Death Stranding is the debut project from Kojima Productions, the studio founded by legendary Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. Starring The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus and Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen, we've compiled everything you need to know about the upcoming game.
Death Stranding Latest News
For the past week or so Hideo Kojima has been gracing Twitter with the adorable bromance between himself and Mads Mikkelsen. The actor had recently travelled to Japan to visit Kojima Productions, and the developer hasn't wasted any time broadcasting his joy on social media
We've compiled their most bromantic moments below, along with some speculative news on the project's development.
Mads Mikkelsen has been cast as Death Stranding's main antagonist, so our guess is he's visiting Kojima Productions to discuss the project and perform motion capture for his role. That, and to go on countless dates with Kojima.
We've also caught our first glimpse at Kojima's new studio, which is pretty damn extravagant. It's filled with luxurious statues and large studio spaces. Hopefully this ambition translates into quality once Death Stranding is released.
For now check out the latest trailer below and read on for our in-depth analysis.
What is Death Stranding about?
Death Stranding's reveal trailer opens with a quote from William Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence': "To see a world in a grain of sand / and a heaven in a wildflower. / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand / and eternity in an hour."
We're then taken to a beach covered with deceased crabs, as the camera slowly pans to our protagonist, Norman Reedus.
Passed out on the ground, completely naked and with a broken handcuff around one wrist, he slowly brings himself to his feet holding what appears to be a newborn baby. Except the baby quickly disappears and he's left with just black oil on his hands and the sight of equally oily invisible baby footsteps walking away from him.
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He then gets up and we see that the beach is covered in dead whales. Staring up at the sky, our focus is drawn to five ominous figures floating in the air before him – they look something like the Dementors from Harry Potter.
What this means remains unclear. It's immediately unsettling, much like P.T., and we can make some generalised guesses based on what's in the trailer and the poetic reference.
Watch: What is Death Stranding?
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Blake's poem is widely read as being a warning to mankind about the consequences for society when nature is mistreated. This certainly chimes with the dominant motifs of oil and whales in the trailer.
Reedus certainly seems to have woken up in a post-apocalyptic world, but not the kind of zombie-ridden one we're used to – this wasteland is likely the result of man's abuse of the environment, like if 50 BP oil spills happened concurrently in all corners of the globe.
It all juxtaposes starkly with Blake's quatrain, which reflects the innocence with which children see the world and appreciate the most minute details. Remember the fleeting baby appearance?
Yes, there's some seriously in-depth symbolism going on here. We've given it our best guess, but we can't quite be sure of what it all means in the larger context of the game.
Even Kojima's fans are confused at the moment.
Death Stranding gameplay – how does it play?
Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions stated on Twitter that Death Stranding will try and go beyond the traditional definition of "action" and "RPG" found in similar games. This confirms to us that Death Stranding is certainly ambitious, and won't like anything Kojima has done before.
The sequence seen in the trailer will apparently not playable in the final game which has just entered production at the studio.
During this year's Tokyo Games Show, Hideo Kojima announced that Death Stranding will be an open-world action game with online elements. It will also have the trademark storytelling you'd want from a Kojima project, so expect something surreal, silly and over-the-top.
Kojima has said "with Death Stranding, I’d like to offer the next step, the future of gaming” with gameplay and storytelling that goes beyond genre conventions. It also appears Guillermo Del Toro is more involved with the project than we first thought.
FInally, Kojima has confirmed that Death Stranding has entered "full-blown development" at Kojima Productions, but it's still a while off.
Kojima Productions is working close with Guerilla Games on the development of Death Stranding, so much so that Kojima has been provided with the source code to the engine. Everything we've seen of Death Stranding thus far has been running directly on PS4 Pro, setting a high benchmark for the finished experience.
Death Stranding release date – when is it coming out?
Hideo Kojima confirmed that the game is coming to PS4, but it is still in the early stages of development. In other words, we're extremely unlikely to see it this year – maybe a full reveal at E3 2017 is more realistic?
During E3 2016 it was confirmed that Death Stranding will be coming exclusively to PS4 on console, but will also release on PC in the future.
PlayStation Experience will feature an exclusive panel to discuss Death Stranding. Hideo Kojima will be present signing autographs and talking about his progress on the game, so expect some news next week!
Death Stranding trailer – How does it look?
The first trailer for Death Stranding is running in real-time on PS4, which is rather impressive considering the detailed motion capture and environments on display.
Despite being overly cryptic, the unusual mixture of disturbing visuals and haunting music leave a powerful impression, and we expect nothing less from Hideo Kojima.
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Death Stranding has us excited, how about you? Let us know in the comments.