During Geoff's Gamescom MegaMix earlier this week, we got another extended peek at Death Stranding's upcoming Director's Cut, which adds loads of new features, modes, story missions and ways to transport your cargo to Kojima's esoteric postal hiking sim. Personally, I couldn't care less about the bum-warming jet pack or the mountain-scaling catapult. Instead, I'm ALL about Sam's Buddy Bot, and I 100% plan to use its strong, muscly robot calves to carry me all the way across America when I inevitably end up playing it all over again. Watch out, BB Boys. I think we might have a BBBB Boys road trip on our hands, too.
I was always hoping Buddy Bot might get a beefier role when the Director's Cut was first announced during E3 this year. When you first touch down in Lake Knot City, hologram notEdgarWright man gives you a new toy to play with - the delivery bot. These walker drones let Sam carry out more deliveries while he was off doing more important things, such as chilling out admiring Heartman's DVD collection, or taking BB to look at the pretty waterfalls down the road.
I didn't end up using the delivery bots very much, because unless you put a lot of time into building Death Stranding's big, interconnecting road project early on, the chances of old bot bro delivering your cargo in one piece was drastically reduced. Once I unlocked a motorcycle and a van, I thought I might as well just do this myself and get it there with 100% customer satisfaction.
But the idea of having a delivery bot accompany me on my journey has lingered there in the back of my brain ever since, like notGuillermodelToro's Deadman staking out Sam's shower that one time. Listen, I like the little floating cargo carriers you get once you hike up to the Weather Station and everything, but they don't beep and boop like the delivery bot. It gets lonely out there on the open road, and having another pal to chat with and exchange similarly daft boops and beeps with (in addition to gurgling and blowing raspberries at BB in their jar, of course) would be just the best thing.
And now my greatest Death Stranding wish has actually come true! In fact, it's even better than I imagined, as Buddy Bot won't just accompany Sam and help him carry the load, but it will carry him, too! The actual dream! I literally couldn't ask for anything more. I will save so many more pairs of boots by plonking my behind down on Buddy Bot's cool, metal frame, and I'm hoping it will give me even more time to muck about with the game's stupdenous photo mode.
The other reason I'm more excited for Buddy Bot than any of the other new delivery tools is because I think the others will take all the fun out of the actual walking and traversal side of Death Stranding. A jet pack is cool and all, but the craft of carefully building a network of ladders, rappel points and ziplines to scale a sheer cliff face and cross a wide valley is all part of Death Stranding's charm for me, and the jet pack just seems to ignore what makes it great.
The same goes for the catapult. While the footage of the catapult in action implies you won't actually be able to launch your cargo that far in the Director's Cut, it still cuts out an important part of the planning and strategy involved in tackling these hostile landscapes. They might cost an arm and a leg of resources to actually build, of course, which might make them a bit less OP than they appear right now, but really, when you've already got trucks, bikes and ziplines at your disposal, is a catapult really that necessary?
Buddy Bot, on the other hand, looks like it will function much more like Sam himself. Again, it's not entirely clear from the current footage whether my suspicions are correct or not, but I would hope that BudBot would be subject to the same balance and weight issues as you would be on foot. Plus, if those rather fetching pair of jogger-type BudBot pins are anything to go by, it also looks like you'll be able to equip BudBot with the same kind of leg stabilisers that Sam wears to help him carry more or tackle different types of terrain more effectively. This makes me hopeful that there will still be an element of strategy and simulation involved, even when you're resting on your haunches admiring the scenery and chilling out with BB.
The only other thing that would make Buddy Bot journeys even better, in my eyes, would be an in-game music player. I also thought it was daft that the music player was limited to Sam's rest room inside Knot City facilities, but kicking back with some Low Roar tunes while riding along with the BBBB Boys seems like a missed opportunity if you ask me.
Still, the more I see of Death Stranding Director's Cut, the more I want to go back and play it all over again. I know that's slightly mad when even one playthrough took me the best part of 100 hours, but man, the lure of the BBBB Boys is just too much. Goddamnit Kojima, you win this round.