they can think about making improvements. Everyone can be a pioneer or a beneficiary. Compared with the message exchange of “Black Soul”, the asynchronous interaction of “Dead Stranded” goes one step further and extends to the sharing of the building and is complemented by the like mechanism. The overall digging is deeper.
The open world mentioned in the previous article “Death Stranded” itself is relatively empty and lacks content. But after connecting to the Cairo network, players can see some facilities, props, and signs left by others. At this time, the entire game world begins to become full and interesting.
In the process of interaction, the player’s information exchange is limited to the signs. The types of signs in the game are basically from resources, enemies, terrain, climate, routes, and facilities, which can meet the basic expression needs of players. Under this premise, it is undoubtedly more convenient for the player to directly establish a brand, and also avoid some unnecessary malicious comments. In addition, this limited and relatively implicit form of expression also makes other players’ prompts and help not too straightforward, leaving some room for fun and reverie.
Facility construction is another big play point of the game, which is also a part that can attract many players. The Dead Aground map is large enough and the terrain is rich enough. In the game, players can really “open the road to the mountains and bridge the river”, and even build ropeways on the high cliffs.
The laying of various road facilities can make the player’s delivery journey easier; in addition, the game also provides a variety of functional facilities such as storage barrels, observation towers, charging piles, etc. The process promotes the emergence of various vehicle equipment, and players can gradually grasp the characteristics and functions of these facilities.
In this respect, the idea of “Dead Strand” is like works such as “The Breath of the Wild”. The game throws out a system where the player asks why and answers. It is human nature to explore and create. This process of trial and exploration is very fun.
▲Unlike other small facilities, roads and other facilities often require a lot of resources to be connected. At this time, the strength of a player will appear small, but if everyone contributes together, the construction efficiency will be greatly improved.
Although the content of business construction can also be played in games like “Minecraft” and “Ark”. However, the purpose and feeling of players building in “Dead Strand” is still somewhat different from other games. The asynchronous connection mechanism allows everyone to see many of the facilities left by the “pioneers”.
These buildings may only be used once for them, but they can benefit other players. When someone passes or likes these facilities, the builder will receive a reminder from the system. True, simple messages and likes won’t bring any substantial benefits. But from another perspective, if someone likes it, it means that it is a recognition and affirmation of the builder’s wisdom and behavior. Players can get a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment from it, prompting them to continuously build and share their results.
As for the like system, as in real social media, the player ’s achievements are displayed in an intuitive way, which can satisfy the “vanity” of the majority of players, and also pass “positive energy” that is willing to build mutual assistance.
To other players. Of course, the number of likes is not completely useless. One of them is that the more you like a player, the more his building will appear in your game. However, this setting does not seem to have a quantified standard now, and the game map is very large. Maybe some of the player’s buildings have enriched my game world in a subtle way, but I really can’t feel it clearly.
▲BOSS players can also get help from other players
[Slow heat story flow]
Before the release of “Dead Strand”, everyone must have been caught in the clouds by several mysterious promotional videos. Aside from some settings such as Cairo’s material and meditation stalls, the main story of the game is actually easier to master. Combined with reading the game’s data files, I believe most players can understand it.
▲The character emails in the game are still very interesting to read.
Incorporating part of the explanation settings into some small stories and episodes, combined with various emoticons, brings a more relaxed atmosphere to the reading process, and it is easier for players to understand and accept.
However, the game’s plot distribution and gameplay display arrangement is not reasonable. For example, the foreplay arrangement is a bit too long. Although the first two or three chapters of the broadcast can arouse the player’s interest in the entire story, the time for autonomous control is shortened.
Some players may have been dismissed by lengthy plot dialogues before they even touched the core content of the game.
The mid-game gameplay experience prevailed, and there were fewer plots interspersed between the main line. While the players were obsessed with the infrastructure and opened the way, the original purpose may have been left behind.
Overall, the player’s plot experience is somewhat fragmented and slow. In addition, the amount of dialogue text in this game is relatively large, and there is a lack of interaction between characters in some cuts, and some players may feel dull and trivial. Of course, apart from the above, the story itself is very attractive.
And the participation of cross-border brothers, uncle Mai and other well-known movie stars is also a highlight of this book.
▲Lindsay Wagner-Kojima Hideo’s childhood goddess, there are two appearances in her game when she is young and now.
Besides the plot, there are still many interesting details or eggs for players to discover. In the private suite of the protagonist Sam, there are many novel discoveries when he often interacts with the toilet, sink, table, and BB on the wall。
▲”How much money the Claw gave, I doubled Red Bull.” In the game, the Claw drink is an important item to restore the protagonist’s physical strength.
▲ Sexy crossbow brother sells cute online
▲ Collecting memory chips can let players understand some anecdotes and experiences during game production
In general, this is a sword with a sharp edge and a new type of work.
When you see the ropeway built by others on the peak, the ladder erected on the hillside that fell before, and others praise the bridge you built, there are more or less thoughts, maybe a sense of achievement, or a touch. But in any case, what you see is the embodiment of the game’s “connection and interaction” concept, which is what the game wants to express.
This is very different from the general game to get pleasure through fighting and playing monsters, which is very unique and interesting. In addition to this, Hideo Kojima’s production attitude that is not sticking to traditional forms and dare to innovate is also worthy of recognition.