As players work to reconnect America in Hideo Kojima's divisive new title, Death Stranding, they will use a variety of structures to assist them. From generators to bridges, structures are key in making the core of Death Stranding's gameplay, which is primarily focused on walking and using vehicles, both manageable and fun, and placing them thoughtfully can have a major impact on the experience. However, there is one structure that has the ability to completely circumvent the title's foundational gameplay, making it Death Stranding's most overpowered structure by a long shot.
The structure in question is Death Stranding's zip-line, which players gain access to in Episode 5. To use zip-lines, players must simply place two of them within line of sight of one another, and at a distance of no more than 300 meters apart, and they can then travel between them effortlessly. This means that players no longer need to use ladders, climbing anchors, or bridges to traverse the distances covered by zip-lines, and this is completely counter to everything that is established in Death Stranding beforehand.
Where things really get flipped on their head, however, is when elaborate zip-line networks are established, which is done easily enough using Death Stranding's social features. Indeed, by piggy-backing on the zip-lines left by other players it is not extremely challenging to setup a map-spanning network that can transport porters to every distribution center and prepper in the game. This transport can occur without ever having to encounter a BT or MULE or having to worry about the condition of cargo, and it makes it exceedingly simple to complete deliveries and earn S-ranks.
While Timefall shelters and generators can assist with this as well, they cannot compete with the efficacy of zip-lines, and a well-built network means that Sam Porter Bridges will never need to visit one of these structures again. For better or worse, Death Stranding's zip-lines have the power to allow players to eschew almost all other gameplay mechanics, and fans will need to decide for themselves if that is something that they are interested in.
That said, the process of establishing a zip-line network is extremely satisfying and puts heavy emphasis on using the mechanics that the structures will eventually circumvent. Certainly, players will need to use an array of Death Stranding equipment to reach prime spots for placing their zip-lines, and by the time the network is established, many porters will likely feel that they have sufficiently explored the title's core gameplay and will be happy to bypass it thereafter.
The caveat to all of this is, of course, that zip-lines restrict the amount of cargo that a player can carry. More specifically, players are not going to be transporting the amount of cargo that a Death Stranding vehicle or floating carrier can facilitate across a zip-line. However, the other benefits that zip-lines provide make it very easy to say that they are, by far, Death Stranding's most powerful structure.
Death Stranding is available now for PS4, with a PC release slated for Summer 2020.