Following the announcement of a Death Stranding-themed PS4 Pro console that will be available at the time of the game's release, MP1st first reported spotting a notice on the official console box art that seems to confirm that a PS Plus subscription will not be necessary to experience Death Stranding's multiplayer components.
During one of two gameplay videos showcased by creator Hideo Kojima at Tokyo Game Show 2019, Kojima explains that multiplayer in Death Stranding will function such that, while two players can't directly interact, one player may find traces of other players and their actions in the game world.
A central mechanic of Death Stranding seems to be transporting cargo, and other players factor into this part of the game in two ways. First, dropped cargo can appear in other players' games, in camps of enemies that have taken the cargo, in lockers built by other players, or simply left astray in the wild. Additionally, the physical terrain of the open world environment will be changed by how players utilize it, between a ladder left by one player to traverse a gap or cliff appearing in another player's game, to paths and roads being gradually created due to wide use across many different gameplay sessions. Plus, in difficult boss fights, other players can be called in the form of a white phantom that will provide useful combat items.
It's hard to imagine a version of Death Stranding without this element that seems so central to what the game is trying to accomplish, as the "strand" part of its name seems to be indicative of the connections between its many players. However, given that the only confirmation of a PS Plus subscription not being required for Death Stranding's multiplayer is one element of the game's console's box art that was posted online, this notion comes with some caveats.
First of all, the copy simply reads "Death Stranding does not require a PS Plus subscription," not that the multiplayer element can be experienced without PS Plus. This could just mean that a version of the game without multiplayer is still playable sans paid subscription. Additionally, without word from someone behind the game, a box art mock-up is a little short of an official confirmation. However, with the game's November 8 release coming soon, there should be an official statement on this in the near future.