Death Stranding is just around the corner and we have all the information you need right here.
Death Stranding is one of the biggest and most creative games releasing this year. A game that we don’t usually see every year and it might take a few years to have something close to it. It combines a huge list of celebrities with the astonishing mind of the legendary Hideo Kojima and gameplay mechanics that many wouldn’t risk using in their game.
The Drama between Kojima and Konami
It all began in 2015. Following the corporate conflict between Hideo Kojima and Konami and the reports of Kojima Productions closing down in July 2015, the legendary mastermind behind Metal Gear series announced that his employment contract with Konami has been terminated as of 15 December 2015 and it marks a new start for him.
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) December 16, 2015
On the same day, Kojima Productions was resurrected as an independent studio and a new partnership between them and Sony Interactive Intertainment was announced as Andrew House revealed Kojima will debut his first title after going independent on PlayStation 4.
Fast forward to E3 2016 and Hideo Kojima is on the stage of Sony’s press conference and the first thing he says is “Hello, hello everyone. I’m back”. He then lets the audience enjoy his new game revealed via a trailer. The trailer was so mysterious that all you could hear during the air time was everyone asking “What is this”.
Death Stranding story
Death Stranding is a complex game with different themes and ideologies. We’ll try to summarize everything we know solely from the trailers released so far.
What does the name mean?
The title is a reference to the cetacean stranding phenomenon (AKA Beaching) in which whales and dolphins strand themselves on the beach and die. There have been many theories regarding the cause of this strange phenomenon but it’s still a mystery as none of the theories are widely accepted.
In a future not long away, mysterious explosions have shaken the planet and caused a series of supernatural events known as the Death Stranding. Spectral entities are roaming the world and humanity is on the verge of extinction. These entities are called Beached Things or BTs for short most likely because they are beached on earth following the Death Stranding event. In other words, cetacean stranding causes whales to strand themselves on beaches and Death Stranding causes these unknown entities to get stranded on Earth. These mysterious explosions are the same Sam mentions in one of the trailers:
Once, there was an explosion.
A bang which gave birth to time and space.
Once, there was an explosion.
A bang which set a planet spinning in that space.
Once, there was an explosion.
A bang which gave rise to life as we know it.
And then, came the next explosion…
The story of Death Stranding takes place in a future version of the United States called the United Cities of America. The UCA is made of different cities that are connected to each other with something referred to as Chiral Network. The Bridges company owns and operates the network. A few cities have been mentioned so far: Port Knot City, Edge Knot City, Lake Knot City, and Capital Knot City. As you can see all of them have the word “Knot” in them which is in parallel with the strands, threads, and connections theme of the game. The space between these cities is also mainly uninhabited and isolated.
What is the baby’s role connected to Sam?
The babies which are called BB or Bridge Baby in the game are the key to survival against these spectral BTs. The babies are unborn infants taken from “stillmothers” from Capital Knot City who are kept inside the yellow vessels we’ve seen in the trailers.
These BBs can sense BTs. That’s why we see Sam carrying one with him all the time. There’s obviously more to them but that’s the most important thing about them. We’ll learn more when the game releases.
Where does Sam keep traveling to in the trailers and why?
Sam Porter Bridges (Portrayed by Norman Reedus) is tasked with connecting the stranded cities by the Bridges organization run by a character named Die-Hardman (Portrayed by Tommie Earl Jenkins). Another important person of the Bridges company is Amelie (Portrayed by Emily O’Brien) who is expected to become the next president of the United Cities of America succeeding her mother (The old lady from the trailers).
Amelie and Die-Hardman want Sam to travel west and connect the remaining cities and isolated bunkers known as Preppers to the Chiral Network. Sam also has to deliver important cargos along the way such as medicine and anti-BT weapons.
Amelie is also trapped in the other world and needs Sam’s help.
Who is the man with a golden mask?
Not everyone shares the same views as the Bridges company and the idea of connecting all the cities. One of them is a separatist group calling themselves Homo Demens. They don’t want their Edge Knot City to be a part of the UCL unification. One of the leaders of this extreme group which prefer death and destruction over unity is a character named Higgs (Portrayed by Troy Baker). He is usually seen with a golden mask and has the ability to summon BTs and teleport. His abilities and the things he knows about them might be the reason for being so against the unification.
Another mysterious character is Cliff (Portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen). We haven’t seen much from him but Kojima describes him as the main antagonist of Death Stranding. In one of the trailers, we see him in a World War setting where he summons BT-like soldiers
Yes, we know you didn’t understand a word. But here’s another quick attempt of explaining the basic things. It’s the near future, a phenomenon known as Death Stranding has changed the world, the United States of America is now the United Cities of America, there’s a corporation named Bridges that is run by a female character named Amelie who is expected to become the next president, in order to achieve this they have to connect all the cities to Chiral Network, they ask Sam to travel to west and do this for them as well as saving the trapped Amelie in the other world. That’s where you come in and progress the story. And yeah there are people that are against the idea of unification known as Homo Demens.
Death Stranding gameplay – What will you do during the game?
Most of the early Death Stranding trailers were heavily focused on the story and the overall themes of the game with no signs of gameplay. While later trailers included a few clips of Sam traveling across the country but it was the lengthy gameplay walkthrough released during the recent Tokyo Game Show 2019 that gave us an idea of how the gameplay is going to be.
To summarize it we only have one thing to say: it’s not like anything you’ve seen before. Sam’s main job is to make deliveries and to do so he has to navigate the harsh environment while carrying a large number of cargos. He has to manage the things he wants to carry, stamina, capacity and even the balance of the cargo on his back.
To travel the environment, Sam can use a tool that provides information about the terrain. If it shows it as green then it’s safe to traverse, yellow means you will probably slip and red means you will definitely fall.
In the cargo management menu shown during the TGS gameplay walkthrough, we see that carrying an extra boot is a good idea because in Death Stranding you have to manage the health of your feet and if you don’t it will affect your ability to walk negatively.
Obviously carrying the cargo on your back is not the only option. In the trailers we see Sam using a floating cart to carry the cargo on them and even a motorcycle at some point. Another useful thing in the game is the power exoskeletons. Finding and using one will let you carry more cargo than normal and might also give you more stamina. There are other types of exoskeletons as well such as a speed one that lets Sam move faster.
While traversing the environment you won’t always be on your own. There are groups of people known as Mules in the game that will try to steal your cargo. You can use the usual stealth gameplay seen in previous Kojima games to sneak past them or engage in combat directly.
Probably the most intense moments of the game are when you enter BT-filled places. If you enter these regions BTs will try to drag you down to the other side. You can try to avoid them by holding your breath and using other tricks and if you succeed you can continue your path but if they drag you to the other side then you have to make your way out of there and get back to the land of the living. There’s another possibility in which you fail to get back to the real world and the BTs swallow you. In this case, a Voidout will occur. Normally when you die in other games you see a game over screen but here you will be taken to “the ocean space” and you must find your body in order to get back to the land of the living. When a Voidout happens there will be a big crater left on where you died. The crater will only exist in your world and with the passing of time, it will recover.
There’s another core gameplay feature known as Timefall which is a type of rain that causes every it touches to age rapidly. If sam is caught in Timefall the integrity of his cargo will reduce but he can repair them later.
There’s definitely a lot more to the gameplay that we haven’t seen and thankfully we don’t have to wait much longer.
Does Death Stranding have a multiplayer mode?
Death Stranding does have online elements but not like your typical games. It’s a shared world where you never directly see any player but you can see their impact on the game world such as the ladders they used to cross a rough place or the motorcycle they left behind. Whether they are left on purpose or not, you can use them and even provide a Like to the person who left it behind.
The cast of Death Stranding – What celebrities are in Death Stranding?
From the very first reveal trailer that featured The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus we could already guess that the game is going to have a lot of celebrities and familiar faces. Below you can find a list of actors, celebrities, and familiar faces included in Death Stranding. All the cast voiced their characters as well as giving their likeness to them unless stated otherwise.
Norman Reedus (Sam Porter Bridges)
The very first actor that was revealed for Death Stranding is no one other than Norman Reedus who previously worked with Kojima on the canceled Silent Hills project and its playable demo, PT. He is best known for his role in AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series as Daryl Dixon. He has also acted in Blade 2 and The Boondock Saints. Norman Reedus is Sam Porter Bridges, the main protagonist in Death Stranding.
Mads Mikkelsen (Cliff)
The Danish actor who is considered to be one of the best actors in Hollywood was revealed during the second teaser of Death Stranding. He is said to be playing the main antagonist of the game, a role that he is very familiar with playing in other movies such as the 2006 James Bond movie, Casino Royale. You might also remember him mostly for his role in Hannibal or movies like The Hunt, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Valhalla Rising, and Doctor Strange.
Léa Seydoux (Fragile)
The French actress is mostly known for her role in Blue is the Warmest Color and the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre. She will play the role of Fragile in Death Stranding where she owns her own cargo delivery company called Fragile Express. During the game, she will cross across Sam on multiple occasions. The interesting thing is that at first, Kojima wanted Stefanie Joosten (Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain) to play the role of Fragile but later he chose to cast Léa Seydoux instead.
Margaret Qualley (Mama)
Margaret Qualley plays the role of Mama in Death Stranding and is considered to be one of the main characters. She is associated with the Bridges company. The 25 years old actress is known for her role in HBO’s The Leftovers series and Quentin Tarantino’s comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Troy Baker (Higgs)
Nowadays it’s getting really hard to find a videogame that doesn’t include Troy Baker in it. He is literally everywhere and in Death Stranding, he is playing one of the bad guys called Higgs. Higgs is one of the leaders in Edge Knot City that oppose the idea of unification of the cities proposed by the Bridges company. He will confront Sam multiple times during the course of the game. Just as a reminder he is the voice actor of Booker DeWitt from Bioshock: Infinite as well as Joel from The Last of Us and every videogame character ever! He has also voiced a long list of characters from other industries such as Anime and Animation.
Lindsay Wagner and Emily O’Brien (Amelie)
Amelie is one of the most important characters of Death Stranding. She is the next candidate to be the president of the United Cities of America and to achieve her goal she needs the help of Sam. The interesting thing about her name is that Amelie in Japanese is written like アメリ and America is written like アメリカ. As you can see only the last letter is extra.
The appearance of Amelie is taken from the American actress Lindsay Wagner. She is 70 years old now but she was a star in the 1970s and 80s and Kojima has used her face when she was younger. To accompany the younger look, another voice actress was chosen to voice the character. Eventually the half British, half Persian actress, Emily O’Brien was cast as Amelie.
Lindsay Wagner is mostly known for her role in The Bionic Woman TV series back in the 70s and on the other hand, you might recognize Emily O’Brien from her role in The Young and the Restless.
Nicolas Winding Refn (Heartman)
The Danish director accepted Kojima’s offer to provide the 3D model for the Heartman character due to the close friendship they have. Kojima said in a tweet that he asked Nicolas to be the Heartman in Death Stranding and he accepted. Kojima and his team 3D scanned her face, body, and facial expressions but the voice acting and mo-cap of the character is done by a different performer. Nicolas Winding Refn is best known for directing the 2011 drama film, Drive and writing, directing and producing The Neon Demon in 2016.
Guillermo del Toro (Deadman)
Same with Nicolas Winding Refn, Guillermo del Toro is a close friend of Hideo Kojima. He will also provide 3D scans of his face, body and facial expressions for the Deadman character and mo-cap and voice acting will be done by another person. Guillermo del Toro doesn’t need an introduction but just as a reminder, he is best known for directing or writing movies such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, The Shape of Water, and Hellboy. He was also involved in the canceled PT project.
Tommie Earl Jenkins (Die-Hardman)
Tommie Earl Jenkins plays the role of Die-Hardman in Death Stranding. He is the main commander of the Bridges company and works closely with Amelie. Jenkins is an American actor and stage performer that has also voiced a few characters from Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and Fallout 76 as well as acting in Papi Chulo and Pandora. Prior to the release of Death Standing and with the rumors of the game’s plot leaking on the Internet, he was one of the first ones to ask everyone not to spoil the game for others.
Additional familiar faces
Sam will come across Prepper bunkers scattered throughout the world. Preppers are characters in Death Stranding that live alone or with their families in different bunkers. Sam can talk to them through a terminal and also make deliveries to them. if Sam manages to impress any of the Preppers they might join the Chiral Network and if that happens, Sam can use the place to manage and print items. Kojima has used some known faces as Preppers in Death Stranding and so far, three of them are familiar faces. Additionally, each Prepper will give you a gift if you manage to connect them to the network.
Geoff Keighley is the first Prepper that was revealed during the Gamescom 2019 trailer. He is known as The Ludens Fan and as the name implies he likes Kojima Productions’ mascot and logo, the Ludens, a lot.
Conan O’Brien is the next Prepper that was revealed just recently. O’Brien who is a TV personality and talk show host was invited by Kojima to tour the studio while he was visiting Japan.
Conan O'Brien appears as a prepper “The Wondering MC” in DS. You get “Sea Otter Suit” when you get connected with him. With this suit, you’ll be able to swim easily in the river, you won’t be drifted away! BB would be happy as well. 👍🌈🦀☔️🐟🐋🐬💀👶✋🤩😍 pic.twitter.com/nIsw5JS5t0
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) October 24, 2019
Hermen Hulst is also a Prepper in Death Stranding. He is one of the key persons of Guerrilla Games who gave Kojima and his team the Decima engine as well as helping them develop the game.
— Guerrilla (@Guerrilla) November 1, 2019
Death Stranding trailers, teasers, and all the videos
Death Stranding had a series of mysterious trailers during all these years that raised more questions than answering any. The trailers were mostly dropped during gaming events such as E3, TGS, and TGA. Below you can watch the trailers in release order from the reveal trailer being the first and the newest one the last.
Is Death Stranding a PlayStation 4 exclusive?
If you want a short answer then no but if you want a long one then read further. In the original partnership announcement video’s description, it was clearly stated that the game would be console exclusive. Meaning that it might come to PC at some point. Even PlayStation Europe’s Community Manager posted a Q&A post on Medium when the game was announced in which he claimed Kojima’s new game will release on PC after PlayStation but the post was immediately removed.
During the 3.5 years of development, Death Stranding was always somewhat promoted as a PlayStation 4 exclusive considering that Sony supported Kojima Productions and even gave them the freedom to choose a game engine from their first-party studios. There were always rumors going around with some claiming that the game doesn’t feature the “Only on PlayStation” tag in some places.
Weirdly enough, Kojima Productions chose an odd timing to officially confirm the PC version with only a few days left until the release of the PlayStation 4 version. Sure it was a customer-first and respectable strategy but still, they could wait for the PlayStation 4 version to release and then announce the game coming to PC considering that it is scheduled to release months later in the early summer of 2020 and not in the same day as the PlayStation 4 version.
Death Stranding release date – When does Death Stranding release?
Death Stranding will release on 8 November 2019 for PlayStation 4 and in the early summer of 2020 for PC. The PC version will be published by 505 Games.
The graphics of Death Stranding – What engine did Kojima Productions use for Death Stranding?
Following the partnership with Sony, the company offered Kojima a worldwide tour of video game studios with Mark Cerny, Lead System Architect of the PS4, accompanying him along the way. Kojima eventually chose Guerrilla Games’ in-house Decima engine after the studio sent him the source code of the engine in a box. As a reminder, other games built with the Decima engine include Killzone: Shadowfall, Horizon Zero Dawn and Until Dawn.
What are Death Stranding editions – Is there a Collector’s Edition?
Death Stranding has four editions including Standard Edition, Special Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector’s Edition. First, let’s talk about the bonuses you get for pre-ordering any of the editions. Also, keep in mind that there is a Limited Edition PS4 Pro Bundle as well that we’ll talk about after the usual editions.
Death Stranding pre-order bonuses
Pre-ordering the game will score you a dynamic theme for your console as well as Nendoroid Ludens PSN Avatar. Not only that but you will also get the gold version of some of the in-game items including Gold “Sam” Sunglasses, Gold Hat, Gold Speed Skeleton which increases Sam’s movement speed, and Gold Armor Plate which helps Sam endure more damage from enemies. You can see the items in the picture above. All of these items are obtained through gameplay.
Death Stranding Standard Edition
The Standard Edition of Death Stranding which is the most basic one only includes the game and the pre-order bonuses. Nothing else. It will cost you $60 as you would expect.
Death Stranding Special Edition
Death Stranding’s Special Edition has the base game in a steelbook case, all the pre-order bonuses, and the Gold “Ludens Mask” Sunglasses. Just like other Gold items mentioned in the pre-order bonuses section, Gold “Ludens Mask” Sunglasses is also earned through gameplay. In addition to that, the Special Edition also comes with a digital album download of Death Stranding: Timefall which is original music from the world of Death Stranding. It also includes behind-the-scenes digital video. This edition is $70.
Death Stranding Digital Deluxe Edition
The Digital Deluxe edition is only purchasable through PlayStation Store and it includes everything from the Special Edition minus the physical steelbook case of course. It also comes with additional Gold items including Gold Power Skeleton which helps Sam carry heavy cargo, a level 2 Gold Armor Plate that gives Sam increased protection against fall damage and gunfire, and a Gold All-Terrain Skeleton that helps Sam keep his balance on the rough environment. Digital Deluxe Edition also nets you 10 PSN character avatars. As you would expect the game itself is available as a digital download and all the pre-order bonuses are included as well. You will have to spend $80 to get this edition.
Death Stranding Collector’s Edition
For those who want the most out of Death Stranding, there is the Collector’s Edition. It will cost you $200 but it has some interesting goodies. It includes everything from the Digital Deluxe Edition as well as the steelbook case from the Special Edition. A BB Pod statue, Bridges Cargo Case, and Ludens Key Ring are also included in this edition.
Death Stranding Limited Edition PS4 Pro Bundle
Death Stranding Limited Edition PS4 Pro bundle was announced during Sony’s recent State of Play and as you would expect from the name, it includes a Death Stranding themed PS4 Pro covered with oily handprints, a yellow controller that is translucent and is designed to look like the BB pod from the game. A Death Stranding physical disc is also inside the bundle. It is priced at $400 which makes it a perfect choice if you don’t own PS4 yet.
Death Stranding is a complex game and features a lot of different themes. The story and plot details provided in this summary were based on the trailers and the tweets and interviews made by Kojima himself, but some might end up being slightly different due to revelations made by actually playing the game so make sure to check back for any possible updates when the game is launched on November 8.
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