Spoiler Warning: Spoilers up through Chapter 9 of Death Stranding.
Shit gets real.
End of chapter 8. You’ve reached the edge of the world map, but your objective marker is even further out in the tar belt. What do you do?
Guess what, the game was priming you for this lateral thinking puzzle all along. What happens when you get inevitably captured by the ghosts?
You get stressed out by BB’s cries coming out of your controller. The landscape gets covered in tar, and time-shifted building rise up to provide you cover.
Buildings rising up out of the tar… fuck it, let’s intentionally get caught here. That surreal battle landscape suddenly becomes the way forward. Awesome! Solving this without a walkthrough was very rewarding.
The lead-up to the Chapter 9 boss is something out of a shmup.
Chiral Density increasing rapidly. Contact imminent. Combat preparations strongly advised.
The ten-story humanoid BT is just like fighting a Metal Gear. It’s rad.
Finally, after beating that boss, Higgs poofs away to the beach with Amelie in tow. Your mission objective is get to the beach, but how?
You start to walk back to the start of the map when Sam starts asking himself “how do I get to the beach?”
You know the answer, so you set back to the safe room expecting a cutscene to advance the story, but nope.
The game wants you to select the Fragile fast-travel option. It’s such a simple thing, but making the player press that button instead of just automatically playing a cutscene makes that feel more rewarding.