When Death Stranding was released in 2019, it divided critics and players, some of whom lavished praise on its story and gameplay, while others criticised it for being pretentious, among other things. One of the prominent critiques about the game was the effort it took to get from one point to another, with some reviewers calling the game a tedious slog.

Death Stranding is an open-world game where the player character must deliver supplies to isolated colonies of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. Creator Hideo Kojima decided to make traversal a real problem in Death Stranding – the challenges that the courier would face in carving out a path to his destination is at the core of this game. As such, the title subverts the delightful freedom of going anywhere you please in an open world, and is a remarkable step in the evolution of open-world games.