Death Stranding is now less than a week away from launch, and review copies are already out and generating mixed review scores all across the board. While some seem to believe that the game is a shining example of Hideo Kojima's genius, with a contender for his critically acclaimed Metal Gear series, others are simply contending with the length of cutscenes.
Long cutscenes are nothing new to Kojima's games, with Metal Gear Solid 4 boasting a 27 minute cutscene and 71 minutes comprised of 4 separate cutscenes in the game's finale. However, it would seam that Death Stranding is looking to smash that record, with some critics claiming that the ending sequence in Kojima's latest title clocks in at over 2 hours.
The exact timing for the ending sequence has been up for some hot debate, with different reviewers claiming that the ending ranges between 45 minutes all the way to the aforementioned 2 hours. However, with Death Stranding's trailers alone coming in over the 40 minute mark, and the launch trailer hitting almost 8 minutes, it isn't difficult to imagine that there is plenty of scripted, cinematic footage within the game. It's the divide among reviewers that causes concern, which could be due to reviewers considering different classifications for what they constitute the "ending sequence" to be.
As mentioned before with Metal Gear Solid 4, the ending sequence clocks in at 71 minutes, but that is split between four separate cutscenes that all have interactive elements in-between them. This could be the case for Death Stranding as well, with different reviewers considering the start of the "ending" being at different points, likely based on the varying degrees of interactive inputs required to continue forward. Regardless, at the very least, it would seem that the gameplay segments and subsequent cutscenes come together to make a lengthy finale to cap off a story that some reviewers are calling a masterpiece.
So, while it's nothing new for a Kojima game to have long cutscenes, especially at the end, this seems to be one of the most impressive barriers hindering the game's success with different reviewers. In which case, that leaves this as a personal preference for each player looking to buy the game when it arrives to PS4 on November 8th, and PC in Summer 2020. If lengthy cutscenes might turn a player who's only looking to jump into an extended interactive experience, then this might be a pass, but for players looking for the type of cinematic blend between game and movie that Kojima is famous for, Death Stranding might be exactly what they have been anticipating.
Death Stranding releases on November 8th, 2019, for PS4, and is set to release for PC in Summer 2020.