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Maybe Death Stranding works better as a PSOne game

I know de-make videos are fun, either as a satire or a thought exercise, and Lord knows they’ve given me plenty to ponder on sleepy Saturdays and Sundays over the past decade. So, pardon me for saying this, but shouldn’t Death Stranding, like the actual game, launch first — and then someone de-makes it?

This would seem to be a prerequisite for any game that doesn’t have a cult of personality built up around it or its creator. But its especially necessary for a game like Death Stranding, whose point and purpose is still inscrutable to me, three years after it was first shown, four months before its release date, and one month after a nine-minute video finally showed some gameplay. And that was, basically, Norman Reedus doing kung fu with a foot locker tied to his back, and getting to inaccessible places with a device called a ladder.

But I will say this for the de-make’s illustrator, Ben Parker: He may be onto something here. Death Stranding’s gameplay may be better suited for a lower-resolution, less realistic presentation. Two decades ago, PlayStation players had no problem suspending their disbelief for the kind of unaccountably weird and underexplained things that Death Stranding has shown, because in their primitive renderings of three-dimensional worlds, pretty much everything was “stylish” and surreal.

Even if we’re watching Death Stranding in a more suitable milieu, it doesn’t override my original reaction to the gameplay that was shown: boring as hell. But that may be the chuckle-worthy loading times Parker slipped in every 30 seconds or so.

Death Stranding arrives to confound us all on Nov. 8 for PlayStation 4.

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