Gaming Detail: Death Stranding’s Radio Messages Are Elaborate Than You Think
Radio communication is key when you’re delivering cargo to remote outposts in post-apocalyptic America. In video games, however, hearing repeated radio message can be annoying at best and immersion-breaking at worst. That’s where Death Stranding’s small details really stand out.
If Death Stranding were different, the overlapping radio message triggers in the open world would be a recognizable point of humor. We’ve all played a game that has environmental triggers that play the same message over and over again. Maybe it wants to remind you that you can climb a wall, or jump over something. However, when those reminder messages trigger at the same time as a quest message—or another environmental trigger—it can be an amusing (or annoying) interruption. One of them gets cut off and the other just rolls on through as if nothing happened, even if both messages come from the same character.
Of course, we wouldn’t be here if Death Stranding didn’t address that problem in a unique way. The process was shared on Reddit and makes it clear what the developers were going for. When two messages are triggered at the same time—in this example one is a reminder that the timefall damages cargo and the other is that you can use a ladder to climb a cliff—the speaker will clear their throat and give you one of the messages. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.
It seems that most (if not all) messages begin by saying “Sam” so that any overlap in dialogue feels more natural. It’s as if the speaker were saying one thing and thinking another, then corrected themself. It’s not the smoothest transition in the world, but it’s better than becoming acutely aware that you are playing a video game on a device that has no real decision-making ability.
These small details are what make Death Stranding so immersive and captivating. It helps to keep you in the moment, worrying about BTs and delivering your cargo in good shape. It’s an interesting way to handle a fairly common problem in open-world games. We hope more developers look into ways to smooth these kinds of situations out.
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