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Death Stranding - Norman Reedus reading a note

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Death Stranding: Everything we know

All the facts about the first Kojima Productions game

Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Ever since its reveal at E3 2016, Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has had fans scratching their heads and flooding message boards trying to figure out what the game is about.

Over the past two years, Kojima Productions has been dropping mind-boggling trailers that give us some insight into the mysterious project, and between the multiple characters we’ve been introduced to, the various spooky creatures and the confusing sci-fi setting, there are a few details that are clear.

Here’s everything we know about Death Stranding.

What is Death Stranding?

Death Stranding is the first game developed by the new Kojima Productions, the studio led by the renowned game designer Hideo Kojima. This will be his first post-Metal Gear project after his long and public breakup with his former employer, Konami. This is also the first game the designer is publicly working on after his final Konami-backed project, Silent Hills, got canceled.

How long has Death Stranding been in development?

After Kojima’s departure from Konami, he reformed Kojima Productions as an independent studio. Then the company started a direct partnership with Sony in December 2015 to work on “an exciting new game.” We learned at E3 2016 that the project would be Death Stranding.

Before E3 2017, Kojima tweeted that his company would be skipping that year’s event to focus on development of Death Stranding. That was the first instance of the designer confirming that he and his team were actively working on the game.

What kind of game is Death Stranding?

Details on Death Stranding’s gameplay are still pretty scarce, even two years and four trailers later. What we do know is that Death Stranding will be a be an open-world game that will connect other players to each other.

In the game’s latest trailer at E3 2018, we did see some footage that appears to be in-game, much of it featuring the project’s main character delivering various packages as well as brandishing a futuristic rifle. It isn’t clear how these elements will play into an open-world multiplayer game at the moment.

What does “Death Stranding” even mean?

Outside of being an interesting title for a game, “Death Stranding” is also the name of an event that has taken place in the game’s world. Of course, it isn’t clear what the Death Stranding was, but it has created a bizarre setting for the game filled with invisible creatures, babies in futuristic incubators and some freaky physics.

What we can assume about the Death Stranding event is that it caused reality itself to go a little haywire. Multiple trailers start off with scenes of sea life stranded on beaches connected to weird umbilical cord-like objects. We encounter various otherworldly entities and even some skeleton zombie soldiers. Disturbing biblical references, theoretical physics and time travel all seem to be hinted at, but never fully explored.

Does the game have anything to do with Metal Gear Solid, P.T., Silent Hills or any previous Kojima game?

While theories abound, there is no definitive link yet between Death Stranding and any other projects Kojima was associated with.

Fans speculated that Death Stranding might be related to the canceled Silent Hills, since both games feature Norman Reedus as the lead character. While the fact is interesting, Kojima may just have really wanted to cast Reedus as a lead, so when Silent Hills was canceled, he tapped him again for Death Stranding.

Another Silent Hills connection that fans were eager to point out was the appearance of Guillermo del Toro in one of the trailers. While he was set to add some of his creative vision to Silent Hills, del Toro confirmed he is not creatively involved with Death Stranding, saying that he’s simply an actor this time.

Who makes up the rest of Death Stranding’s cast?

Death Stranding’s second trailer prominently features not only del Toro, but actor Mads Mikkelsen. While Mikkelsen needed some convincing to get involved in such a complex project, we’re glad he’s on board so we can get a peep at those lovely eyes.

In Death Stranding’s E3 2018 trailer, we were introduced to another pair of other actors: Lea Seydoux and Lindsay Wagner. Seydoux shares a lot of screen time with Reedus, in an outfit that makes her seem like she’s also a futuristic delivery person of some sort. Wagner’s character is currently at the center of an interesting puzzle all based on a piece of jewelry that’s featured in a piece of key art of her character. At this point, we have no idea of the role that any of these cast members play in the story.

Is Kojima Productions the only studio working on Death Stranding?

Another aspect of the game we do know about is that Death Stranding will use the same engine as Horizon Zero Dawn, the Decima Engine. Kojima Productions teamed up with Decima’s creators, Guerrilla Games, as a “technical partner.” Kojima Productions’ previous game engine, the Fox Engine, is the property of Konami; the studio cannot use it.

When will Death Stranding be released?

Despite the massive undertaking Kojima Productions has put into translating the real-world actors into the world of Death Stranding, the description for the game’s most recent trailer does say that Death Stranding will be “an all new, genre-defining experience for the PlayStation 4.” This doesn’t help us pin down a release date, but considering that the next PlayStation console won’t be seen until around 2021, Kojima Productions still has a few years to polish off the game to ship it on the current-generation PS4.

Do we know anything else?

At the moment, no.

Like everything Kojima does, Death Stranding will likely remain a mysterious puzzle for us to solve up until we load the game up on our PS4s.

Until then, we’ll have to wonder why he’s so obsessed with whales, line up the trailers to see what weird things happen or listen to some fancy vinyl records.