New Director’s Cut Features Seem Like They Will Undo What Made Death Stranding Good

New Director’s Cut Features Seem Like They Will Undo What Made Death Stranding Good
Death Stranding's Sam Porter Bridges gives the camera the thumbs up. (Screenshot: Kojima Productions / Kotaku)

Kojima Productions showed off more of the add-ons and enhancements coming to Death Stranding Director’s Cut and they all look like they will help ease your pain and make delivering packages across the game’s gruelling, ghostly world easier. In other words, they seem to miss the point.

Death Stranding Director’s Cut, out September 24, is the version of the game optimised for PS5. It doesn’t just have better graphics and load times though. It has a bunch of new mechanics, systems, and modes that practically make it look like another game altogether.

Here’s all the new stuff that Kojima Productions revealed during Gamescom: Opening Night Live stream:

  • Rig stabilizers that help you glide down from high-up areas.
  • Cargo launchers to fire your packages over long distances and escort them via drone.
  • A Buddy Bot who will carry your precious deliveries for you.
  • AI navigation that will carry the player themselves wherever.
  • New weapons like the mazer gun to stun enemies.
  • A firing range for testing them out and competing for high scores against other players.
  • Motorcycle time trials against other players around the world compliments of a new race track.
  • New missions.

A lot of this stuff is what you might expect from bonus DLC or a Game of the Year edition, but some of it, like the thruster pack and cargo launcher, look like they fundamentally change the feeling of the world and how you relate to it.

Read More: Death Stranding: The Kotaku Review

Death Stranding’s post-apocalyptic depiction of a United States where humanity is beat down and isolated to lonely pockets was grim and difficult to explore. It was so successful in establishing this mood that the eventual arrival of the covid-19 pandemic and government-enforced quarantines made the whole thing end up feeling eerily prescient. Death Stranding elevated the mundane drudgery of safely delivering packages undamaged by the elements into an irresistibly tense existential crisis. Drones are fun, but I’m not sure how cutting through obstacles by delivering cargo via remote control plays into that.

The Buddy Bot looks even more hilariously incongruent. It has two legs and will transport you or your packages vast distances without you having to lift a finger. A fun reward for seasoned players perhaps, but it really throws off the ratio of Metal Gear-to-walking-sim in my book. I’m sure the game’s community will have all kinds of fun using the Bot and other gadgets to do ridiculous stuff, but it seems increasingly clear that what made Death Stranding stand out was all of the things director Hideo Kojima wasn’t able to add during the initial rush to ship it.

Shortly after it was announced, Kojima tweeted that he didn’t really like the name Director’s Cut for the PS5 version. “A director’s cut in a movie is an additional edit to a shortened version that was either released reluctantly because the director did not have the right to edit it, or because the running time had to be shortened,” he wrote. Instead, he preferred to think of Death Stranding for PS5 as a “Director’s Plus.” After today’s reveal there is certainly no doubt about that.


  • It feels like he is trying to make the game more action based like what people expected of it. I didn’t like DS but i respected that he tried something genuinely interesting and new. From what I’ve seen of directors cut it looks to be a step backwards

  • Call me silly but.. arent those options a “good thing” so the game is more accessible to other players?

    I mean you can still play it the “classic” way if you choose to!

    • With how many people hated the game without these features? I’d suggest it’s more of a Sony response to sales that should’ve been better. A grocery/freight carrying simulator isn’t exactly compelling to people who already do that for a living. It really had to be spiced up.

    • Yeah exactly. You can always just, not use them if you don’t want to. Honestly I didn’t think it was especially challenging anyway, but by the end I certainly wouldn’t have been against being able to speed up some of the delivery process.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this game. I’m so much more interested in the adventure than the action. So to speak. I enjoyed the pace of the game, that every mission became a bit more about identifying which method to use, which route to take. I loved how combat/interaction with Mules and BTs was scattered throughout the game to mix-up the pace, and provide some beats of excitement and tension between the more relaxed, introspective journeying.
    I am definitely looking forward to getting the director’s cut for PS5. I understand where the author is coming from, the game doesn’t need more “action”. Changing the feel of the game because some people were hoping the game was actually assassin’s Creed is dumb. A bit like how NBC kept interfering with community to give it wider appeal, and then it’s core audience felt isolated, only for them to flip the show for a new network to just let them do the thing they did so well.
    Anyway. Death Stranding rules. If you don’t like it, it’s because you are a primary schooler with ADHD.

  • In some ways, sure but in others ways, yeah nah. Pesonally what I loved most about the game was the constant decisions and compromises you have to make to get stuff to where it is going. I can see how some of these things do undermine those choices but as a gamer I am presuming I can choose to use them or not.

    If these trinkets mean others who could not love the basegame for its slow speed and inaction, come on board and try the game, then they do serve a purpose.

    “In other words, they seem to miss the point.” or other words you think YOU know better about the purpose of their game, than they do? Maybe they are less uptight and rigid about the seriousness of their game? His game/s are full of bizarre stuff that seemingly undermine aspect of them, and for me that is so much of the charm of his games. He loves throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, but in that there is a playfulness to his choices. These things just reflect that.

    • Well it also depends on when you unlock this stuff. If I had to guess I’d say a lot of this stuff would be unlocked at or near endgame meaning it would have zero effect on the pacing as is.

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