Though Death Stranding is a game you can play completely offline as a purely solo experience, its multiplayer elements – or the Social Strand System – have been billed as a major aspect of the experience. The asynchronous system sees players interacting with and helping each other through indirect means, and it’s something that bleeds into the exploration and traversal as well. Conveniently enough, it also ties in with the game’s central theme of connections quite profoundly.
Though there are many who might be tempted to turn that side of the game off and play it purely as a single player experience, director Hideo Kojima would not recommend that. Speaking in an interview with Famitsu, Kojima said you can do it if you want, but the game would lose something vital if you do so.
“You completely lose the support of other players, and it becomes an entirely standalone, single-player experience,” said Kojima. “We imagine lots of people have their PlayStation 4 systems connected to the internet, so my vision for the game has always been to make it feel like a single-player experience while naturally connecting you to other players. You won’t magically reveal a new or interesting wrinkle in the game by not connecting to the internet. People who don’t have an internet connection or people who don’t like playing online can still play the game, but I really wouldn’t recommend it.”
In our review of Death Stranding, we praised the multiplayer elements for their concept, and said that though they do make a difference, they’re not absolutely essential. You can read our full review through here.
Death Stranding is out on November 8 for the PS4, and releases for PC in Summer of 2020.