New Death Stranding Gameplay Keeps The Mystery Alive : Though the man was suspiciously absent from this year’s E3 in LA, Hideo Kojima’s infamous Death Stranding made an appearance. As one of the most anticipated games since Kojima first announced his brainchild in 2016, E3 attendees were excited to see another look at the title that’s captured the gaming community’s imagination.
And they go it. After years of waiting, Kojima finally delivered gameplay, and true to Death Stranding form, it left audiences with more questions than answers.
Gameplay offers a mystifying peek into Kojima’s world
Gameplay builds on the world that Kojima and friends have been sharing slowly for the last two years. The fetus and dark oil of the first trailers reprise their roles in the video, joining Norman Reedus’ character, Sam Bridges, as he navigates a damp, forested environment.
In the game, rain is called Timefall, and it has unusual time-related powers that age living things—plant and human alike—should it touch it.Bridges wears a bulky suit that protects him from Timefall’s accelerating effectsas he climbs up a mountain through a severe rainstorm.
His equipment also serves as life support for a fetus, carried on his torso encased in what we as the viewer can only assume is synthetic, neon yellow amniotic fluid. Kojima says this is the same baby seen in the previous trailers, revealing it plays an important role in the game mechanics. Together, they embark on a rescue mission. He and the baby traverse the hostile environment in search of others who have been taken hostage by forces seen in the last trailer.
It reveals new friends, too
Gameplay also introduces two new protagonists. Lea Seydoux and Lindsay Wagner join a star-studded cast that includes Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Guillermo del Toro. Though they both speak in the video shown at E3, neither character clarifies their role in the game, nor do they reveal any straightforward details regarding the plot. Surprise!
Kojima intends to disrupt traditional gaming narratives and themes
Last year, Kojima spoke to Rolling Stone about his plans for Death Stranding. With the traditional war game concept in his sights, he hopes to revolutionize its perspective — shifting the game’s objective away from making offensive plays to kill enemies. He talks of using sticks versus rope or strands. In other games, characters are equipped with sticks — literal ones or figurative ones like fists or guns — to attack enemies. In Death Stranding, there are few sticks, mostly only strands—or rope—that secures things or brings things closer.
“We are ready for a game not based on competition, but on the rope [the strand] that will bring good to the player and make connections. We don’t need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level.”
Do we know what it will mean?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: not really. When put together, the trailers and latest gameplay video present a unified aesthetic and some overarching themes. The most important one could be man’s relationship with the environment. Though Death Stranding is an alternative universe from an indistinguishable timeline, Kojima lives in a world crying for help — where governments broker billion-dollar deals over pipelines guaranteed to spill — where the POTUS escapes G7 talks on climate, while enacting environmental policies that promise to harm the environment and kill 80,000 people.
Death Stranding is a game so oily you feel the unconscious need to apply dbrand gadget skins to your PS4 console and DualShock. A PS4 skin acts like your console’s life support suit IRL, protecting your system from scratches and grease with its grime-resistant designs. In the game, there’s no similar solution. It’s a world where our worst environmental fears have come true: crude oil coats a beach where garbage and dead sea creatures litter the coast.
Whether Death Stranding represents a post-climate change apocalyptic world remains to be seen. The game is shrouded in mystery, as it will continue to be until it’s released. It’s a purposeful strategy on Kojima’s part. Known for his inventive gaming experiences, Kojima and his team are the only ones who know where the game is going. But don’t worry — he promises everything will come together in the end. Here’s hoping it comes out sometime this year!