Some more interesting details on the upcoming open world title.
Not too long ago, we were all talking about how we knew next to nothing about Death Stranding, but as the game’s release has drawn closer, we’ve begun to realize that we actually know quiet a bit about it- either that, or, in our excitement, we’ve just been looking too hard at every tiny little detail. Either way, we do know more than we thought we would at this stage. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about some of the key talking points about the game in similar features, and here, we’ll be rounding things off with 14 more details that you should know about the game, its characters, and some of its systems. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Of all the Death Stranding characters that have been revealed so far, Mads Mikkelsen’s Cliff is perhaps the most interesting. Almost entirely shrouded in mystery, with unknown motivations, Cliff, with his apparent connection to “the other side” and his creepy-looking skeletal soldiers looks like he’s going to be a major player in the story. What side is he going to fall on though? A while back, while speaking about his character, Mads Mikkelsen mentioned that Cliff wasn’t exactly a villain – not in a conventional sense, at any rate – so it’ll be interesting to see what role he plays in the story.
Mama, a character with a decidedly Metal Gear-ish name and a decidedly tragic backstory. Appropriately enough for someone named Mama, she has a daughter- but that daughter, it seems, is trapped on “the beach” as one of those spectral things, and this connection with her through a ghostly umbilical cord means Mama herself is also forced to stay in one place in the real world. What role does she serve for the Bridges? How is she – and her daughter – going to come into play in the story? Questions that are, of course, unanswered, but definitely make our minds go wild with theories.
After Norman Reedus’ Sam, Deadman – bearing the likeness of Guillermo del Toro – was the first new Death Stranding character we ever saw (though Cliff was also revealed in that same trailer). Based on his recent character spotlight trailer, it seems he’s the BB specialist for Bridges – or something close to that, at any rate – and serves in a support role for Sam while he’s out making deliveries. It remains to be seen just how vital his role in the story is, but with a name like Deadman, he’s sure to make an impression.
Heartman – who bears the likeness of Nicolas Winding Refn – is yet another character who received a dedicated spotlight trailer not too long ago, and he, too, has a particularly interesting story. Heartman’s heart (get it?) stops ever 21 minutes, and after that, he finds himself on “the other side”, where, in turn, he stays for another 3 minutes, before being brought back to life. In those three minutes, he looks for his family, who’re trapped on the other side, while he spends every 21 minute-cycle in the real world doing everything from watching short films and television shows to listening to music and more.
For a while now, Hideo Kojima has been telling us that the primary narrative theme of Death Stranding – which also bleeds into gameplay – is that of connections, as Sam travels from east to west to reconnect the fragmented cities of America. Interestingly enough though, Kojima is reluctant to comment on whether that mission is a positive one.
“In the game, the mission is to really reconnect America again – but I haven’t said whether that is correct or not,” Kojima said in a recent interview with Game Informer. “When you play, and connect, there’s drama, there’s preppers, there’s storyline; you start to feel like connection might really feel good. But I’m not saying it’s positive or negative to connect. It’s really up to the players to see how they feel while playing the game.”
Of course, given the fact that this is an open world game – which is presumably a pretty big one – there’s also going to be plenty of optional stuff for players to tackle. We’re hoping for some interesting side missions in Death Stranding, and based on a recent example of an optional questline given by Kojima, that might just be the case. Said questline involves Sam travelling to an old man repeatedly to deliver medicines to him, with the old man telling Sam stories of his past and of the world as it used to be in the past. On paper, that might sound like nothing out of the ordinary, but depending on the old man’s character and on the stories he tells, it could actually be a pretty engrossing questline.
Here’s something else that can potentially make side quests and questlines more interesting- your actions and decisions in Death Stranding can decide the fates of the game’s NPCs. So, for instance, in the quest with the old man, as you progress the main story, you keep increasing the distance between yourself and him, and whether or not you want to go back and deliver medicine to him is up to you. If you don’t deliver that medicine, you’ll find that the old man died- which might be quite interesting, depending on how much of an impact it has on the larger narrative (if any).
Since the day the game was revealed, Kojima has been billing Death Stranding as a game about the rope, not the stick- a game not about killing enemies, but about bringing people together. In combat, killing enemies will be an option for players (one would assume), but Sony and Kojima Productions have also teased that that might not always be the best option, and that doing so might have consequences. What might those consequences be? We don’t know, but that tease is definitely more than just a little interesting.
Death Stranding, as we’ve discussed in some detail over the last few weeks, is going to involve plenty of micromanagement, as we step into the shoes of Sam and ensure his safe journey from the east to the west. And that micromanagement is going to involve stat management as well. To be more specific, there will be 9 stats that players will have to keep an eye on, based on the gameplay demo show off at TGS. These will determine his movement speed, his carrying capacity, his lung capacity, his resistance to falling unconscious, his stamina, his balance, terrain resistance, battery capacity, and sync level.
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
We spoke about Sam’s private rooms in an earlier feature, where customization will be something that players will be able to dive into. This, of course, will also include decking out Sam with some cosmetics. From hats to sunglasses and other items of clothing and accessories, players will be able to choose from an array of options while customizing the look of Sam. Yes, you get to dress up Norman Reedus.
Another thing that we’ll have to manage consistently is the BB that Sam carries with him, which is something that we’ve touched on in earlier features. BB’s stress levels will increase depending on your actions in gameplay – whether BB needs to be recharged, or got spooked because you took a tumble or got caught up in a strong river current – and players will have to make sure to soothe BB and get him to calm down again.
This is something particularly interesting that we’ve seen in Death Stranding – that Sam’s blood can actually be used as a weapon. We’ve seen him taking blood bags with him when he sets out on his treks, and we’ve also seen him using hematic grenades – grenades filled with his blood – against BTs. What the narrative justification for this will be remains to be seen, but we’re equally curious to see how this manifests in gameplay in terms of interacting with other systems.
Death Stranding will launch with three separate physical editions on November 8. Beyond the Standard Edition, there’s the Special Edition- this includes a copy of the game, a steelbook case, and a digital copy of the game’s OST. There’s also a Collector’s Edition, which includes all the contents of the Special Edition, as well as a BB pod statue, Bridges cargo case, and a Nendoroid Ludens mini-figure.
LIMITED EDITION PS4 PRO
Given that Death Stranding is Sony’s flagship exclusive Holiday release for the year, it should come as no surprise that they’re also going to be selling a special edition PS4 Pro bundle of the game. Priced at $399, this will include a physical copy of the game, as well as a 1 TB PS4 Pro. The console will be a white matte model with two black handprints on it. Meanwhile, the DualShock 4 controller in the bundle will be an orange translucent colour, which is the same colour as the BB pods that we’ve seen so much of in the game’s footage already.