Death Stranding has just celebrated its fourth anniversary, and there are still few games like it. The stylish world indulges a memorable kind of strangeness, and its pacing is truly unusual for the industry. That boldness makes it difficult to find worthwhile follow-ups. But the upcoming sequel still isn’t expected for some time, and this list is for those who cannot wait.
Death Stranding uniquely combines a variety of ideas and mechanics. So, this list will concentrate on games that resemble different aspects of it. That includes everything from the lonely beauty of its open world to its iconic fearlessness and innovation.
7. Outer Wilds
This game features deeply mysterious lore and careful exploration like Death Stranding, only on an intergalactic scale. Outer Wilds’ personality is also unmistakable, and it’s easy to form genuine connections with the minimalist story. It should signal excellence when a game is drastically improved by knowing less about the experience.
There are surprising puzzles to solve through accumulated knowledge. These can be completed at your own pace, to really soak in your surroundings. However, its open world is frequently filled with daunting hazards. And most importantly, Outer Wilds emphasizes the satisfaction of the adventure itself, rather than the answers.
Following in the footsteps of Journey and ABZU, The Pathless offers an extraordinary open world to discover. It feels unusually lived-in, with nuanced mythology that can only be gradually uncovered. The gameplay offers a broader sense of freedom and flexibility, with no distinct guides for your goal.
There are also ancestral spirits to battle and free, which quite resemble BT boss fights. The cursed spirits boast the same freeform designs and behavioral ingenuity. The Pathless also establishes heavy themes about healing. It is a resoundingly hopeful game, and that foundation played a large role in Death Stranding’s journey.
5. Elden Ring
Elden Ring has rightfully earned universal praise, and masterfully incorporates all of the best features from its predecessors. This game features an expansive open world with free roam, like Death Stranding, but with a fantasy twist. Its lore is just as meticulously crafted, distinguishable, and substantial.
Elden Ring is also a genre unto itself, with unapologetic difficulty and fascinating characters. The developers have influenced countless other games in the industry. There are also some potential stealth elements in Elden Ring, which partly nods to MGS and elements of Death Stranding.
Like Death Stranding, Red Dead Redemption 2 shares the same slow pacing that encourages you to fully absorb its open world. Although the journey itself isn’t a focal point, the visuals are still breathtaking. And its many simulation mechanics feature apparently mundane tasks, wielding the ordinary to create tangible realism.
The story also deals with mature themes in an unforgiving environment, with impactful and character-driven beats. It elaborates on the western genre in enough ways to distinguish itself from both gaming and cinema tropes. It is a tale of both physical and emotional survival.
3. Ghosts of Tsushima
This game is highly stylized, with gorgeous details and an unexpectedly lonely open world, much like Death Stranding. Unfortunately, while it is an equally dreary place, Ghosts of Tsushima is also filled with moral ambiguity and feels more cynical. There’s a distinct brutality throughout its story and gameplay.
But its world still feels vast and unique, with painstakingly crafted visuals. The details are atmospheric and full of reverence for cinematic epics. Players are also free to engage in stealth or head-to-head combat, both of which can be satisfying.
This gritty, off-road adventure might come as a surprise. However, its central delivery mechanics and the massive, natural landscapes can feel just like Death Stranding. You must carefully plan and traverse long distances to reach your destination.
You’ll also need to adapt to unpredictable obstacles in a beautiful and isolated world. The multi-faceted details of the environment make it deeply immersive. Even the smallest elements of the terrain can affect your journey. Your exploration is the game, with many places to discover, and your missions are similarly helpful.
1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
There is likely no better alternative for Death Stranding than a previous game from Hideo Kojima. Metal Gear Solid revolutionized the stealth genre, though it is much easier to define than Death Stranding. It’s a stealth-action classic that maintains a brisk pace, despite its open world freedom.
Exploration has never been at the forefront of Metal Gear Solid. However, The Phantom Pain allows you to wield the surroundings as a tactical tool. So, the open world environments still play a central role in your story. This invites you to wander each area and approach your missions creatively. The Phantom Pain also manages to successfully subvert other genre expectations.
Death Stranding is an ambitious game that transforms long-distance roaming into a somewhat meditative experience that players genuinely like. Its offbeat worldbuilding and slow-burn pacing are a bit niche, but there are still countless fans. Let them know what other games could ease the wait for Death Stranding 2!