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Death Stranding Is Getting Review Bombed

Most people haven't yet had the chance to get their hands on Death Stranding, one of the most anticipated releases of the year (if not the decade). Yet there are currently 730 negative reviews for the game on Metacritic. We know it's pretty weird, but is Death Stranding really that bad? Rather than reviews based on actual gameplay experiences, it appears that these overwhelmingly negative takes are the result of a review bombing campaign. 

There are hundreds of reviews that place Death Stranding at a whopping 0/10, saying that it is an overhyped walking simulator that journalists are being paid to love. It's boring. It's repetitive. It's a movie with a little bit of gameplay sprinkled in. Or, as one user review read, "This movie is trash. And thank God Konami fired this degenerate so he doesn't [make a] new Silent Hill game."

Why are reviewers mad at Kojima?

Many of these reviews have a bone to pick with game director Hideo Kojima, who they feel is also overhyped. And a narcissist. And a con artist. Seriously, these review bombers have it out for Kojima. They say that without Konami to keep the famous gaming auteur Hideo Kojima in line, he made some over-the-top, straight-up bad decisions. We'll be the first to admit, at least, that his choice in names aren't super subtle. Deadman? Die-Hardman? Really, Kojima?

Because if his unique style and vision, some are predicting that Death Stranding is the last Kojima game we'll see. "Without Konami Kojima is just a madman," said one user review on Metacritic. "Sony already freaking out, [it] sucks but I don't think that we'll ever see AAA game from Kojima. Or it's a blessing."

There are, of course, some negative reviews that seem to be genuinely based on experience, saying that aspects of the gameplay just didn't live up to their expectations. Players feel that while the concept is cool and the world is undoubtedly beautiful, the gameplay is lacking. No one likes dropping all their packages and then having to laboriously pick them up. No one likes the bizarre dialogue. Fair enough. But all these reviews from people that haven't even played the game? Not cool.

What do fans really think of Death Stranding?

One review, posted today, said, "Do not believe any reviews at this current stage. It is all blasphemy. The game has been out for less than 24 hours and has a 40 hour average completion time. The people reviewing have not played or have not completed it." Admittedly, there are some negative reviews saying that players didn't even want to continue after the first few hours of gameplay: that's just how boring and repetitive Death Stranding is. But there are plenty of positive reviews that say, while the game is definitely not for everyone, it's got that Kojima brand of weird and wonderful all over it.

To those players, Death Stranding isn't a bad game. It's a game about the journey rather than the destination. Many are actually thanking Kojima for a new, inventive experience in an industry that revels in first-person shooters. One 10/10 review said it all, "You either like it or hate but [it] seems those who hate it haven't played it, am very happy with this game it has such an amazing world."

Why did Death Stranding get review bombed?

This incredibly negative response might be due to the fact that Death Stranding has been a mysterious, unproven concept hyped up for years. Years. We've waited for so long and seen so little of what the actual gameplay entails. Death Stranding is not your average adventure game. Forget about combat, running, or generally being an action hero. Norman Reedus' Sam Bridges has to handle the packages he carries with care. That means there are consequences to tripping down steep hills: you have to gather up all your dropped items after dusting yourself off. It's not exactly the high octane kind of gameplay that we were expecting. Then again, this isn't Metal Gear Solid: this an entirely new thing.

In a strange, striking world with invisible monsters, babies in bottles, and whatever those big, floating things from the first trailer are, players are just glorified delivery men. Like we said, Kojima is weird. His games just aren't for everyone. And now that the game is out, some believe doesn't quite live up to all the press and fanfare. People are struggling to understand the plot (Mads Mikkelsen was in the game, and he still doesn't get it) and not everyone has the patience to endure the cinematic, feature-length cutscenes. All that said, it's clear that Death Stranding has been targeted by some #haters who are venting their frustration with Kojima on Metacritic without ever having given Death Stranding a chance.