The marketing of Death Stranding is, by design, as obtuse as it can be. Even the recent, nearly nine-minute long trailer showed a lot, but revealed nothing. However, if you go to the game’s page on the PlayStation website, the little blurbs actually do shed a bit of light on the situation. Not much, but it’s better than the surreal nightmare that we’ve been fed in the trailers. As for the actual plot of the game, well, that remains a mystery until November.
Now, I’m not gonna stand here in front of you and claim like I know what’s going on in Death Stranding. Nobody but Kojima does; I believe not even people that worked on the game know. But, if we look at the Death Stranding page on the store, you can learn a little bit more. The text there reveals that, in the near future, mysterious explosions rocked the entire world. This was the beginning of a series of bizarre supernatural happenings, dubbed Death Stranding. Strange, Lovecraftian monsters are everywhere, and mass extinction is imminent.
So, it’s up to our protagonists, Sam Bridges (of course that’s his last name) to travel the lands and try to save humanity. According to the site, your mission will be to carry and protect your cargo from bandits and Beached Things, which, I assume, are the above-mentioned Lovecraftian monsters. As you trek through and explore the world of Death Stranding, you’ll come across natural barriers that you’ll have to brave or walk around. All the while, “supernatural elements alter the physical state of your surroundings,” which is fun. At least the world is strikingly beautiful, so you’ll have something to look at as you suffer.
Now we get to the interesting parts. It seems like Death Stranding will have some light multiplayer elements, a bit like Soulsborne games, through “asynchronous online gameplay.” You’ll be able to “send supplies, share safe houses and walk in the footsteps of fellow couriers,” with all of you basically working together to save the world. It plays nicely into the game’s themes of reunification. Also, Death Stranding won’t have a traditional game over. Instead, when you die in combat, you’ll go into an “upside-down realm” (hi, Stranger Things!) and you’ll have to claw your way back into the world of the living. However, death will carry consequences, so think twice about whether you want to fight.
Death Stranding is coming out on November 8th, 2019. It’s going to be a PlayStation exclusive, so definitely on the PlayStation 4. Given the fast-approaching dawn of of the PlayStation 5, though, I’d wager we’ll be seeing Death Stranding on there, too.