This is probably the hardest article I've ever had to write, since Death Stranding is overall shrouded in mystery. For a game that already has two trailers, there almost no information about it. Looking at the YouTube comments of the trailers, about 90% of them are along the lines of "what does any of this mean?"
As confusing as Death Stranding's trailers are, they definitely do a good job at building up hype. Between the dead-glowing babies, the war-torn world, the beached whales, naked Norman Reedus, the test-tube baby and black goop face Mads Mikkelson, there are a lot of moments during the trailer where I couldn't help but express my excitement and also my utter confusion. The anticipation for Death Stranding is enormous since this is Hideo Kojima's first project after his controversial conflict with Konami. Kojima Productions shut down in 2015 and was re-born. Death Stranding is without a doubt a very important project for Hideo Kojima and we can definitely expect a pretty deep, complex story.
Even though Death Stranding is shrouded in secrecy, I managed to dig up quite a lot of pretty juicy information about it. I try not to get too excited about games that lack in-game gameplay footage, but, in the case of Death Stranding, it's kind of hard to avoid jumping on the hype train. This coming from a person that doesn't even own a PS4. If you're as excited as me, then you'll definitely want to check out some of these facts about Death Stranding.
15 Open World Elements
We don't know much about Death Stranding at the moment, since Hideo Kojima has been pretty insistent on shrouding it in mystery. I'm definitely not complaining since I like to not know a lot about a game before getting into it, especially when it's heavily focused on storytelling. As far as how the game will play, we've only been gifted a few hints by Kojima. One of them being that the game will have open world elements, which is not surprising since most big title games at this point almost need to have an open world to catch the interest of gamers. With the capabilities that large developers have, there's pretty much no reason not to have an open world.
14 Norman Reedus Will Be The Protagonist
One of the first concrete facts we found out about Death Stranding was that Normal Reedus will be starring as the main protagonist. By starring, I mean he'll be voice acting and motion tracking for the protagonist. Right from the first trailer we knew this, as he gained consciousness, naked on a beach. Talk about a confusing trailer. Anyway, this definitely wasn't a surprise to any Kojima fans, since Norman Reedus has worked with Kojima in the past with Silent Hills (before it's cancellation of course). Fans of AMC's The Walking Dead are definitely excited about this. At least the ones that play video games are. Either way, Reedus is a great actor and the expectations are pretty high for him, and Kojima for that matter.
13 Mads Mikkelson Will Be The Antagonist
When I watched the second reveal trailer for Death Stranding and Mads Mikkelson emerged from the darkness with that trademark menacing smile of his, I was immediately excited. As a huge fan of the TV show Hannibal, I couldn't think of a better actor to play the villain of Kojima's very dark looking game. His facial expressions in the trailer are so accurate to Mads Mikkelson in real life, it's truly astonishing. Mikkelson is pretty daunting in real life, so it's not hard to make him look scary in a video game, but Kojima managed to make him more terrifying than I could have even imagined. That black goop running down his face, paired with his menacing smile, makes me think he'll make a fine villain.
12 The Decima Engine
The trailers we've seen for Death Stranding so far have been visually stunning to say the least. While we haven't seen much footage so far, we can safely assume that its gonna be a very good looking game, considering it won't be out for years and will be featured on the PS4 and PC. Hideo Kojima and Merk Cerny, lead system architect for the PlayStation 4, spent two weeks in January 2016 traveling the world in search of a game engine for Death Stranding. It was later announced that Guerrilla Games would be working with Kojima to develop Death Stranding and providing its game engine, called The Decima Engine. The Decima Engine was also used to develop the popular Horizon Zero Dawn, which is also a gorgeous looking game.
11 Guillermo Del Toro May Be Involved
Everyone noticed that the somewhat heavy-set man carrying the baby in the second trailer of Death Stranding resembled Guillermo Del Toro. While expectations may have been high from his cameo in the trailer, Del Toro has confirmed that he will have no creative involvement in Death Stranding's development. He says that this time around, he will be contributing solely as an actor. Del Toro previously collaborated with Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus in Silent Hills. Between Del Toro, Mads Mikkelson and Norman Reedus, Death Stranding is one of the most star-studded casts I've ever seen in a video game before. Sadly, Guillermo won't have any involvement with story creation, but at least he will be involved in the story to some extent.
10 Ludvig Forssell Is Writing The Music
Music production is one of the most important factors in the creation of games and Death Stranding's soundtrack will be solely produced by Ludvig Forssell. Ludvig previously worked with Kojima on the soundtrack for Metal Gear Solid V. It's nice to see so many of Kojima's old friends working on Death Stranding with him, even after his departure from Konami. Expectations are high for this game, but it seems like Hideo Kojima has a lot of support from people he has previously worked with. His new studio is state of the art, so Death Stranding should be in a very good hands. If the music is as good as the game looks, I think we're in for something special with Death Stranding.
9 PlayStation 4 Release
Growing up in an Xbox family and then eventually converting to PC has made me pretty salty when it comes to PlayStation exclusives. Honestly, other than Halo and Gears of War, I don't see much of a point in owning an Xbox anymore. I'm constantly reminded of all the amazing PlayStation exclusives and Xbox just doesn't work hard enough to retain my interest. After switching to PC, I've rarely touched my Xbox One, but I've always wanted to get a PS4. Fast forward to today and here's yet another reason to own a PS4, as the game will be a PS4 exclusive for consoles. I hate the idea of exclusives, but If you can't beat them, join them I guess. While Death Stranding is still shrouded in mystery, I definitely think it has the potential to be another console seller.
8 The Stick And Rope Theory Is A Crucial Theme
Death Stranding is obviously confusing, but it also seems to have some pretty complicated theory behind it. Kojima is known for some pretty unique storytelling and Death Stranding seems to be on another level so far. Kojima has said that the main theme of the game is based on a story by Kobo Abe called "Rope." In this story, Abe explains that the first tool created by humans was a stick, used as protection by putting a distance between oneself and "bad things." The second tool was a rope, which is used to secure things one finds important. In the second trailer, we can even see that the soldiers are connected to Mads Mikkelson through rope looking devices. Still, we know nothing about what function these ropes actually serve.
7 It Entered "Full Blown" Development In 2017
While we've already seen two trailers for Death Stranding, the game is definitely far away from its release date. Death Stranding only fully entered actual development in 2017, so it's still in its early stages. "Full blown" development likely means that some foundation work was done in 2016, but it's only actually gone into full gear recently. Regardless, it's definitely going to be quite some time before we see any more footage of Death Stranding. Although we've seen trailers, we've yet to see any in-game footage and I'm fairly certain we won't for a while because, well, there isn't any. I would still be satisfied with another cinematic trailer though. Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.
6 It Will Have Online Elements
While we know Death Stranding will definitely have a heavy emphasis on storytelling, Kojima has confirmed that it will feature online elements. Honestly, I don't think games can get away without online features these days. While we do know that there will be some kind of online function, Kojima has not provided any details. Just stating that Death Stranding will have "online elements" is pretty vague and it could mean a lot of things between online matchmaking and an online leaderboards system. There are so many directions Kojima could go with online features, so it will be interesting to see what they decide in the future. Somehow, even with the limited information we have, I doubt there will be online matchmaking, but who knows. Everything is speculation at this point.
5 It Will Come to PC "In The Future"
While Death Stranding will be releasing for PS4 exclusively in terms of consoles, Kojima has confirmed that it will be coming to PC "in the future." This is great news for me, being a person that owns a PC and not a PS4, so I couldn't be more excited. With the news of Destiny 2 also coming to PC and now Death Stranding, things are really looking up for us PC gamers. Hopefully, this trend catches on with more developers. I could really use The Last of Us in my life right now. Wink wink, nudge nudge, developers. Anyway, thankfully, Kojima isn't depriving the whole PC community on what looks to be his most ambitious project of all. Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but he definitely knows how to build up hype.
4 Cetacean Stranding Concept
The trailers for Death Stranding definitely give some hints towards why the game is called what it is. Death Stranding has a big emphasis on the phenomenon of cetacean stranding. Cetacean stranding, more commonly known as beaching, is when sealife wash up on shore in mass amounts. We see this in Death Stranding, with the mass amounts of whales washed up on shore and it seems to be a pretty important element to the story, even sharing part of its name. "Strand"-ing also refers to strings or connections, which are also an important element in the game, as I've previously explained. Either way, it's interesting to see where Kojima drew inspiration from for Death Stranding. I'm usually not a huge fan of story-driven games, but I'm extremely excited for Death Stranding's plot.
3 Action-RPG Elements
So far, we do know that Death Stranding will have an open world as well as some online elements. On top of this information, it's also been confirmed that it will be an action-RPG game for the most part, though Kojima has said it will be quasi-action, with different and new elements. While it is advertised as an action RPG right now, Kojima says that it could very possibly change when the game actually releases, very similar to how Metal Gear is known as a stealth game now, when it was previously called an action-adventure game on NES with stealth elements. Either way, Death Stranding seems like a hard game to label and I have a strong feeling that a lot of innovation is involved with it.
2 Deep, Complex Storytelling
After watching the two trailers for Death Stranding, I'm fairly certain that 100% of initial reactions were complete confusion. While confusing doesn't necessarily mean good storytelling, the trailers do seem to showcase some pretty interesting concepts. From the weird dead babies to the black sludge, the war-torn apocalyptic environment, and the dead sea-life, Death Stranding definitely has an interesting story so far, to put it lightly. Kojima is known for some pretty wacky storytelling, but something about Death Stranding seems serious and deep. Based off of the trailers, it seems like a video game that could be adapted into a movie. We can definitely expect an incredibly deep and complex story with Death Stranding if the game is anything like the trailers.
1 Pre-2019 Release
Considering how confusing the Death Stranding trailers have been, I wouldn't be surprised if Death Stranding is the most anticipated game right now for gamers. Sadly, since it has only entered "full blown" development in 2017, it's safe to assume that we won't see an official release date for this game for a long time. While there is more mystery than cold hard facts surrounding Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima did confirm that he plans to be releasing the game before 2019. He even stated that he will be releasing the game before the Olympics and around the same time that the movie Akira is set. If all goes according to plan, we'll get to play Death Stranding at some time during 2018. Let's hope the development process stays on track and avoids delay.