This will be the first non-Metal Gear game by Kojima in a long while, and we are quite interested to see what he has in store for us this time around!
Death Stranding Release Date and Platforms
The original trailer for the game (seen above) was revealed at E3 2016, although no gameplay footage had been shown prior to E3 2018. Kojima did initially give us an estimated release date, stating that the game will be out before the Olympics that will take place in 2020, hinting that the game might be out earlier than expected.
However, no concrete release date was given at E3 2018, and the actual release date has only been revealed with the latest trailer, and it’s November 8, 2019.
Now, even though the game was originally thought to be a multi-platform release, it quickly turned out that it would be a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Seeing as how the game is funded and will be published by Sony, this does not come across as much of a surprise.
It is extremely unlikely that it will launch for other platforms, even if it is further down the road. We all know how Sony likes to keep their exclusives exclusive, and if Death Stranding turns out to be as big of a success as everyone is hoping it will be, then it would also greatly reinforce the already strong brand, serving as yet another major selling point for Sony’s consoles.
Death Stranding Gameplay
We got the first glimpse of actual gameplay footage with the E3 2018 trailer, though this trailer was mainly focused on showcasing the capabilities of the Decima engine and the beauty of the in-game world. It did, however, show a short stealth section towards the end, meaning that stealth will indeed play a big role when it comes to dealing with incorporeal enemies. Plus, it did briefly show the protagonist wielding a rifle, suggesting that combat will also definitely be a part of the formula.
Now, the latest trailer showed us some actual encounters, indicating that the game will feature both melee and ranged combat, all the while keeping stealth as a viable option. Furthermore, Sam is shown using a variety of tools designed to help him traverse the environment, implying that even the “walking sim” part of the game won’t be a walk in the park (no pun intended). Overall, it seems to be a somewhat Metal Gear-ish experience (as far as the gameplay is concerned), which isn’t a big surprise.
The only thing we don’t yet know for sure is how the online element will figure into everything. Apparently, it will most likely be reminiscent of what was previously seen in the Souls series, allowing players to leave messages, tips, tracks, or even resources that would help others overcome the game’s challenges, though it seems that there will be little to no direct interaction between players.
Death Stranding Story
Trying to explain the story of Death Stranding (even at this point) would certainly be a futile effort. It is not difficult to see why, considering that Kojima has openly stated that even his own team did not understand what exactly he had in mind for the game and its plot.
We will provide a rundown of some of the major plot elements featured in the trailers so far, but if you’re interested in some more elaborate fan theories, we suggest checking out this article at GamingBolt or the subreddit dedicated to the game.
Death Stranding E3 2018 Trailer
The E3 2018 trailer for Death Stranding offered more insight than any of the previous trailers, but it was still as weird and only marginally less cryptic! Here are the highlights from the E3 trailer:
- Sam Porter Bridges, the protagonist, is a delivery man. There was some speculation that the game would actually have us playing as another character, potentially a female one, but it has been confirmed that Norman Reedus’ character will indeed be the sole protagonist. Furthermore, it seems that he has established something of a reputation for himself as “the man who delivers”. We are inclined to believe that such a role is far riskier in the post-apocalyptic world of Death Stranding than it is in our own.
- Sam and Lea Seydoux’s character (Fragile) can sense the game’s invisible enemies thanks to a “chiral allergy”. This could be an important plot device but could also be an in-game mechanic that serves as one of the ways for the player to detect these enemies. The term “chirality” is derived from the Greek word for “hand”, and it is a property of asymmetry, as stated on the Wikipedia page. Furthermore, it extends into nearly every branch of science out there: chemistry, physics, mathematics etc. This carries some implications as to the nature of the invisible creatures seen in the trailers, not to mention that they manifest primarily as handprints. Although, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was yet another deliberate attempt at misdirection by Kojima.
- They also both have DOOMS. It is unknown what type of condition this is, but it is measurable. Sam seems to have the “extinction factor”, but it is stated that Lea Seydoux’s character has a level even higher. DOOMS is tied in with the aforementioned chiral allergy, meaning that it, too, is somehow connected to the (mostly) invisible enemies that seem to be the primary threat.
- Being killed by the chiral enemies triggers an event known only as a “voidout”. This is something we have already seen in the 2017 trailer, and it is the massive explosion that leaves behind a sizable crater. It is stated that the protagonist can “come back” from this event, but that the damage caused to an area where a voidout occurs is irreversible. This, too, could be an important aspect of both the story and the gameplay mechanics, as it would add a degree of permanence to the player’s decisions and failures.
- “A cryptobiote a day keeps the timefall away”. Apparently, eating the grub-like creatures seen in floating around in the 2017 trailer can mitigate the temporal effects of timefall. The most obvious implication is that they will function as consumable items that will grant the player a degree of immunity to timefall, but we can only speculate on why they have this sort of effect. It is interesting to note that “cryptobiosis” is a state that some organisms can assume to essentially pause all of their metabolic processes, and that seems a viable way to counteract the effects of timefall. At the end of the day, we don’t expect Kojima to keep things simple, so eating a “cryptobiote” might have some adverse effects as well.
Death Stranding Release Date Trailer
And then, we have the latest trailer which showed us some interesting gameplay footage, some extra story snippets, and the entire main cast of the game.
- BTs and the Bridge Baby – We already knew that the weird baby featured in the very first trailer would function as a means of spotting and avoiding the ethereal enemies, but we have only now gotten concrete names for them – BTs i.e. ‘Beached Things’, and the Bridge Babies (Bridge Baby, Sam Bridges, making connections… it all seems to be adding up like legos). Apparently, while Sam can sense BTs being present due to his allergy, it is only by “plugging into” the Bridge Baby that the player can actually see them. It remains unclear what other gameplay mechanics will be tied to the Bridge Baby and whether there will be any real side-effects associated with using it.
- The Other Side/Hades – We already knew that death was not going to be just a “Game Over” screen in Death Stranding. Being spotted and caught by BTs would result in the player being transported to “the Other Side”, or Hades. And as the name implies, Hades seems to be a realm of perpetual suffering where countless souls are forced to relive the horrors of war. Presumably, it is then up to the player to make their way back to the real world from there. It also appears as if there are two different places that the player can end up with after death, including not only Hades but also the other etherial underwater world seen in one of the earlier trailers.
- Homo Demons – Yes, we know what it sounds like. Much like Homo Ludens, Homo Demons is a pun on Homo Sapiens, implying that this is a new human species. However, the Homo Demons are merely a separatist militant group that will probably constitute the bulk of the game’s human enemies. They are led by the man with the golden mask who was already featured in the earlier trailers. He is portrayed by Troy Baker and his name is only now revealed to be Higgs.
The Final Word
That would be the gist of what we know about Kojima’s upcoming new game. It’s unlikely that we’ll get any other big reveals at this point, considering that the game launches in only a few months, but be sure to keep your eyes open for any new theories following the release of the latest trailer!
Samuel is GamingScan’s editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a hardcore gamer & programmer and he enjoys getting more people into gaming and answering people’s questions. He closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep you all up-to-date with the latest news.