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The Mystery Around Death Stranding Ends November 8th

I had to keep my heart medicine close by today, because Death Stranding has an actual release date. On November 8th, we will finally be able to pull back the curtain on Hideo Kojima’s next and heavily-hyped game, the first since his public departure from Konami. It’s not headed for the PS5 (I’m betting on a director’s cut for that), and we will have it in our hands relatively soon.

Along with this announcement, we have a trailer that is almost nine minutes long. There are some interesting things in the trailer, and the visuals are really impressive. However, if you were hoping to use this new trailer to figure out what’s actually going on in the game, you are smarter than me (odds are good), or you can resign yourself to being curious and frustrated for a while longer. As a metaphor, one of the characters in the trailer takes off his mask only to show he’s wearing another mask. Well played, Kojima, well played.

If you want to avoid any spoilers stop here. I did take some story notes on things in this trailer that I intend to share with you now. First, America is no longer a country, or it’s at least decayed and broken. We have terrorists in the not-a-country who are killing the survivors. Bridge babies (the infants in retail packaging) somehow let us plug into “the other side”, and it seems like ghosts materialize in the world. Some of them are skeleton soldiers, one of my favorite types of enemy soldiers.

The director and writer himself, Hideo Kojima, has this to say about the themes in the story:

“Death Stranding” is a completely new type of action game, where the goal of the player is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society. It is created so that all elements, including the story and gameplay, are bound together by the theme of the “Strand” or connection. As Sam Porter Bridges, you will attempt to bridge the divides in society, and in doing create new bonds or “Strands” with other players around the globe. Through your experience playing the game, I hope you’ll come to understand the true importance of forging connections with others.”

For gameplay, there is stealth (of course) and hand-to-hand combat. That seems to be a last resort, because the character initially tries to run. Being hit removes things from the character’s backpack. Vertical terrain appears to be everywhere with dedicated tools for traversal. An expanding ladder helps you to reach higher, and climbing gear helps you to descend.

If you are interested in buying the game, there are four editions for you to choose. For ten dollars more than the standard edition, the special edition gives you a digital album of game music, a Steelbook case, the ability to earn the gold “ludens mask” sunglasses item in the game. The Digital Deluxe Edition is $79.99, and you be able to earn gold versions of four items in the game that give you an advantage such as carrying more weight, moving faster, or more protection. The Death Stranding Collector’s Edition comes with everything for $199.99 USD, and includes a lifesize BB Pod (to creep you out), a ludens keychain, and the BRIDGES cargo case. Pre-ordering any of these editions will net you a chibi ludens avatar and a Death Stranding theme.

If you have any interest in the game at all, I strongly recommend you check out the new trailer. It’s predictably weird, and it only makes me simultaneously want and not want Death Stranding more. I sincerely hope it’s amazing and knocks everyone’s collective socks off, or at least gives me a story I can understand. The occasional la-li-lu-le-lo moment is fine too.

Death Stranding will release on November 8th.

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