Death Stranding is the next big thing coming from one of the gaming industry’s most renowned geniuses, Hideo Kojima. After his unceremonious parting with Konami, Kojima went on to work on a new IP for Sony, and this IP is Death Stranding.
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 has 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, since no concrete release date was given at E3 2018, it is highly unlikely that we will see Death Stranding this year. While late 2019 seems like a viable release date, development might just stretch out all the way to 2020.
Now, even though the game was originally thought to be a multi-platform release, it quickly turned out that it will 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 and serve as a solid selling point for Sony’s console.
Death Stranding Gameplay
While we still don’t know the specifics regarding what the gameplay mechanics will look like, we know that it will be an open-world game with both action and RPG elements to it.
The E3 2018 trailer has finally shown us some actual gameplay footage, and although it was mainly focused on showcasing the capabilities of the Decima engine and the game’s world, it did show a short stealth section towards the end, meaning that stealth will indeed play a big role when it comes to dealing with the incorporeal enemies.
Other than that, we also see a brief shot of the protagonist deploying what looks like a sniper rifle, but we can’t know how big a part shootouts will play in the game. It has been confirmed that the players will have the option of adopting an aggressive, combat-centric approach, but that such an approach would not be the ideal one.
With that said, we only know very little of how the game will actually play, but Kojima has stated that he is trying to blend the familiar with the unfamiliar, so don’t expect the weirdness to stick only to the cinematics. As was announced earlier, Death Stranding will implement some unusual online mechanics, and death will play an integral part to the game’s progression.
Death Stranding Story
Trying to explain the game’s story at this point is certainly a futile effort. It is not difficult to see why when you consider 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 the rundown of some things featured in the latest E3 2018 trailer below, 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 latest E3 2018 trailer for Death Stranding was the most informative of the game’s trailers, but don’t worry – it’s still as weird and only marginally less cryptic than the previous ones! Here are the bulletpoints of what the trailer shows us:
- 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 a reputation for himself as “the man who delivers”. We are inclined to believe that such a role is far riskier in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a rain that speeds up time than it is in our own.
- Sam and Lea Seydoux’s unnamed character 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 these: 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 as misdirection from 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 quite a sizable crater. It is said that the protagonist can “come back” from this event, but 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 the paranormal rain. The most obvious implication is that they will function as consumable items that will allow 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 “cryobiosis” 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.
- Lindsay Wagner’s character will play an important role in the story. She is first seen in a picture carried by Sam, a picture that, at first glance, seems to be taken inside the US president’s office, as implied by the US flag in the background. Again, we can only speculate on her role and identity, but considering her dramatic reveal and the fact that she is one of the four big actors working on Death Stranding, we can be sure that she will be very relevant in the grand scheme of things.
Is It Connected to Metal Gear?
Ever since Death Stranding was first announced, theories have been circulating among die-hard fans that it might actually be connected to the Metal Gear series. However, this is simply not the case, for several good reasons:
- Kojima doesn’t want to work on Metal Gear anymore. This has been the case for quite a while. As a matter of fact, he was talking about quitting Metal Gear as far back as the year 2000, when Metal Gear Solid 2 was the latest thing. After all, innovators like Kojima like having the freedom to try different things, something that Death Stranding will finally provide him with.
- There are too many thematic differences. Metal Gear is a series about political fiction and espionage, and just one look at the Death Stranding trailers is enough to tell you that it will not be revolving around such themes.
- Konami still owns the Metal Gear IP, and this is the biggest and most obvious reason as to why Death Stranding will have nothing to do with Metal Gear. Even if Kojima were genuinely interested in continuing the series (which is already stretched quite thin) it would only be possible if Konami decided to sell the rights to the franchise. And why would they do that when it is still perfectly milkable?
Can we expect to see some references and easter eggs? Of course, but don’t hold your breath if you’re hoping for a “kept you waiting, huh?” from a David Hayter-voiced Snake halfway through the game. The bottom line is: Death Stranding is an entirely new IP and is not in any way connected to any of the Metal Gear games.
The Final Word
That would be the gist of what we know about Kojima’s upcoming new game. Be sure to keep your eyes open for any new theories following the latest trailer!