Alone, on a snow-shrouded peak, Sam walks his way through a whiteout. With almost no ability to see and just the beat of his Odradek scanner to quickly give him a look at the landscape, being outside of the Chiral Network, Death Stranding’s adaptation of the web, finding a good pace can be nerve racking. When you arrive at your goal and make the necessary conveyance, you can utilize your Q-pid (essentially a USB that gives regions association with wi-fi) to interface the beneficiary into the Chiral Network. Also, this is the place the genuine brightness of the game comes through.
Once connected, you see the impact being connected online — the actual internet — opens up Death Stranding’s post-apocalyptic America to other players in all manner of ways and they are all helpful and encouraging. Once you connect an area to the Chiral Network the game allows you to see other players’ structures, signs, ladders, climbing ropes, post office boxes to drop off packages other players dropped, even vehicles to help you get around faster and the roads they’ve built to drive on.
Every single aspect of the online connectivity is meant to assist others as well as yourself. That above whiteout scenario that I described. That was my experience. As soon as I connected the NPC to the Chiral Network, I saw someone had constructed a safe house where I could stay to recharge my batteries. And I don’t mean this metaphorically, either. As you progress in the game you get more and more tools to help you make the job easier and that includes exoskeleton legs that carry more weight or all-terrain “legs” that let you travel better over various surfaces and these have batteries that drain through use. Seeing a safe house or a charging station that another player has set up in just the right spot offers the kind of relief usually reserved for shortcuts in a From Software game.