Hideo Kojima’s upcoming Death Stranding title remains shrouded in mystery. While its cinematic trailer at E3 2018 was a feast for the eyes, it didn’t tell fans much, and now we’re getting antsier than ever to finally get our paws on the game.
Death Stranding: What is it, actually?
Death Stranding marks the first game developed by independent studio Kojima Productions, following Hideo Kojima’s dramatic exodus from former, long-time employer Konami.
After Kojima officially announced development of the title ahead of E3 2016, a slew of trailers and teasers have dropped for the game, which appear to feature an open-world experience set in an alien (or possibly post-apocalyptic) world. Rumors have also abounded of potential multi-player options, as well, further adding to the game's exciting bank of possibilities.
Little else can be gleaned from these trailers, aside from a slew of creepy, semi-translucent enemies - and a bigger, more dangerous looking beast controlled by an unnamed boss.
Much of the gameplay footage appears to deal with Norman Reedus trekking across the terrain, although a device on his shoulder and a creepy, unborn baby could significantly change up the meta.
What is Death Stranding even about?
Fans of the upcoming game have precious little information to go on, prompting a plethora of conspiracy theories as to the title’s actual themes and plot.
In an interview with IGN in 2017, Kojima admitted that Death Stranding deals with the concept of life and death, hinting at a possible ‘Groundhog Day’ esque style of gameplay.
“One of the themes of this game is life and death,” Kojima stated. “So I want people to realize that when they die in the game, that isn’t the end. ...At that point, you’re not dead or alive. It’s the equivalent of that screen that says ‘Continue?’ and a counter ticking down towards zero.”
Kojima also discussed the permeating rain that falls throughout the trailers, calling it “Timefall.” Apparently, the rain controls time in a way that affects the main character differently than the rest of the cast - although he stopped himself before he could “spill the beans.”
Who stars in Death Stranding?
Death Stranding features a slew of major Hollywood stars, including The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, Polar’s Mads Mikkelsen, and acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro, among others.
Reedus was initially cast for Kojima’s now-cancelled Silent Hill project, and will now play Death Stranding’s main character, Sam.
While Mikkelsen's role is largely unknown, he appears to play a rival to Sam - although Mikkelsen himself admitted that the game’s characters are “very dualistic,” with no set “good guys” or “bad guys.”
Death Stranding also features French actress Léa Seydoux and America’s Lindsay Wagner, each of whom appear to have some integral knowledge of the game’s world.
So… when is it coming out?
Death Stranding has publicly been in development for nearly three years, with its initial announcement going live at E3 2016.
With a trailer claiming that the game will be a “genre-defining experience for the PlayStation 4,” fans can expect the release to hit in the next year or so, as the next iteration of PlayStation consoles aren’t expected to hit shelves until 2021.
Additionally, upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie director Vogt-Roberts has already played Death Stranding ahead of release - and claims that fans “aren’t ready” for the experience.