Since Sony was not at E3 this year, the Death Stranding team released a new trailer for the widely anticipated game before the event. When a fan in the comments of the video wondered whether Death Stranding was a movie or a game, voice actor Troy Baker replied that it is “a whole NEW thing.”
It should come as no surprise that Death Stranding transcends traditional ideas of what a game is. Rumors that it would feature more cinematic elements have been flying since Oscar-winning film director Guillermo del Toro became associated with the project. Although del Toro has confirmed he is only an actor for the game, game director Hideo Kojima is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of what makes a game, most notably when he unsuccessfully pitched the idea to have a boss battle in Metal Gear Solid 3 last weeks of real time.
Even Kojima himself has implied that Death Stranding is going to break boundaries. While he is perhaps most known for his work on the tactical stealth-based Metal Gear Solid series, he has confirmed that Death Stranding is not a stealth game. Instead, it is its own type of game, a “Strand game.”
Troy Baker is no stranger to working with Hideo Kojima. In addition to his work in Death Stranding as the antagonist Higgs, or The Man in the Golden Mask, he previously voiced Ocelot in Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. He also has experience acting in AAA games like The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite, which makes his claim that Death Stranding is “a whole new thing” hold serious weight.
The question remains, if Death Stranding is a something new that has never been done before, what exactly is it? Other than Kojima’s insistence that it is a “Strand game” and his implied hints that it is an immersive game dedicated to cherishing Mads Mikkelsen, we don’t know much other than the cryptic footage from the trailers. Some other promotional materials describe the game a bit more clearly, and “Strand game” seems to mean a heavily online co-operative action game. Of course, we can always expect Kojima to push the boundaries of the genre and surprise us once again.