Kojima Productions' Death Stranding reviews are in, days before the actual release. Critics have liked it for the most part but everyone seems to agree that gameplay is somewhat lacking.
Death Stranding' cryptic marketing campaign seems to have been well justified, for two reasons. First, the story and setting that everyone praises remained mostly unrevealed so there are no spoilers for those who want to enjoy the game from blank slate. The second reason is that the gameplay is not exactly spectacular as most of the emphasis is actually on making connections with other people and the story itself.
Therefore, the polarising nature of Death Stranding made sure the game has players who liked it a lot, such as GameSpot who gave it 9/10. The reviewer, Kallie Plagge, cited the design that emphasises that make life worth living, such as adversity itself but also incorporates compassion, patience and love.
Meanwhile, IGN were not so thrilled about the game, giving Death Stranding a 6.8 out of 10. The reviewer, Tristan Ogilvie, liked the game's fascinating story and setting but felt like gameplay held it back. The latter is a recurring topic across pretty much every review, which is not entirely unexpected since you are playing a post-disaster version of a FedEx courier.
Eurogamer recommended Death Stranding, although the reviewer, Oli Welsh, did note that towards the end the players will be left with an impression of "a self-congratulatory monument to the ego of a creator who is high on his own supply".
According to Metacritic , the game scored 84/100 based on 79 critic reviews. As previously mentioned, it feels like the general view so far is that Death Stranding has an intriguing setting, decent story and rather lengthy cutscenes, with lacking gameplay. Almost as if it was meant to be a movie and not a video game.