As we move deeper into this new generation of consoles, ports of games from the tail end of the PS4’s life-cycle are inevitable. It seems that Sony is relocating the direction of Director’s Cuts because of its late PS4 titles, a trend that began using the discharge of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut in late August. Stepping back into the shoes of Jin Sakai and dealing with the brand new Iki Island expansion was a great time, so naturally, I was pretty excited to leap into Death Stranding Director’s Cut. Unfortunately, Death Stranding Director’s Cut isn’t as meaty of an upgrade as Ghost of Tsushima, but it’s still a better form of the 2022 PS4 release.
Despite all of the talk of recent features and enhancements, Death Stranding Director’s Cut is really just a slightly expanded PS5 port of Death Stranding. It’s nowhere near as expansive as Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, which added the Iki Island expansion along with PS5 enhancements. Death Stranding Director’s Cut includes some new story content, but there’s really not a great deal to entice returning players to return, which is the lesser price tag and cheaper upgrade.
If this is your very first time playing Death Stranding, however, then you’re set for an incredible time. Beginners is going to be treated to a retuned progression system that drip feeds new items and constructs through the campaign, though. The new nonlethal Maser Gun can be obtained quite in early stages, providing you with a brand new tool to cope with pesky MULEs and protect your self on deliveries. You’ll also get the Support Skeleton fairly at the start of the sport as well, making Sam faster and making it simpler to hold heavy loads.
Later in the game, you’ll unlock new tools like the Cargo Catapult and Buddy Bot to create your travels a smaller amount of the headache. Initially, I was worried these new features would break the game’s progression, but they really just give players new tools to solve problems. At its core, Death Stranding is a delivery sandbox, and players found all sorts of methods to deliver cargo quickly back in 2022. Things like the Cargo Catapult just add new options to endgame constructions like Zip Lines.
In addition to new equipment, there are a handful of new activities as well. Death Stranding Director’s Cut features a race track, that is a huge change of pace from the standard deliveries and BT sections. It doesn’t really feel that significant, and also the novelty wears off really fast. Some people will probably appreciate it, but many will probably unlock it and only mess around with it for a short period. There’s additionally a firing range now, but simply such as the track, it’s not really a meaningful addition.
All of the new features feel really minor. There are plenty of recent things, sure, but nobody thing stands out in particular as the defining feature from the Director’s Cut. Having the ability to customize Sam’s backpack and also the BB pod is a fairly addition, but these things don’t feel significant whatsoever. Even the new “action-packed” delivery missions feel tacked on. It really seems like they added these missions just to be able to put “new story content” on the back from the box.
These special deliveries get you to a different abandoned factory area. The factory is crawling with MULEs, and you’ll need to get through them to connect to the delivery terminal. You won’t be able to enter the factory in your first delivery, but later in the game, you’ll be able to progress deeper into the facility. This sounds exciting on paper, but there’s really not a whole lot of content there.
Once you get inside, there’s basically just several rooms of combat encounters and that’s that. Should you transfer a completed PS4 save like Used to do, you are able to clear all the new factory missions in an hour depending on your playstyle. Don't get into this game expecting a sizable chunk of new story content. You'll be disappointed. There’s not even much of cutscenes, either. Just a few rooms to shoot your way through along with half-baked reveal.
That being said, the rest of the game is still great. We awarded Death Stranding 4/5 stars in our initial review, which opinion still stands. On PS5, there are plenty of gameplay improvements which make exactly what a lot more enjoyable. The game runs in a smooth 60 FPS and uses the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. There’s also an optional wide mode that adds black bars to the peak and bottom from the screen so you can play in an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio. The game looks and runs fantastic.
It’s also a bit strange revisiting the world of Death Stranding now of all times. The PS4 version released in a pre-pandemic world, and lots of were drawing similarities towards the game world’s isolation and reliance on deliveries because the pandemic started to spread at the begining of 2022. Now that we’ve survived more than a year of the, Death Stranding hits quite different. I won’t muse about this too much because I’m sure other reviewers brings it up as well, however the game might actually be worth a replay should you haven’t touched it since the initial launch. You may get new things from the story by taking a look at it through this new lens.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to take a look at Death Stranding yet either on PS4 or PC, then picking up the Director’s Cut on PS5 is really a no-brainer. It’s the same great game because it was two years ago, only with several improvements. Returning players may not find many reasons to stay around after you have through the brief new story segment, however with a much cheaper price tag and upgrade price than Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, it’s worth upgrading to the PS5 version simply to fool around and perform a few deliveries.
Overall, Death Stranding Director’s Cut is solid as a PS5 port, but underwhelming as a Director’s Cut. Should you be expecting a big new story expansion akin to Iki Island, then you’ll be disappointed by this Director’s Cut. Should you just want to jump back into Death Stranding for some hours in 60 FPS, then you’ll possess a decent time. If only more might have been done on the story front, but Death Stranding Director’s Cut is still a good experience on PS5.