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100 Best PlayStation Games of All Time (40 – 21)

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Putting together a list of the 100 best Playstation games of all time is no easy task but the crew here at Goomba Stomp have been working around the clock to get it done. We are almost at the finish line but before we reveal our number one pick, we still have 39 other entries to get through. Here is a list of our top 40 Playstation games released exclusively for a Sony console.

Top 40 Playstation Games of All Time


Best Playstation Games

40 –  Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner

Few mech games have matched the organic controls and the cinematically-calculated-yet-frenzied action of Konami’s Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (first released for the PS2) – the third and final game in the short-lived but highly praised Zone of the Enders series – which spawned three games, an hour-long OVA and an anime series, all within the span of just three years.

As a result of being created, produced and overseen by Hideo Kojima, and featuring art direction by Metal Gear’s Yoji Shinkawa, the Zone of the Enders series is intrinsically tied to the Sons of Liberty-era of Metal Gear, and 2nd Runner probably exhibits that same spirit more than any other game in the entire series. The same kind of subversion of genre, of trying out ambitious gameplay ideas, pushing the limits of the PS2’s hardware, it’s all there. Zapping enemies, selecting multiple targets to blast them into oblivion, and close quarters hand-to-hand melee, it’s simply the best realization of how a mech out of an anime should feel to control.

The game’s heavy reliance on dialogue, and its ambition to act out as a cheesy anime is, however, a pain to get through. To put it frankly, the voice acting downright sucks, on a hilarious level. If you thought MGS2’s “We’ve managed to avoid drowning” was a doozy, then boy, are you in for a treat. It’s something that makes what should be an easily accessible experience, an intro to mecha even, a bit of an embarrassment. What’s crazier is that the game has received two remasters since its initial release, and both times, the option to switch to the less obnoxious Japanese voice acting is missing.

But, if you can through the cringe-inducing cutscenes, you’re in for one of the most fun gameplay experiences of your life. Not a bad trade-off, I’d say. (Maxwell N)

 

Greatest Playstation Games
39 –  Xenosaga Trilogy 

The Xeno games of Tetsuya Takahashi and Soraya Saga have always been outliers in the world of RPGs, and the Xenosaga trilogy on PS2 is certainly no exception.

An insanely ambitious and incredibly dense trio of games, the Xenosaga team had the audacity to plan out a six-part magnum opus of time, space, religion, philosophy, and dreams before the first game was even released. Though they may have overshot a bit (only three of the games would see release) Xenosaga still stands as one of the most awe-inspiring, uncompromising visions in gaming history.

This is a game that has romantic tension between a scientist and the android who murdered her boyfriend. This is a game where a psychopathic sadist molests a little girl for information in a scene that couldn’t be released in North America without censorship. This is a game where a robot stood in for the crucified Christ in a multi-layered dream sequence. And all of that was just in the first game.

Xenosaga isn’t just a trilogy of games, it’s an honest to God experience. Diving into this world is a serious investment in a time when gamers have never been more back-logged, but there has never, ever been anything quite like this series in the history of gaming. The fact that the closest thing I can find to compare to the density of the mythology of these games would be either Mass Effect or Metal Gear Solid should tell you something about the company these games keep. (Mike Worby)

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38 – Kingdom Hearts

Disney and Square’s whimsical, console-hopping, action-RPG series all began here. Mixing dozens of Disney movies, the Final Fantasy series, and a heap of Star Wars, just because, Kingdom Hearts introduces players to a universe of colorful characters, varied worlds and really hard bosses.

Kingdom Hearts marks the long-time Final Fantasy character designer Tetsuya Nomura’s first time as a director. The gameplay is solid, with plenty of customizable abilities and cool magic attacks, combined with the constant introduction of guest characters from the Disney worlds, who each have their own abilities. As its recent HD remaster proves, the game also has a great aesthetic that – while not cel-shaded like other cartoon-based games – holds up even if the other graphics technology doesn’t.

The core narrative of Sora leaving home to find his friends has never been as simply endearing as it was in this first installment before the series’ original characters started to outshine the Disney and Final Fantasy ones. It’s easy to forget that Maleficent, the deliciously terrifying villain from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, is the antagonist of much of this first game.

It may not have the flashy battles of the second game or the inevitably tragic events of Birth by Sleep, but the original Kingdom Hearts has positives all of its own. For one, it is the only game in the series with a plot that makes a lick of sense. (Mitchell Akhurst)

Okami

37 – Okami

Okami is a near masterpiece of video game design with stunning ink-and-watercolor visuals and a brisk story that saves its best twists for its final act. Set sometime in classical Japanese history, the game combines several Japanese myths, legends and folklore to tell the story of how the land was saved from darkness by the Shinto sun goddess, named Amaterasu. Okami’s greatest stroke of genius is Amaterasu herself, who takes the form of a white wolf, and its distinct cel-shaded visual style. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-looking game for the PlayStation 2 coupled with an epic tale strung together by several awe-inspiring parables and colourful, characters who’ll linger in your memory long after you’ve completed your quest.

Okami takes its cues from the Legend of Zelda series in particular and achieves similarly outstanding results. This is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave gamers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them. Okami is an amazing work, filled with a visual intelligence that’s meticulously composed and obscenely clever – yet its breadth and heart give it an appeal that should touch gamers of all ages. (Ricky D)

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36 – Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Uncharted 3 is one of the best action adventure games of all time, but it had the rotten luck of following Uncharted 2 – the best action adventure game of all time in the minds of many. The theory around Naughty Dog HQ is that Uncharted 3 is the best game in the franchise (prior to the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End) and that if the game had swapped places with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and released first, people would hold it in higher regard. 

The logic is perfectly sound – Uncharted 3 does what Uncharted 2 does but generally bigger and better and with more explosions. Perhaps the game falters in the pacing department when compared to the second game, but in most other regards it’s a noticeable, if not massive, progression. But while the gargantuan leap in quality from the first game in the series to the second wasn’t repeated when moving on to the third, Drake’s Deception just being another great Uncharted game isn’t anything to worry about now, is it?

Drake’s Deception delves into Nathan’s past more than ever before for the series, and for the first time gives Uncharted a villain that has a little more to bring to the party than the stock baddies of the first two games. The globe-trotting adventure Drake once again finds himself offset by the return of fan-favorite characters and spectacular set-pieces before settling down for a third act showdown in the desert that frequently delights, once again proving that Naughty Dog are the masters of their craft. (John Cal McCormick)

Best Playstation Games

35 – Silent Hill 3

Released in 2003, Silent Hill 3 built upon the mechanical improvements made in Silent Hill 2 and served as a direct narrative sequel to the events of the first game in the series. Following Heather Mason, the adopted daughter of the original protagonist Harry Mason, the game tells a more straightforward story of mystery and revenge. Although the basic plot can be understood without prior knowledge of the series, the nuance and depth of the story cannot truly be appreciated without the emotional investment that was built during the original Silent Hill.

Beginning with a dream sequence that promptly murders the player, the third game in the franchise showcases its rapidly sped up pace, introducing the nightmarish terrors, that took a decent chunk of time to reach in the preceding games, in a matter of minutes. However, the story doesn’t suffer from this, as it keeps the focus on a smaller, but equally memorable, selection of characters such as Claudia Wolf, the cult’s leader, and main antagonist, and the mysterious Detective Douglass Cartland.

Team Silent’s new game engine allows for smoother running and more detailed environments than ever before, featuring more responsive controls and dynamic lighting. Combat is increasingly difficult this time around, as enemies such as the Closer take many hits to kill and often gang up on the player, but to compensate for this, there is a much more diverse selection of weapons. Uzis, stun guns and knives are spread out somewhat more liberally than previous games, while more ridiculous items such as the Beam Saber and Heather Beam serve as bonus content once the game is finished normally.

To make up for having fewer endings, players are allowed to choose from multiple difficulties, which make combat and puzzles more challenging and unlock several different costumes for Heather. With stronger level design, a streamlined story and improved controls, Silent Hill 3 stands as a worthy sequel to a horror classic that offers its own unique perspective in the series. (Matt Bruzzano)

Best Playstation Games

34 – Ratchet and Clank

In any previous generation, the teaming up of a furry, space cat hero and a diminutive robot would have meant a cutesy mascot platforming game. But by the time the PlayStation 2 had rolled around, the very idea of the mascot platformer was on the way out. Mario was still flying the flag for Nintendo, but Sonic was about to go multiplatform, Crash Bandicoot was struggling, and Microsoft had, ermBlinx the Cat doing whatever he did. At first glance, Ratchet and Clank seemed poised to wind up next to Spyro the Dragon and Croc in the cute platformers vault, but getting your hands on a controller and sitting down to play the game proved that Insomniac had something a little more substantial up their sleeves than the cute aesthetic of the game implied.

While the gun play in Ratchet and Clank was a little rough around the edges in the first installment, and wouldn’t truly be refined until the third game in the series, the brilliance of the idea was evident right from the start. Take a couple of heroic cartoon characters, give them a planet-destroying megalomaniacal villain to go up against, and present them with an arsenal of ridiculous weaponry to do the job. By the time you were turning enemies into sheep with the Sheepinator, or sucking up enemies and using them as bullets to destroy bigger baddies with the Suck Cannon, it became obvious that Ratchet and Clank was a different breed of 3D platformer. (John Cal McCormick)

Best Playstation Games

33 – Tekken 3

Although the third installment in the popular Tekken fighting game series was originally released in arcades in March 1997, it was the 1998 PlayStation port that really put it on the map. When the Tekken series debuted on Sony’s home console, it was hailed as one of the best fighting games alongside the Dreamcast version of Soul Calibur. Decades later, many gamers will still place Tekken 3 on such a list, and with good reason.

Not only does each character have over 100 unique moves and combos, but Tekken 3 broke new ground by placing a huge emphasis on the third axis, making sidestepping every bit as important as blocking in terms of defense. The tight mechanics and huge roster would have been worth the price tag alone, yet Namco added a full Final Fight-style campaign and a ton of bonus features to keep gamers busy. Tekken 3 is widely regarded as the best game in the franchise, and in my opinion, one of the ten best fighting games ever made. How could we not include it? (Ricky D)

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32 – Final Fantasy VIII

First things first, let’s just get this out of the way: not everyone is crazy about Final Fantasy VIII. Among the usual complaints thrown at it are the fact that its battle and junction systems can be leveraged to the point of making the game a cakewalk, and that the switch to drawing magic and only holding a certain amount of spells, instead of the standard MP system, was a huge mistake.

There’s a case to be made for both points, but Final Fantasy VIII is still a fantastic game in spite of these perceived flaws. Featuring one of the tightest, best narratives in the series and a very likable sextuplet of main characters, Final Fantasy VIII gets you caught up in its story of sorcerers and time travel right from the opening moments of its stunning cinematic sword fight between rivals Squall and Seifer.

Boasting incredibly cinematic direction, an insane attention to detail and some of the coolest weapons and limit breaks the series has ever seen, there’s plenty to love about Final Fantasy VIII, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it also has the most awesome and epic boss battle the series has ever seen during the jaw-dropping finale.

A true classic in every sense of the word, Final Fantasy VIII succeeds in a lot of ways because it’s so different, and its these differences that still make it stand out in the series even 17 years after its original release. (Mike Worby)

Grand Theft Auto III

31 – Grand Theft Auto III

Is there a purer motive than revenge? Grand Theft Auto III kicks off with the protagonist named Claude and his girlfriend Catalina in the middle of a bank heist. All is going well until Catalina decides to put a bullet in her companion and leaves him for dead. Unfortunately for her, Claude not only survives but also manages to escape police custody, allowing him to embark on his quest for vengeance. Left with few options and even fewer allies, Claude finds himself working as a thug for the Mafia.

From there, the player interacts with other major criminal organizations, including the Yakuza and Columbian Cartel; using them, betraying them, and eventually eliminating them, all along the path to ultimately finding his ex, and putting her eight feet under. GTA III may not have the robust plot and more complex characters featured in later games in the series, but the simplicity and satisfaction of Claude’s story are still as enjoyable now in 2016 as it was back in 2001.

While GTA III’s narrative can be described as simple, the game’s design is anything but. From its mission structure to its open world and how the player interacts with their environment, Grand Theft Auto III changed the way games were played. DMA Design (now known as Rockstar North) did not pioneer the concept of open world design, nor are they credited with creating the first sandbox-style experience with a living and breathing world to explore. GTA III was able to take these elements and combine them with such nuance and scale that it single-handedly ushered in the age of the 3D open-world sandbox game.

By giving the player a massive open world to explore at their leisure, allowing the player to interact and traverse the landscape via multiple modes of transport, and offering a huge amount of story-based missions, GTA III changed the way developers would look at game design moving forward. Seen as a monumental achievement, Grand Theft Auto III is considered to be one of the most influential video games ever created, right up there with the likes of Doom and Super Mario Bros. (Matt De Azevedo)

Best Playstation Games

30 – Marvel’s Spider-Man

Nearly five years after the release of the PlayStation 4, Sony doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit in giving gamers worldwide reason after reason to buy this generation’s best-selling console. If not for God of War and Monster Hunter World, the PS4 is once again a must-have system for anyone wanting to play Sony’s exclusive titles thanks to the amazing job Insomniac Games did on Marvel’s Spider-Man. It may not be groundbreaking like God of War but, at its best, Spider-Man might just be the finest superhero video game ever made, and one of the most enjoyable games I played this year.

Swinging about the richly detailed open-world recreation of Manhattan is an absolute blast and it helps that the game does such a great job at maintaining an urgent tone, since there’s never a moment that doesn’t go by in which you don’t have something important to do. If Spidey’s cell phone isn’t ringing, there’s always something to keep your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man busy. As you progress, you’ll unlock new abilities and new power suits that not only open up the game more but help keep everything fresh and exciting.

Seriously, the traversal system in Spider-Man is a joy and it gets better the further you progress in the story. Furthermore, Spider-Man is also one of the best looking games of 2018. From the day and night cycle to the photo mode to the gorgeous cutscenes, there’s always a reason to stop and snap a screenshot. Everything from the city design, various costumes, cinematography, and CG effects is top-notch – not to mention, John Paesano’s music is absolutely fantastic as well.

Where the game shines most is its story. Boasting six entertaining villains, a deep emotional focus and a finale that may leave some players in tears, Spider-Man is hands down the best Spider-Man story (outside the comics) since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Last, but not least, the epic boss battles in Spider-Man rival most action scenes in Marvel movies and the added little touches such as Spidey’s Twitter feed, various side quests, and multiple Easter Eggs keep players coming back for more and more. There’s a reason why Spider-Man’s platinum completion rate is insane. The game is hard to put down and begs players to explore every nook and cranny. All in all, this game is a blockbuster with both a heart and a brain. (Ricky D)

Best Playstation Games

29 – Horizon Zero Dawn

Before Horizon Zero Dawn was revealed at Sony’s best-of-all-time 2015 E3 presser, it’s hard to imagine many people being too excited at the prospect of an open world game from the studio that had done little but create Killzone titles for various PlayStation consoles since 2004. You’d think the reveal of a Final Fantasy VII remake, Shenmue III, and the news that The Last Guardian was actually a real game that might be released one day would overshadow anything else that happened during Sony’s blockbuster conference, but Horizon Zero Dawn looked so impressive in its debut showing that people couldn’t stop talking about it.

And it’s easy to see why. Talk about elevator pitches. How’s this? A woman who appears to live in the stone age but also in the future has to fight robot dinosaurs using a hi-tech bow and arrow. You had me at robot dinosaurs.

Horizon Zero Dawn tells a wonderful sci-fi yarn in a world full of interesting characters, but it’s the combat that truly steals the show. Heroine Aloy must defeat dangerous, robotic dinosaurs using an array of arrows, bombs, and traps, and the thrill of taking down an enormous, hulking, metallic beast never gets old. Each creature approaches combat in a different way, and so the strategy you’ll need differs, from using trip wires to fell a herd so you can easily pick off the stragglers, to dislodging a rocket launcher off the back of behemoth to use against it in battle.

Horizon only really stumbles in the human-on-human combat, which feels a little like an afterthought and never comes close to the thrill of battling the robototic creatures that roam the world. Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating first entry into what will undoubtedly, in time, become one of PlayStation’s stalwart franchises for the PS5 and perhaps beyond. (John Cal McCormick)

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28 – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out of nowhere to revolutionize gaming in 1999. It set a pretty high standard for the genre, and sports games in general. It made Tony Hawk a household name and set in stone a franchise that would last longer than it should have – and while Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater hasn’t aged particularly well, it’s still the second best in the series, surpassed only by the third entry.

Neversoft hit the ball out of the park with the very first game and packaged it with a killer soundtrack and an all-star roster to boot. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the reason why my friends and I all purchased a PlayStation that year. It made gaming “cool” and there was no other game I sunk more hours into on my PS1. (Ricky D)

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27 – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

After the massive cliffhanger ending of Sons of Liberty, Hideo Kojima had a lot of options when deciding where the Metal Gear series would go next. After the Raiden fiasco, fans were expecting some sort of trolling from Kojima, and something was clearly amiss when Snake Eater was eventually shown at E3 2003. The playable character went by the name ‘Snake’, and he certainly looked and sounded like the iconic hero, but signs pointed to the game taking place in the 1960s.

Some fans theorized that the footage shown in the trailer was simply Solid Snake doing a VR Mission set in the past, but others put two and two together and realized MGS3‘s Snake was a different character altogether. Taking the series back to its roots, in MGS3 players would take up the role of Naked Snake, the man who would eventually become known as ‘Big Boss’, with the events of the game not only pre-dating the two previous Metal Gear Solid titles but also taking place chronologically before the original Metal Gear games.

Originally planned as a PlayStation 3 game, Kojima had lofty expectations. He wasn’t sure if the hardware available at the time would be able to handle the lush jungle setting he’d imagined for the game, but with the PS3 still years off, he took the gamble and went for it on the PS2, and it paid off in spades. Previous titles had Snake limited to indoor environments and tight corridors, but Snake Eater opened up a whole new can of worms. The game’s excellent and more open level design – in combination with new additions such as interchangeable camouflage and the requirement to hunt for food – took the series to all new heights.

Keeping up with tradition, Kojima would eventually release an enhanced edition of the game, known as Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. This version came with some additional content, but unlike the enhanced editions of previous titles, Subsistence also changed the base game dramatically by dropping the fixed camera angles and incorporating a fully 3D user-controlled camera. The new camera setup allowed for unparalleled control, and in combination with the already solid gameplay mechanics, MGS3 is seen by many as the high point in stealth game design.

From the unforgettable boss fight with The End to the tragic story of The Boss and everything in-between, Metal Gear Solid 3 is not only a mechanical masterpiece but also a landmark when it comes to video game narrative and character development. (Matt De Azevedo)

Persona3

26 – Persona 3

Persona 3 features one of the most startlingly effective images in the history of gaming. In order to release the heroic avatars that reside within them, the protagonists of Persona 3 must shoot themselves in the head with a special gun named an Evoker. While these guns shoot magical bullets and don’t pose any risk of splattering the walls with teenage grey matter, the visual is shocking and evocative regardless.

But the game isn’t just shock value alone. Persona 3 is a robust JRPG that is one part dungeon crawler, and one part dating sim. By day, you go to school, socialize and build up a network of friends and associates. By night, you hunt magical creatures known as shadows in an otherworldly tower block. Reaching milestones in your friendships and bettering your abilities in school directly influences your ability in battle, and so the two seemingly disparate gameplay elements end up working together in tandem in a system that is both familiar and fresh. (John Cal McCormick)

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25 – Valkyria Chronicles

A neutral land caught between two warring factions, the nation of Gallia finds itself being invaded by the Imperial Alliance as they attempt to seize the Gallian’s cache of valuable ore. Inhabitants of the border city of Bruhl are forced to take up arms in order to defend their land. Outnumbered and outmatched, the town watch’s captain, Alicia Melchiott, and Welkin Gunther, the son of a legendary soldier, are forced to retreat to the Gallian capital where they join the militia and embark on a quest to defend their home.

Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictional continent called Europa and tells a story which is clearly inspired by the real-life events of World War II. An absolutely beautiful game to behold, Valkyria Chronicles uses an art style which makes the game seem like a watercolor painting come to life, but the beauty of the visuals is starkly contrasted by heavy plot elements. The game isn’t afraid to touch upon very real issues, such as racism and the far-reaching effects war has on both those directly involved and those unfortunate enough to be caught up in its wave of destruction. Valkyria Chronicles is far from a historical reenactment, however, as the game has a heavy dose of supernatural powers and outlandish characters. Valkyria Chronicles does a fantastic job of meshing real-world issues with crazy anime tropes and succeeds in creating a grounded yet over-the-top adventure that will have players feeling the entire gamut of emotions.

Mechanically speaking, Valkyria Chronicles is a joy to experience. It’s predominantly a Tactical-RPG, akin to XCOM and Fire Emblem, but Sega opted to ditch the classic isometric view and grid-based combat typically associated with the sub-genre, and instead went with a surprisingly well done 3rd person shooter perspective. Characters are free to move anywhere in the 3D space, only limited by their movement meter. The game features different classes which all have different weapon types, and each individual character has their own personality traits and attributes. As with other Tactical-RPGs, positioning and spatial awareness is key to overcoming your foes. Valkyria Chronicles truly shines when it comes to its mission structure and level design, as the game constantly provides interesting objectives and challenging scenarios.

Comparable to legends of the genre such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre, Valkyria Chronicles is simply a must-play for any and all fans of tactics-based role-playing games. (Matt De Azevedo)

Best Playstation Games

24 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Looking back, it’s hard to decide what the best Grand Theft Auto game is. Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 100 million copies, is one of the most financially successful entertainment products of all time (with over $6 billion in worldwide revenue) and has given gamers new content every year since its release. Grand Theft Auto 3 is considered one of the most influential games of all time, showing what an open-world game could offer, while Grant Theft Auto Vice is fondly remembered for its setting, story, soundtrack and cinematic influences such as Miami Vice and Scarface.

Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas improved on the formula of its predecessor by featuring a fully-realized character to play with along with an enormous cast of talented celebrity voice actors to help bring the story to life. It features a massive world with an endless list of things to do, and at the time of its release featured the deepest, most detailed environment of any game in the series by expanding the map from a city to an entire state.

While the majority of our staff have fond memories of playing the previous two titles as kids, that amount of nostalgia can’t overshadow just how superior Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was at the time and regardless if you think San Andreas is the best in the franchise or not, there is no denying that it is a spectacular feat and set a benchmark against which all other open world games would be judged moving forward. (Ricky D)

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23 – Katamari Damacy

If there’s one edge that Sony has over Microsoft and Nintendo, the variety of games available for their consoles is probably it. Whether it’s throwing money at games like The Last Guardian for years without just canceling it, or allowing something as ridiculous as Vib Ribbon to get made, Sony consoles have never been short of a crazy idea or two. Few games, however, can hope to be much crazier than Katamari Damacy.

You play a character known as the prince who must rebuild the stars in the sky after the king accidentally wipes them all out. How do you do that? Why, by rolling a sticky ball around and picking up bits and pieces off the floor until your ball is big enough to constitute a star, of course. 

Once you’ve come to grips with the controls, the game becomes a riot, as you roll over everything from pens, to dogs, to old grandmothers and eventually cars and buildings. It’s a thrill to take a tiny ball and grow it into something that can roll over cows or buses, and the anarchic sense of humor prevalent in the game is contagious. Grab a couple of beers and invite a few friends over and a good time will be had by all. (John Cal McCormick)

Resident Evil

22 – Resident Evil

Resident Evil is credited with bringing the survival horror genre to the masses and ushering in a golden age of truly terrifying video games. Originally conceived as a remake of Capcom’s earlier horror-themed game Sweet Home, Shinji Mikami, took gameplay design cues from Alone in the Dark and established a formula that has proven a success time and time again.

The first game in the series may seem dated, but the simple premise and duplicitous puzzle box mansion hold up incredibly well twenty years later. For those who love the series’ puzzle elements, the original is unparalleled. The opening sequence sets up a campy tone with unintentionally hilarious voice acting, but once you’re knee deep in the mansion, things become unbearably tense. Resident Evil requires patience, and what makes the game so good is the slow burn. It’s punishing at times, so proceed with caution. (Ricky da Conceicao)

Best Playstation Games

21 – Chrono Cross

A lot of people aren’t necessarily crazy about Chrono Cross, and in a lot of ways, their feelings are totally understandable. More of a spiritual successor than an actual sequel, Chrono Cross is only tangentially connected to its beloved forebear, Chrono Trigger, and for folks who thought they’d be time-hopping again with Crono and co, Chrono Cross‘ more low-key take of moving back and forth between alternate dimensions would certainly have been jarring.

That said, though, Cross came packed to the brim with plenty of charm all its own. Its story, which centered around the repercussions of the events from Trigger, followed a cast of dozens as they unraveled the mysteries of the alternate timeline, and in particular, why your main character happens to be dead in that world. Of course, the small scope of the adventure spins wildly out of control (as these things are wont to do) and soon you’re passing the frozen void of life and death, and even meeting up with fate itself.

It’s a thorough, involving and fantastic adventure and one that deserves to be played by more people to this day. Chrono Cross may not have the enduring legacy of some of Square’s other PSX RPGs but it’s a wonderfully designed game and well worth your time if you’re a Chrono Trigger fan, plus it has easily one of the best soundtracks of all time. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. (Mike Worby)

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Humans by birth. Gamers by choice. Goomba Stomp is a Canadian web publication that has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2016.

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Game Reviews

‘Destiny 2: Shadowkeep’ Review: Moon’s Haunted but Still Shines

‘Destiny 2: Shadowkeep’ returns to a familiar destination but Bungie is reworking Destiny with each expansion and Shadowkeep is no exception.

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Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Review

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep may be a return to a familiar destination, the Moon, but Bungie continues the trend of reworking Destiny with each new expansion, and Shadowkeep is no exception. Replete with a reworked season pass system, progression systems, customization options, sandbox re-tuning and quest interface, Shadowkeep is both a welcome iteration and extension of the existing Destiny 2 experience offering more RPG-esque player agency than Destiny has ever seen before. While the game is still haunted by some overly familiar issues, Shadowkeep is a welcome expansion and a promising start to the third year of Destiny 2.

Old Haunting Grounds

The Moon isn’t the only familiar face in Shadowkeep. Keeping with tradition, Eris Morn has returned from a long absence for another dark, lunar expansion (the first being D1′s The Dark Below when the character was first introduced) as she investigates a disturbance deep within the Moon. Quite literally haunted by the past, Eris has called upon the Guardians to assist her in finding the source of the phantoms plaguing the Moon and vanquishing “Nightmare” versions of familiar visages from the past.

All is not entirely as old players might remember. An immense hive structure, the Scarlet Keep, now overshadows previously unexplored territory on the Lunar surface. New Lost Sectors hide in the depths of the Moon, and new secrets a la the Dreadnaught or the Dreaming City lie waiting to be discovered by inquisitive players. And at the very center of the expansion an ancient, unknown threat lies in wait, an ominous foreshadowing of the trials ahead.

While the expansion does a decent job ensuring the familiar haunts don’t feel overly recycled, it’s hard to say Shadowkeep makes the most of the Moon. The campaign opens on such a high note as players storm the moon in an unexpectedly matchmade sequence before individual Fireteams independently uncover an unanticipated twist that absolutely shatters expectation. Unfortunately, the narrative quickly devolves into uninteresting fetch quests that fail to live up to the intrigue of the initial mission nor live up to the narrative heights of some of the most memorable missions the Moon previously housed including fan favorites The Sword of Crota and Lost to Light to name a few. That’s tough company to keep, and Shadowkeep fails to measure up.

Similarly, a bit of that intrigue is reintroduced in Shadowkeep‘s final mission, but, like the campaign as a whole, it’s over before the player knows it and fails to live up to the precedent set by previous, lengthier campaign conclusions. More mileage is gotten out of the narrative and destination in the post-game in the way of a new weapon farming system, a new activity known as Nightmare hunts that play like mini Strikes, and a Strike proper, but that does little to alleviate the disappointment of an overly terse campaign that reads like a teaser for what’s to come over a distinct, fleshed-out story.

A New Era, a New Season

Part of that is presumably courtesy of a shift in Bungie’s approach to content releases. While the previous expansion, Forsaken, similarly opted for procedurally released content over the course of the season, Bungie has doubled down on that strategy with Shadowkeep ensuring there’s something new to be experienced each week that players sign in. While certain activities have alway arrived post-launch including raids, dungeons, and exotic weapon pursuits, Shadowkeep and its “Season of the Undying” has seen new PvE and PvP activities launched after the expansion’s initial drop, adding to an already lengthy list of Destiny to-dos.

Central to the season is the new PvE, matchmade activity, the Vex Offensive, which pits six players against waves of Vex combatants paired and features some minor puzzle elements, all for the sake of earning a series of weapons exclusive to the mode. While the Black Garden locale of the mode is certainly eye-catching, the Offensive, with its recycled mechanics and familiar enemies, doesn’t leave much of an impression beyond that. It might pale in comparison to activities introduced in past seasons (like Warmind‘s Escalation Protocol, or last season’s Menagerie), but is intentionally terse, intended to match this new seasonal philosophy, and will be removed from the game after Season of the Undying (though the exclusive arsenal will still be available in the loot pool obtainable through undisclosed means). Like the Vex themselves, the Vex Offensive might not seem like much independently, but collectively is a piece of a greater whole challenging and rewarding players for participating within the specific season.

Bungie is further defining each season with the inclusion of a seasonal artifact and a season pass system. The artifact, again only available for the season, offers players an avenue for additional, limitless Power gains while also offering unlockable gameplay mods encouraging players to utilize specific classes and builds. The Oppressive Darkness mod, for example, debuffs enemies hit by void grenades, encouraging players to construct discipline-oriented, void builds. Another mod, Thunder Coil, increases the power of arc melee attacks by fifty percent, giving all new life to the Hunter’s Arcstrider subclass. Meanwhile, the season pass operates similar to that of Fortnite or any number of games and replaces the previous cosmetic only level up system of Destiny 2‘s past. From the season’s outset, any and all experience goes toward unlocking rewards from the pass including new armor, armor ornaments, exclusive weapons and exotics, and engrams. The experience requirement for each level is static, meaning progress is fair and steady throughout and never feels throttled. Both seasonal systems are fantastic new additions that reward players for playing the game while making experience gains more purposeful than any other time in Destiny‘s endgame.

New Duds to Boot

Shadowkeep also marks the debut of Armor 2.0, a new system that allows players more agency in character customization than ever before. Whereas armor previously rolled with random perks and a roll of only three stats (Mobility, Recovery, and Resilience), Armor 2.0 comes with no perks and six stats as Destiny 1‘s Intellect, Discipline, and Strength (determining the charge rates of player’s super, grenade, and melee abilities) make their triumphant return. Instead, Armor 2.0 has slots for modifiers so players can pick and choose whatever perks they want just as long as they’ve unlocked those mods. Mods are acquired from most activities, while enhanced mods (better versions of certain traditional mods) are exclusive to some of the game’s more challenging content. While the grind for mods seems excessive in the face of the rest of the game’s grind, it’s a one-time affair, some of the best mods are unlocked via the seasonal artifact, and the payoff is astounding, providing customization like never before.

Convoluting the process, unfortunately, is a messy elemental affinity system where certain mods can only be slotted into armor of a matching elemental type. Mods relating to pulse rifles, for example, are exclusive to Arc armor, so a piece perfectly rolled to a pulse-rifle-inclined player’s preference with a solar affinity won’t do them any good if they were hoping for pulse rifle perks. It was undoubtedly an intentional design decision to generate an arbitrary grind since players won’t need to chase armor with perfect perks any longer but is ultimately a mar on the face of an otherwise pretty great new system.

Convoluting the process, unfortunately, is a messy elemental affinity system where certain mods can only be slotted into armor of a matching elemental type. Mods relating to pulse rifles, for example, are exclusive to Arc armor, so a piece perfectly rolled to a pulse-rifle-inclined player’s preference with a solar affinity won’t do them any good if they were hoping for pulse rifle perks. It was undoubtedly an intentional design decision to generate an arbitrary grind since players won’t need to chase armor with perfect perks any longer but is ultimately a mar on the face of an otherwise pretty great new system.

Axe to Grind

Speaking to the grind, Destiny has often struggled and failed to find the perfect balance of meaningful power climb and tedious grinds recycling the same old activities. Luckily, at the outset of the climb towards max power, Shadowkeep strikes a much better balance centered on beloved ritual and new and or seasonal activities. Power drops now operate on a clearly labeled, tiered system, incentivizing players to prioritize new or challenging activities for maximum gains. Ritual activities (Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit), though tier one, retain their relevance by offering multiple weekly powerful drops for match completions, vendor bounties completed, and rank progression. Previous, otherwise irrelevant avenues towards power have been retired, but this is a welcome reduction and there is no shortage of powerful drops in the climb to max power. That isn’t to say that the grind couldn’t be shorter ensuring more players can participate in endgame activities when they first arrive, but progression generally feels smoother than any time in Destiny‘s past.

Conversely, content flow might overwhelm casual and even dedicated players as there’s simply too much to do and grind for players tight on time. Bungie now considers Destiny and MMO with proper RPG mechanics, and, in terms of time commitment, that really shows with Shadowkeep. On a certain week, a player might have an accomplished week in-game after sinking only three to five hours into the game. Other weeks the game seems to demand closer to the ten to twenty-hour range. One week, for example, saw the release of the new dungeon, a new Crucible game mode, an exotic quest, a new public event, and the start of the Festival of the Lost, a limited time, Halloween event. That’s simply too much, feels like poor pacing, and favors streamers, Destiny content creators, and hardcore players for whom Destiny is their exclusive hobby, a burgeoning theme with Season of the Undying. While it’s certainly exciting that there’s always something to do in D2, it doesn’t seem true to the game’s roots as a hybrid, a shooter with MMO elements, that could be taken at a more casual pace but still offered an engaging endgame for the dedicated audience. Now, there’s only an endgame with no end in sight.

A Better Destiny Awaits

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for players who want to pay a minimal price for seemingly unending content, and in that regard, Shadowkeep is a steal. A sensational new raid (minus some finicky new mechanics), a foreboding dungeon, an immense new arsenal to grind for, and a better tuned PvP and PvE sandbox in which to enjoy them mean Shadowkeep will keep Guardians’ attention the whole season long and is an excellent proof of concept for the seasonal structure going forward. If Bungie can keep this pace up, year three of Destiny 2 could easily be the best year in franchise history. As a general caution though, Destiny 2 now clearly caters to the hardcore, requires MMO levels of commitment, and is best enjoyed with a regular group; casual, time-restricted, and solo players beware. It might not be the best single expansion release in franchise history (that’s still a toss-up between The Taken King and Forsaken), but, beginning with Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, the third year of D2 is the closest the tumultuous title has ever come to Bungie’s ambitious vision for the shared-world shooter and the game fans have been waiting for these past five years.

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What Are Some of the Switch’s Best Indie Devs Making?

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The Nintendo Switch has quickly become the preferred platform for some of the most talented indie studios in the industry. Its pick-up-and-play form factor and Nintendo’s concerted effort to court smaller developers this generation (complete with indie-specific Directs) has resulted in a library that’s positively flourished.

Despite the eShop falling victim to some of the discoverability and shovelware issues that long plagued Steam, there have been some real standouts over the years. Since video games take quite a while to produce, there’s often speculation as to what some of the premier developers have been working on. Let’s take a look at four of the most recognized indie studios on the platform and have some fun trying to figure out what they might be up to.


Sidebar Games

It’s hard to believe that 2017’s Golf Story was Sidebar Games’ first project as a studio. The two-man team from down under balanced a delightful dose of Australian-tinged humor with clear callbacks to the Mario sports games of old to deliver one of the best Switch exclusives in 2017, bar none.

Unlike the other studios on this list, Sidebar has been extremely silent on development progress; we can only glean bits and pieces from the few interviews they’ve done. We know the game has been in development for roughly two years and that Sidebar was still in active development as of March 2019 when they put out the call for a pixel artist for their next project. There’s also a fair chance that the new game will either be Switch-exclusive or target Switch first, seeing as how Golf Story is still one of the Switch’s top 10 best-selling indie games to date as of Spring 2019. If exclusivity worked so well the first time, why not try it again?

What Can We Expect?

Whatever Sidebar is working on, it’s almost guaranteed to be single-player and story-focused. One half of the dev team, Andrew, has gone on record multiple times saying that he’s “very partial to story modes.” This also players into one of their strengths; though there was a great time to be had with Golf Story’s golf, it was all elevated by the game’s ridiculous-yet-lovable characters and wacky situational humor.

Since the team has already deconfirmed a sequel as their next project, there’s really not much to go on. While I’d personally love them to tackle something Mario Tennis-inspired next, there’s a good chance they’ll avoid sports altogether. As long as the wit found in Golf Story is alive and well, though, their core audience is sure to be interested.


Fabraz

Despite being incredibly simple from a visual standpoint, the deceivingly charming Slime-San is still one of the best platformers to come out in recent memory. The game’s striking three-color art style isn’t just unique, but it’s also ingrained into the platforming mechanics in inventive ways. Beyond having a look all its own and a stiff challenge for players who wanted it, however, Fabraz went the extra mile to build a fun cast of characters and even a hub world to explore outside of the main game. It was a pleasant surprise from a relatively unknown developer at the time.

Fabraz has been anything but complacent since Slime-san’s launch. The studio released two free content expansions, ported the game to other consoles, and even got into the publishing business. No matter their other ventures, however, the team has made sure to tease their next project every so often since the start of 2019.

What Can We Expect?

Fabraz speculated that their new game was already roughly 60% complete at the start of October. Since it only began production in December of 2018, it’s safe to assume that the next game will be relatively small in scope. It’s also likely that Fabraz’s next outing won’t be “Slime-san 2,” since the original game received such heavy content additions months after release (including an expansion literally titled “Sheeple’s Sequel.” The team certainly knows how to make magic from very limited resources, so it’ll be interesting to see what they can do with a bit more of a budget, a new art style, and tons more experience.


Game Atelier/FDG Entertainment

It feels like Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom came out of nowhere. The team at FDG Entertainment had published indie darling Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King just the year prior and the console port of Oceanhorn before that, but there wasn’t much talk about FDG’s capabilities as a developer. As it turns out, however, Game Atelier’s choice to bring them on as a co-developer was the best thing that could’ve possibly happened to Monster Boy. Five long years of development later and fans were treated to one of the best platformers in recent memory.

Though it launched on all consoles, Monster Boy famously sold eight times more on Switch than PS4 and Xbox One combined, reminiscent of the sales of Blossom Tales on Switch. Needless to say, FDG’s next title will be targeted squarely as the Nintendo community. But what could that next project be?

What Can We Expect?

A Monster Boy sequel. FDG recently celebrated their collaboration with Game Atelier on Twitter and announced that they’re collaborating once more. The commercial and critical success of Monster Boy can only lead one to believe they’re hard at work on a follow-up together. Thankfully, with such a solid base to work off of now, this one shouldn’t take nearly as long to release.


Chucklefish

Chucklefish has garnered a great deal of respect in the indie community as both a developer (Starbound, WarGroove) and frequent publisher (Stardew Valley, Timespinner, the upcoming Eastward, and others). Their eagerness to bring so many of their top-notch titles to Switch has made them one of–if not the–most lauded indie studios on the platform. If it’s coming from Chucklefish, there’s a good chance it’ll be of the highest quality.

What Can We Expect?

Witchbrook! Chucklefish announced the game way back in 2017 and instantly had both Harry Potter and Little Witch Academia fans foaming at the mouth. It’s a magical school simulation/RPG where players will attend class, learn spells, make friends, date, and work towards graduation. The company’s CEO and lead designer, Finn, has been incredibly open about the game’s development from the beginning. In fact, he made the ever-changing Witchbrook design document public in August of 2019 to give some insight into the game design and planning process.

Since there’s already so much we know about where the game’s going, this is going to be used as more of a “Hopes for Witchbrook” section. To keep it short, let’s focus on two of the game’s most make-or-break elements: dating and world-building.

Dating

One of the things many RPGs struggle with is making dating feel meaningful after the relationship starts. People love romancing in Stardew Valley, but the experience itself is really rather shallow; bring characters their favorite items, talk to them daily, experience a few touching cutscenes and voila! All that’s left is to put a ring on it and have a baby.

My hope is that in Witchbrook, the real fun starts after the relationship begins. Being able to have lunch together, go to festivals, celebrate anniversaries, plan outings, and even introduce them to the player’s in-game friends would go a long way in making the relationship feel more than a ribbon to be crossed.

World-Building

When someone asks the seminal question “What fictional world would you love to live in?” the world of Harry Potter almost always tops to list (right next to Pokémon, that is). It isn’t just because of magic itself or the emotional ties people have to the cast, but more so because of the immense amounts of personality and lore J.K. Rowling infused into the world. From the dark history of Hogwarts to the vast array of magical beasts to the establishment of Quidditch, there is a whole movie and video game series that has been created based on mere slices of the Harry Potter universe.

Naturally, it’d be silly to expect Chucklefish to achieve as much depth in an indie project as one of the most successful authors of all time did over the course of seven books, but there’s still plenty of potential. Since the game will primarily take place at the school, exploring why the school was created and how it’s changed over the years could be quite interesting. Then there’s how different populations of the world at large feel about magic, how various magical species play a part, the favorite magic-imbued pastimes of students in the world of Witchbrook, and so on. The key will be to infuse magic into every element of the world (and gameplay) as naturally as possible. And after reading through the extensive design doc, I’ve no doubt Chucklefish will be able to pull it off.


The indie scene on the Switch is thriving more than ever. New talented developers are making the platform their home every day, and those who’ve already proved themselves are hard at work on their next premium experience. The next wave of releases from these studios can’t come soon enough.

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‘Death Stranding’: And Now for Something Completely Different

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Death Stranding Slow Connectivity

Video gaming as a medium has often been perceived as little more than a toy. Even with Nintendo pushing the NES as a part of the home and more than just a toy– a strategy they’d adopt again for the Wii– there are still many who see games as toys, rather than an expression of an art form. It makes perfect sense, though. If there’s one thing modern video game culture has pushed front and center this past decade, it’s instant satisfaction. As big-budget games embrace homogeneity, the medium’s priorities have shifted from capitalizing on its inherent interactivity to making sure gamers are never bored with their $60 toy. Reggie Fils-Aime famously said “If it’s not fun, why bother?” for a reason, but when every big-budget game is paced the same, structured the same, and plays the same, where’s the fun to be found? 

About Death Stranding…

It’s far too early to even assume what kind of impact Death Stranding will have on the medium & industry (if any), but as one of the last big budgets games to release in 2019, Hideo Kojima’s first crack at the “strand game genre” is a nice note to cap the decade off on– one that serves as an almost necessary palette cleanser as the medium heads into the 2020s. Death Stranding offers audiences a chance to breathe, to look at themselves in the mirror, and to reconnect. Not just with the world and others, but with a medium built on interactivity. 

Hideo Kojima is often criticized for his cutscene ratio, to the point where it’s not unusual to see critics suggest he just make a film, but the fact of the matter is that most games do need a story. Not just that, video games have the potential to present a story better than any other medium. Readers and viewers can place themselves in the shoes of their protagonists, but a game makes the player become the protagonist. How we control our characters, how we play, how we interact with a virtual world– all this is a reflection of ourselves, one that only the gaming medium can offer. 

Not that it often does, at least not meaningfully. Modern developers are afraid to lose consumer interest, and the increasing shift towards the “games as a service” model has ensured that gameplay loops are simple to pick up, simple to get into, and simple to stay into. Games are something to be played with– toys. And there’s immense value in that. Video games can be a fantastic way to reduce stress & clear one’s thoughts regardless of how they’re designed, but such an approach means that the average gamer is going to be accustomed to gameplay loops that are structurally derivative of one another. 

On the flip side, there are the games that prioritize narrative too much, or simply devalue their own gameplay with extraneous content. From Hideo Kojima’s own gameography, this is a mistake he clearly made with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Even from this decade, it can be argued that what little importance Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain placed on the story ended up hurting it in the long run because it distracted from the core gameplay loop. There’s a reason so many developers follow similar game structures and build off similar foundations: they’re reliable, they get the job done, and it does result in great games. Both The Last of Us and God of War (2018) are clear examples of how mechanically homogenous & predictable games have gradually become this past decade, but they’re still great games.

Death Stranding is one of the slowest AAA titles to release in quite a long time.

Death Stranding is most comparable to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and perhaps The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but really only on the most surface of levels. Death Stranding has AAA backing, but it has the creativity and ingenuity of a modern indie. While AAA developers have lined up for uniformity, the indie half of the medium has arguably never been better. Those who grew up alongside video games are now developing their own, calling back to and even evolving forgotten genres. All the while, AAA games only move closer to the Disneyfication of movie production– hit all the key demographics, make it “accessible” for everyone, and make sure there are no real ideals or beliefs. No need to upset potential consumers, right? 

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Death Stranding was backed by Sony and developed by a massive development team, but Hideo Kojima’s direction is far more in-line with the modern indie scene than that of his AAA cohorts. Death Stranding is one of the slowest AAA titles to release in quite a long time. It’s slow to start, slow to pick up, and even the core gameplay loop is slow. It takes hours before players get their first vehicle, and even longer before they finally get a weapon. Death Stranding saves its actual core gameplay loop for so late in the experience that it’s not unreasonable to suggest the game sees an entire genre shift halfway through. But that’s missing the point. Death Stranding’s “genre shift” is only going to feel so for those who don’t want to engage with the first half’s crawl– those who just want to play with a toy. 

Of course, just wanting something simple and immediately engaging to play is fair enough. For working adults with limited time to play a game, in particular, but not every game is going to resonate with everyone, even if a game like Death Stranding is designed for anyone. Death Stranding seems inaccessible & foreign in a generation where every big genre release plays like the last, but between a myriad of difficulty options and an online system designed to make the player’s life easier– one that works & works well– Death Stranding takes the medium’s interactivity to its next logical step: connectivity. Real connectivity, though. A connection that goes beyond playing against or with someone for a few minutes. 

In Death Stranding, players can leave a tangible mark on, and in, the world. Players can build structures for others, share with others, and just do something as simple as “liking” others. Those opening hours are incredibly valuable as– without the means to kill or fight back– players are forced to interact with the game world on a deeper level beyond combat. Death Stranding takes its time developing its gameplay loop, drip-feeding weapons, and concepts. Even the online component opens itself slowly, forcing players to understand what it means to be alone before they can forge real connections– with the world, others, or themselves. 

This is what Hideo Kojima understands better than the majority of modern AAA developers: games can connect a feeling directly to the player. Death Stranding’s best moments (as any should be) stem from gameplay. Kojima’s storytelling is engaging as ever, but it exists to bolster the gameplay– as does the slow pacing, as does the aggressive enemy AI, as does locking out weapons for hours on end– everything in Death Stranding is ultimately in service of connecting players to Sam in a way that feels genuinely meaningful. Through Sam, audiences can observe an America that’s in ruins, but one that society is rebuilding.

As Sam reconnects America, opportunities arise to finish bridges for others, leave supplies in remote areas, or just warn of dangers ahead. It’s very Dark Souls-esque in nature, but with a gameplay loop that minimizes traditional action, Death Stranding is the rare AAA game that’s bold enough to embrace the medium and everything it represents, for better or worse. A video game interacts with an audience in a way that books and film can’t. Controlling an avatar is an intimate act and reflects us better than most might realize. Death Stranding recognizes this fact, turns its back on modern gaming mainstays, and attempts to reconnect the medium together. 

Death Stranding is a slow game, but the longer path walked only presents an opportunity to reconnect oneself to the heart of gaming: interactivity. 

AAA gaming and the indie scene shouldn’t be divided. A gameplay loop doesn’t need instant satisfaction to be engaging. Story and gameplay shouldn’t feel disconnected. Standard online multiplayer can be more rewarding when PvP elements are tossed to the wayside or even just outright ignored. Death Stranding resembles the average AAA title in many respects, but it allows itself to be eclectic, off-putting, & sincerely unfiltered– in regards to politics, human nature, video games themselves. Only time will tell if “strand games” will take off, but keep in mind that the stealth genre didn’t exist when the hit “action” game Metal Gear released for the MSX2 in 1987. As Death Stranding makes abundantly clear, everything changes with time. 

The 2010s have not been a bad decade for the medium, far from it. The past ten years have seen truly legendary consoles and games come out of the woodwork, but it’s impossible to deny the shift that occurred (and had been occurring) in AAA game development– one that’s driven the medium far away from meaningful interactivity, where flavor of the month games long to be played for all eternity, like Toy Story-esque monstrosities given form. Death Stranding is a slow game, but the longer path walked only presents an opportunity to reconnect oneself to the heart of gaming: interactivity. 

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