Death Stranding is the first game produced by Kojima Productions with ex-Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima, and it’s as weird and fascinating as the name suggests. It's one of the most anticipated new games of the year, and features celebrity appearances from the likes of Norman Redus, Mads Mikkelsen and more.
We've had four trailers for the game so far, with the latest appearing during Sony's E3 2018 press conference, but we still know very little about the actual gameplay. For now, we discuss the potential release date for Death Stranding, along with what to expect in terms of gameplay and storyline.
What you need to know about Death Stranding:
- Release date: 2018
- Publisher: Kojima Productions
- Genre: Unknown
- Developers: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Platform: PlayStation 4
When is Death Stranding coming out in the UK?
Death Stranding UK release date: 2018 (TBC)
Of course, the biggest question right now is “When is Death Stranding coming out?” and sadly, we still don't have an exact release date. It has been confirmed that it'll be released in 2018, but we feel like a delay is fast-approaching (considering we're yet to see actual gameplay!).
There was no official release date window mentioned during its reveal at Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, and talking to Digital Spy after the event, Hideo Kojima admitted that the game wasn’t yet in full production, and that the initial teaser trailer we saw at the show was made in just over two months. Why? Due to the game engine.
“We are getting to a very good point about how we are feeling about the visuals so we are very close to making a decision on the game engine,” Kojima said, speaking to Digital Spy. “and once that is decided we will be in full production”. Well, we think we speak on the behalf of gamers everywhere when we say “Decide sooner rather than later!”.
More recently, Kojima told fans at Tokyo Games Show that it would be out before the 2020 Olympics. He later set a slightly earlier deadline: "To go a little further, there is a movie called Akira, and it will be out before the year in which Akira is set." Akira is set in 2019, which means we could see the new game in 2018.
What can we expect from Death Stranding?
We were treated to a rather cryptic announcement trailer (shown above) during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference featuring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, a disappearing baby and a fairly bleak, almost post-apocalyptic setting, but not much else.
Another trailer (shown at the top of this page) aired during the Game Awards in December 2016, and reveals that Mads Mikkelsen will also star. This came alongside the release of two new posters:
That was until Hideo Kojima sat down with Digital Spy and shed some light on the game, and the behind-the-scenes action. "It will be an action game if you really want to put a genre on it" Kojima explained, but it won’t be your typical action game – and coming from the man behind Metal Gear Solid, we’re not surprised.
"For example, when I made Metal Gear, it was an action game but it was different because the main thing was about hiding. People eventually ended up calling that 'stealth action'. In this game the player will be controlling Norman but by playing it they will find something different, something that won't fit in established terms."
The Game Awards 2017 brought with them the third trailer for the game, but it's no less cryptic than the two that came before. It shows Norman Reedus's character as part of a team that gets attacked by... something. Or somethings.
There's a lot of talk about explosions, some invisible monsters, a giant, gravity getting reversed, and a foetus giving a thumbs up.
But what about the name of the game? Kojima offers a bit of an explanation for that, too. "A strand in psychology is often used to refer to ties or chains," he explained. "So how all the crabs [in the trailer] have this weird umbilical cord and how the baby is tied to Norman [Reedus' character] is a representation of this."
Since then, Kojima has spoken to Wired and revealed some more about the game. In reference to the trailer and what the game is about he said:
"You can see the crabs, the whales, all things, they all have these umbilical cables. Norman, as he stands up. It's a very important part, this connection. That's the keyword. What people are playing today in open-world action games, or linear action games, it will compare naturally to them. It will feel familiar."
"But after an hour or two of playing, you will start to feel something different, something new that you haven't played. The story is about connections, what you call "strands" in psychology - how people are connected."
He also added that you see a lot of games with items relating to the stick, the first tool humanity invented, such as guns and the like. However, in Death Stranding, it will be more about rope.
"There will be the equivalent of sticks. But also, I want to tie people together with the equivalent of ropes," explains Kojima.
Kojima went back to that stick and rope idea in an interview with Glixel. "Games are still primarily players with sticks fighting each other," he said. "They cannot break the curse of using sticks to keep evil away, or defeating enemies. I want to change this."
"It's time for humankind to take the rope in hand. We are ready for a game not based on competition, but on the rope that will bring good to the player and make connections. We don't need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level. My current project, Death Stranding, aims to fulfil this goal."
So, yeah. That doesn't really clear much up.
We got our first glimpse of actual gameplay at E3 2018, though the premise of the game is still as confusing as ever. We were also introduced to new celebrity characters, and given a quick look at the stunning and varied open world that the game is set in. We see Sam, the main character, roaming the unnaturally empty open world through rivers, thick grass, up mountains and on beaches, carrying a varied amount of equipment (that, in true Kojima fashion, wasn't explained).
It sounds weird, but it oddly makes a little bit more sense when you watch the eight-minute trailer. You can see that below:
Whatever Death Stranding is, we’re really excited about the future of this game, and we’ll be keeping our eyes open for the latest announcements and rumours as they appear.