There’s an unspoken rule. If you make a great movie/game/TV series, chances are somebody’s going to add on to it somewhere down the road. Look at the multiple versions of Blade Runner, Alien 3 or Terminator 2 or hell…the Justice League movie has two different versions! While we might be seemingly be getting a deluge of director’s cuts for games (Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut springs to mind), the Death Stranding Director’s Cut might be one of the best.
Death Stranding was already a pretty good game when it came out a while back on Playstation 4.
It’s an incredibly weird game but its gameplay was unique and pretty distinct enough that it was cool. There was the sense though, that the game was held back because of the aging PS4 hardware…
Now, with better hardware on hand, does Death Stranding Director’s Cut go above and beyond what the original achieved?
What is Death Stranding Director’s Cut?
Death Stranding Director’s Cut is an upgraded version of the game for the Playstation 5.
Kojima Productions (the original developers) handled the Director’s Cut duties so know you’re in safe hands. It contains the main game (which was released on PC and PS4), with newly added content and enhancements. These include new missions, new cutscenes, new gadgets and well as new gameplay additions.
For those who have the original Death Stranding on the PS4 (digital or physical), you can upgrade to the enhanced PS5 version with a small nominal fee. It’s a damn good deal, especially considering that the director’s cut packs in a whole lot of bang for the buck.
Nonetheless, Sony still awesome provided for us a PS5 copy of the game for review!
Since this review is based off the Death Stranding Director’s Cut, I’ll only be talking about the new stuff. If you’ve not played Death Stranding, head on over to my original review to see what I thought of the game.
While you can transfer your PS4 save over, I chose to replay the game when it came time to review the Death Stranding Director’s Cut. I wanted to experience everything fresh, instead of just jumping in from where I last stopped.
It’s something I recommend you do too, no matter how many hours you’ve invested prior.
That’s because the content added in the new Director’s Cut permeates nearly every facet of the game.
A couple of the new stuff (the Maser Gun, the Firing Range, customization options for BB and some of your gear and the Abandoned Factory questline) are actually available from Chapter 2 onwards.
The Maser gun in particular is an incredibly useful weapon in the early going (and throughout the game). It fires an electrical pulse that can stun MULEs in one hit (if you shoot at the head). It makes the early game MUCH easier, especially on the missions which have you tangling with MULEs. It can even shut down vehicles temporarily, just like the MULEs’ electrical staff weapons.
Even after I got other weapons (like my beloved Bola Gun), I still preferred to use the Maser Gun in the game because it’s so damn cool. Only downside to it is that it won’t work on BTs, so you’re going to want to have those Hematic Grenades (or a Bola Gun) handy.
The Abandoned Factory questline is just as cool, though it requires you to play through the game to experience it fully.
While you do get tasked to explore it in the first few chapters, it’s only later on (after you cross Ground Zero) that you’ll really get the juicy missions filled with lore. Speaking of which, the lore’s still as convoluted as ever, so be prepared to read a ton of text to absorb it.
As for the firing range, I really love it.
Think of it as the VR Missions present in the old Metal Gear Solid games. They let you familiarize yourself with the weapons in your arsenal as well as give you trials to attempt, which will reward you with Likes and other stuff upon completion.
Some of the trials are really hard too, so get ready to keep restarting over and over if you’re interested in getting a good rank. Thankfully the PS5’s SSD makes restarts a relatively painless affair. There is some loading but it’s just for a measly few seconds.
I don’t give a hoot about the visual customizations unlocks though. You can colour BB’s case and some of your gear a different colour. Big deal.
One thing to note though; the Director’s Cut comes with previously PC exclusive content such as the Half Life goodies. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but welcomed (unmentioned) additions nonetheless.
The other neat Director’s Cut stuff trickle in over the course of the game.
The race course gets added midway through, and you’ll get access to the new gadgets (such as a Buddy Bot that can accompany you and a slingshot to shoot your cargo across rough terrain) around that same time too. While I do like the new Buddy Bot that accompanies you, it takes the fun out of the game as it can basically do the travelling for you. What’s the point right?
The cargo slingshot is a pretty addition though you’ll need to be careful where you fire it. MULEs can run off with your cargo if you delay so it’s always a good thing to make a beeline for it as soon as you can.
The new Roadster vehicle is cool as hell, but it is hardly practical for most parts of the game. Sure, it goes real fast on roads, but unless your world (and the other players that share it) has a ton of infrastructure work done (like the various roads), it’s a hindrance as the Roadster sucks real bad off-road.
Then again, the Roadster is mostly meant for the game’s new race track. Again, this is a cool new addition but I just didn’t find it interesting enough to spend a ton of time there. It doesn’t help matters that Death Stranding’s vehicular physics really suck.
Finally, like most Director’s Cut games (or those upgraded for next generation consoles), Death Stranding Director’s Cut also has two graphical options; a 60FPS performance mode and one that targets 60FPS but with a much higher visual fidelity. I tried both but found that the mode that favors Graphics to be better than the other.
I played through most of the game with that setting and barely noticed any slowdown or stuttering. Those I did notice didn’t impact gameplay much, if at all. In fact, from what I can tell, the drop in frames mostly occur during the times you encounter BTs and with heavy weather effects. Even then, the game still performs better than the PS4 version so there’s really not much downside to it.
The Bottom Line.
If you have a Playstation 5, then get Death Stranding Director’s Cut. It doesn’t matter if you’ve it on the Playstation 4 or haven’t tried it at all. The Director’s Cut version of the game makes an incredible game even better.
Even if you’re upgrading, the paltry fee being asked is nothing compared to the tons of new stuff you’ll be getting for it. For newbies, it’s a no-brainer at all, even if you hate action games.
In fact, I’d even say that haters of the original game give it a try. With the tons of new stuff in the Director’s Cut, they might just find the game more palatable now!
More than worth it as an upgrade or if you’re a newbie! Get it!
- A lot of new stuff.
- Cheap to upgrade.
- Increased FPS makes the game better.
- Maser Gun is fun!
- Vehicular physics still crap.
- Takes a while to get to most of the new content.