If there’s one game, one company, one man that can get away with surrounding their game project in surreal mystery and still get people excited for it, it’s Death Stranding! Kojima’s next mega title is probably the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen, and I don’t know what to make of it.
However, after seeing the trailer, and of course going to the official Playstation website to read up on as much information as I could find, I think I finally have some idea for what Death Stranding is going to be about. On the surface, it’s about restoring civilization as it once was but as soon as to take a dive into the world that Kojima is building for us, it soon becomes clear that it won’t be that simple.
Kojima is ambitiously building a game that is unique, unlike anything we’ve seen before in the past. Heck, even death in the game doesn’t mean game over. There is no traditional ‘game over’ state in Death Stranding but instead you’ll find yourself in an upside-down realm called Hades, searching for a way back to the living. That’s interesting to say the least, but what happens if you die in the upside-down world? What if you never escape and/or chose to stay in that strange limbo that bridges life and death?
Death Stranding even advises you to choose your combat methods carefully, as killing your foe is almost never the solution – and every death carries a consequence. This line alone shifted my skeptical outlook on Death Stranding to a more intrigued manner. Any game that changes due to the choices you make is always a welcomed commodity. Which means, there may be multiple endings depending on the choices you make. To spare them all ore to kill them all, that is the question. The other feature that I’m also interested in learning more of, is the asynchronous online gameplay. We can send supplies, share safe houses and walk in the footsteps of fellow couriers to reunite civilisation. That all sounds fine, until you get to the share safe house gimmick.
Will it work like a local shared world hub, where you can contribute items that can be shared among other player who stumble by? How do you share a house when you’re the only player in that world instance? You see what I mean! I know this game is creating a experience all about connection, with an online element that’s binds all players together as we rebuild our broken society, I can’t wait to see how this all works out and what the true meaning of this game will be. What if Hades is the realm in which we see other player who’ve been disconnected from the world, and part of it is helping them reconnect? I could this all day.
One thing that’s at least clear is the visuals. The Decima Engine is doing wonders in rendering a hyper-realistic landscape utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. It probably will be best appreciated if you have a PS4 PRO with a 4K HDR TV.
Still, despite my slight change of excitement and interest for Death Stranding, I will reserve judgement and hold off on pre-ordering a game with such little amount of information. I know, a lot of people are already lining up to pre-order Death Stranding based on Kojima’s name alone, however the trailer still didn’t completely sell me on the game yet. Plus, I feel like people are setting their expectations way too high right now. Tempering it will ensure you don’t get disappointed.
The story in the game will be Kojima style crazy for sure, but the gameplay is what I’m more concerned about. It’d be foolish for me to reserve now with enough information.