i made the mistake of reading some critical opinions about death stranding and i remembered why i gave myself the policy of not reading any game crit ever


the state of game crit is pitiful because any time somebody makes anything remotely challenging (in terms of subverting design expectations) or interesting the entire critical apparatus turns their noses up at it. remember when critics panned dark souls and then it influenced every game designer on earth? lmao

oh you dont like death stranding bennett foddy? maybe you would have liked it more if it narrated all the themes to you in sarcastic voiceover?

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its so FUCKING frustrating to me that a big budget game with incredibly strong theming and something to actually say finally comes out and the critical consensus is that it sucks because you dont feel like an epic super badass every minute of playing it

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we deserve our reputation in games as trashy kid toys. fuck me

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i havent read ONE critical opinion that points out the irony of the "private" room being the place where Sam's bodily fluids are collected for analysis and is constantly invaded by holograms of the other characters, and that Sam's relentless breaking of the fourth wall in that room and that room alone implies that he is aware of the fact that he is being monitored. you utter fucking morons

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please, i am fucking begging you, when you play a game please try to think of a single thing that isnt just in relation to how fun the game is or isnt, theres visual language, there is the mechanics of the game and how that relates to its themes, there are so many fucking things you can think about

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@dankwraith i haven't even played Death Stranding but I like it more solely for the fact Bennett Foddy doesn't like it.

Don't want to come off as confrontational but what design expectations is it subverting? I haven't read much about it but my impression is that most people's critique is that the game just isn't very fun.

@venko the game constantly frustrates you and then immediately gives you tools to avert the frustration and help other players avert it. the mechanical contrast is incredible and meshes perfectly with the overall themes of the game. its fucking brilliant but critics have not analysed this at all because they are babies who cant handle the idea of games not being popcorn dopamine dispensers

Interesting. What are some of the tools? You can do stuff like building roads and bridges right?

@venko example: in one scene you have to ascend a very difficult mountain in a snowstorm. once you reach the top the robotics researcher living there gives you an all terrain exoskeleton that makes trekking through snow and other difficult terrain easier. the central theme of the game is that self reliance is an unreasonable goal that makes life unnecessarily difficult and giving of ourselves to make connections and work with others is the only way to survive

@hope @venko yeah whenever you build certain structures they also exist in the game worlds of other players. i cant tell you how many times i thought i was completely fucked and something another player left somewhere saved my ass

@dankwraith I still wonder what darks souls and dragons dogma are based upon; two games with very, very similar cores, which came out one year apart
the developers of both surely talked to each other??? idk

@dankwraith sorry I only like shooting aliens and/or Arabs, never heard a thing about "narrative." When do I get missiles

@dankwraith the existence of that room and what happens in it is the result of so many deliberate and considered choices you could write a pretty good essay

@dankwraith another essay is the fact that Sam's name is printed on everything and he's only one of three or four real characters and everyone is a hologram that just uses him for cargo transport

@dankwraith not everything in the game means something deep or whatever but somehow this is a game where the director cared enough to bring an oscar winning director in to be a character called deadman, it's really easy to dismiss everything because it's like the phantom pain with all the fun removed but the phantom pain sucked and no other game now is focused on presenting you something totally unapologetically unique to whatever it was designed to be for better or worse

@friskywhiskers i unironically completely love playing the game. i think it finally beat MGS2 as my favorite kojima game

@dankwraith wooooof, heavy praise... snake eater was my fav but i am completely into death stranding

i think that somehow kojima games were received as weird stealth adventures in the us without much consideration of the cultural depth backing the cinematic influence of what is actually being presented

@friskywhiskers yeah and he was always laser focused on the idea of american imperial power and how it is projected

@dankwraith which honestly makes the localization process that much mind blowing because we're mixing so much Hollywood pop culture that if an American audience can't appreciate it what happens with the Japanese audience

@dankwraith throwback to like 2012 when Spec Ops: The Line ot mixed reviews cuz it's Not That Good A Shooter lmao

at least ZP gave that game the credit it deserved, and everyone else sorta just suddenly realized it was Good at some point.

@dankwraith Spec Ops out here criticizing war and the glorification of the american military-industrial complex and shitheades be like 'it's not that Fun of a Shooter'

it's been 7 years and I'm still mad

@dankwraith i'm happy you're in game development dank

@dankwraith it's nice knowing someone who can think like this is a voice in that space

@dankwraith The big problem is that games crit is a massive joke but we all know what happened the LAST time people went around making that claim =P

Also shit I really do gotta play Death Stranding

@witchfynder_finder @dankwraith of course the people making that claim last time wanted game journalists to pay even less attention to actual analysis so let's not tar this with the same brush

@dankwraith Also, here's one!

I've been playing RE2make lately and the way that game explores the corruption inherent in the US pharmaceutical industry mechanically is genius. First Aid Spray is there, but it's rare and it only gives you a full heal so it feels silly to use it when you're not at Red Health. Meanwhile herbs are all OVER the goddamn place AND you have the freedom to combine them how you want to get the exact effects you need. Nature v. technology. And I didn't realize until just now.

@dankwraith I'm still working my way through the game because you gotta play it like 3 or 4 times to really see everything but once I do I'm gonna have a lot to think about, it's so fucking good (aside from the Tyrant at one point haunting the exact room I needed to be in to solve a puzzle, which frustrated more than spooked me and wasted like 20 minutes running around =P)

@dankwraith But... I go to video games for some fun and unwinding, not to get friggin' homework?
*looks at thread* Oh, right, I'm not a game critic, that would change things.

@dankwraith thinking about Warframe and lost glory, capitalist anti-progress, transhumanism, environmentalism, the corrupting influence of the "pure," one quest that turns Singularitanism into a straight up temptation by the Devil narrative...... I'm just been into warframe recently

@dankwraith or maybe it's not about the Devil but more straightforwardly about a cult leader recruiting people by separating them from their friends and collecting them like toys

@dankwraith sorry, the publications that are pretending to be important are too busy paying wacky white guys to make wacky sketch comedy

@dankwraith agree so hard, I wish there was at least some games journalism that treated video games like artworks and critiqued them from that perspective.

@dankwraith wait death stranding has something to say? i didn't realize that it had a coherent Thing, a lot of people were panning it as having very underintegrated plotlines

@er1n thats because nobody who critiques games knows how to understand subtext or metaphors

@dankwraith this just feels like walking simulator discourse circa 2014 all over again

@velexiraptor @dankwraith Death Stranding is probably the most literal *walking simulator* ever and that's a good thing

@velexiraptor @dankwraith oh boy, they're one of my favorite genres and them not doing so well dismotivated me to pursue my dreams

@dankwraith kojima manages to be a good parallel for lynch in lots of ways

@dankwraith did critics pan dark souls? i thought everyone loved it

i couldn't stand it but i thought like. generally everyone loved it

@00dani @dankwraith From what I can see it looks like it was damn near universally praised when it was initially released on console, and then the shoddy PC port got slammed

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