Death Stranding TGS: What we Know

Hideo Kojima has revealed some more details about his latest game, Death Stranding, at TGS with his characteristic symbolism and highly conceptual details. Here’s what we know:

Release Date

While Kojima Productions/Sony are yet to explicitly state a specific release date for Death Stranding, they recently tweeted a window for a possible release before the next Olympics.

It’s not much to go on and the studio has a lot of work to being only set up in December of last year however it hasn’t stopped news outlets from speculating. Gamespot for example are guessing 2018

Gameplay

At TGS, Kojima kept details about the gameplay broad and to the point then went through some deep rabit holes concerning some of the symbolism and themes of the game. The genre is action, will feature an “open world with a degree of freedom and you can enjoy the story at the same time and there are some online elements.” This sounds similar to his last game with Konami, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The open world and story didn’t gel well together but that’s a multi-faceted issue deserving its own post on.

Club/Rope

Kojima in his presentation talked about how the game design was inspired by a short story by author Kōbō Abe. In it, the author talks about how the club/stick/rod was used to keep things away and the rope to keep important things together.

Stating that early games emphasised players hitting against the computer or other players,  he wants to use the rope concept more instead in Death Stranding, “A new game where players are connected by strand or rope-like elements.” Not exactly detailed and more vaguely descriptive of the overall core gameplay elements of Death Stranding. It could be that it’s an action game without a lot of combat and more player interdepence or it could be something entirely new that he wants to inspire a new generation of games with. No one really knows. It also links to the games title/ logo.

Title explanation

The name “Death Stranding” referred to when whales or dolphins became stranded onshore. Kojima revealed that the concept of something from another world being brought to another and stranded is something that we’ll find in the upcoming game.

The noticeable strands in the poster/title for Death Stranding also represent the cord/rope concept about connecting one thing from one world to another. These strands/ropes seem to influence the core elements of the game: “story, game and world view are all connected by strand.”

Co-op

The new form of co-op play sounds in line with the strand/rope theme that Kojima had already  mentioned at TGS. How does it work? Does someone play as Reedus and you play as the baby or a beached whale? Who knows. The idea of “cords” or reaching out to new worlds and interacting with them might be something that could be an integral element to co-op. It’s interesting to see that the newly formed studio are willing to audaciously proclaim that their new gameplay ideas are going to be quite unique and innovative.

 

Cast

So far, the only cast member we knew of was Norman Reedus of Walking Dead fame however we now know that casting is still underway teasing a heroine and looking for suggestions:

There is also the interesting case of this image taken from the presentation featuring four people:

playstation-conference-japan-kojima-rope
Credit: http://www.metalgearinformer.com

We can easily figure out who the first three are (from L to R, Del Toro, Reedus, Kojima) and it also hints that Del Toro might have a creative role in this game’s development, but the fourth guy hasn’t been clarified yet. This tweeted photo from earlier does look similar.

Kojima Studios

He also wants to show that an indie studio is capable of making AAA world class games and that it’s their responsibility for the next generation of games to do so (that’s what the translator try to say anyway, see have a look around the four and a half mark:

).

He also mentioned that the game engine has been decided,  albeit unannounced (rumoured to be a well-know third-party engine) and that Death Stranding will include 4k and HDR, features which Sony’s recently announced PS4 Pro is capable of.

Note: This is my first in what I hope to be many attempts to cover topical events in the world of gaming. I’m considering this to be more of a published test run than a news-worthy article. The style of output may change and there will be more experimentation to come with my posts.

 

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