Bleats

Hey 'Death Stranding' Fans, Hideo Kojima Isn't The Infallible God You Think He Is

Tone the hero worship down a bit.

Death Stranding is a game that’s baffled gamers ever since living video game legend and auteur, Hideo Kojima, announced it years ago. Now that reviewers have finally managed to play it, the general consensus seems to be along the lines of “it’s gorgeous but super weird and probably not for you”.

Even if we go by the pretty-damn-good average review score of 83 on Metacritic, Death Stranding been a polarising game with very little middle ground to be found among reviewers as gameplay aspects lauded by a few critics were equally blasted by others.

The divide over Death Stranding is as wide as this gorge.

But perhaps the biggest fuss kicked up over Death Stranding is the fan reaction. No not to the game itself but towards the game’s reviews. Specifically, the negative reviews.

Hideo Kojima has built up something of a living video game god image thanks to nearly three decades of work on Metal Gear, which is one of the greatest video game series ever created. It’s gotten to the point where negative press of anything he’s done is seen as a massive slight.

Yet somehow things managed to sink to a new low following the publication of a number of negative reviews for Death Stranding.

Unhappy trolls and puffy-chested bros went out of their way to go after all the critics who dared to write something bad about their beloved Hideo Kojima, all while not seemingly not realising that critics are merely doing their job and reviews are subjective by nature.

There’s no denying that Hideo Kojima is a video game wunderkind and no one other than him could’ve pulled off Metal Gear, but he isn’t the infallible god many people hold him up to be. Just as he is capable of making a masterpiece, he is capable of making a dud. He is merely human after all and can make mistakes like the rest of us.

Yet the way clueless fans are going out of their way to slam reviewers for their negative opinion of Death Stranding is symptomatic of the cult-like mentality some folks have towards the man.

The biggest irony in this whole saga is that virtually none of the trolls and disgruntled fans have actually played a second of Death Stranding, which immediately renders all their whinging completely moot.

So rather than trolling critics for their negative Death Stranding reviews, how about accepting the fact that Hideo Kojima finally made a game that was something of a dud (relatively speaking) and not everyone will like it?

It’s not the end of the world if he made a somewhat passable game as opposed to another masterpiece, just as how a few negative reviews shouldn’t trigger such an intense reaction.

If your ego is so easily shattered by a 3.5 out of 10 review score, then you probably need to stop prioritising a game in which you carry a baby around with you 24/7 while lobbing piss grenades as the most important thing in your life.

If Keanu Reeves And Alexandra Grant Aren’t A Couple, Are We All Still Happy For Him?

People are very invested in this. Perhaps too invested.

So Keanu Reeves – aka the internet’s boyfriend – stepped out with a woman, Alexandra Grant, in public for the first time in a long time and the internet went wild.

After going through the initial mourning period upon realising that Keanu is no longer available, folks started championing this unexpected yet lovely coupling, even though no one (other than Keanu and Alexandra) has any clue whether they’re actually together or not

Yes it’s great to see Keanu looking so happy after the many personal tragedies he’s gone through but I just can’t help but feel like everyone’s happiness for him is nothing more than the result of some expectation people have that every Hollywood celebrity has to be married or have a partner or they’re failing in their personal life.

Put it another way, would you still be just as happy for Keanu Reeves if Alexandra Grant wasn’t his partner?

After the strange evolution of Keanu from movie star to one of the internet’s most meme-able celebrities, folks are pretty heavily invested in his life and this latest chapter has got everyone hooked. Hell, people are stoked that he’s (supposedly) dating someone who is age appropriate (he’s 55 and she’s 46) rather than being one of those Hollywood dudes who dates women half his age (*cough* Leonardo DiCaprio *cough*).

But here’s the thing, are we making too much of a fuss over what’s going on?

There’s a very real possibility that Keanu and Alexandra aren’t actually a couple and are merely hanging out as good friends. They’ve known each other for years and have worked together on various arty projects so there’s an established working relationship going on there already. It is possible for men and women to be pals without being together you know.

I guess all I’m saying is maybe we’re reading way too much into this and we should just let Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant do whatever it is they’re doing. Let them live their best lives and be happy regardless of whether they’re together or not.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Surprises With Some Unexpected Yet Welcome Sexual Tension

Not the new feature I expected from a Call of Duty game.

SPOILERS ahead for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

I’m a few hours into the campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. One of the playable protagonists, Alex, has just been taken captive to go meet the commander of a liberation force and another major playable protagonist, Farah.

Their opening conversation was tense and curt, which is to be expected given how the pair are sort of forced to team up to fight a (fictional) war against Russia.

After a few more missions and exchanges though, I noticed something slightly weird going on between Farah and Alex. The initial business-like coldness was gone and replacing it was some unexpected warmth.

I thought it was just a case of “video game soldiers growing to respect each other after experiencing some tough moments together.” But then little things started catching my attention whenever there was a scene between them. The little changes in their voices during conversations, the way they said each other’s names, the longer-than-expected gazes exchanged, and the open body language, all of which was amplified during a great little D&M moment between the pair.

It was at that point I literally blurted out loud: “Hold up, why is there sexual tension in a game like Modern Warfare?”

The developers were clearly going for “mutual respect” in developing Alex and Farah’s relationship, which is why the sexual tension stuff is so unexpected. While it’s obviously a by-product of the development process, it’s also a testament to the great motion-capture performances of the actors and the stunning visual work that Alex and Farah’s relationship went deeper in ways I didn’t expect.

You can wax lyrical all day about the warfare themes, violence and controversial bits in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but any thoughts about those topics were immediately discarded in favour of seeing Alex and Farah get closer. Instead of wondering how the conflict will resolve itself or what the game is trying to say, I was waiting for the moment where Alex and Farah would just goddamn kiss or something.

It’s a bizarre thought to have when playing a Call of Duty game and yet it was also an unexpected surprise as it brought a much needed level of emotion and humanity to Modern Warfare that helped even out the more brutal moments.

But alas, that Alex/Farah ship I was pushing so hard for ultimately sunk in the most brutal way possible at the end of Modern Warfare‘s climax where Alex sacrifices himself to the mission.

Sure he gets to have one final moment with Farah and it more or less makes sense in the context of the entire story, but I felt irrationally robbed that she and Alex never got that climatic moment where they confess to each other. It’s stupid and yet I’ve never been more emotionally invested in a Call of Duty game like that in my life.

I’m probably in the minority when it comes to shipping Alex and Farah, but regardless of where you stand on the pair’s relationship, it goes to show that despite Call of Duty having been around for so many years now, it is still capable of throwing up surprises where you least expect it.

To the Modern Warfare developers, please give me some Alex/Farah DLC missions or something because I need closure on this goddamn it.

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