I still remember when I saw the first trailer for death stranding way back in 2016. It was nearly three minutes long, yet almost nothing was given away about the game. In fact, I only really took two things away from the trailer: One being that Norman Reedus was portraying the main character, and the second that the story looked to be about some weird human and his ability to interact with invisible creatures (and babies). All I knew was that the seemingly simple trailer with not a single spoken word completely convinced me that I would buy this game. Fast forward three years… It is now almost release time for the game and I have been non-stop deep diving for anything I can find out about the game. And I of course wanted to share whatever I could find, so let’s jump right into the details of one of the most anticipated games of the last few years.
Table of Contents
Sam “Porter” Bridges
As I previously mentioned, Norman Reedus will be playing Death Strandings main character Sam. He will be a delivery man for the company Bridges (yes the same name as his last name), and is described in the synopsis as follows:
Besieged by death’s tide at every turn, Sam Bridges must brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carrying the stranded remnants of the future in his hands, Sam embarks on a journey to reunite the shattered world one step at a time.”
Sam will possess some sort of power referred to as “DOOMs”, but not much is known on what exactly this will be. He also will have an extinction factor that is more tolerable than most others, and will be affected by Timefall in a different manner. The extinction factor also hasn’t had too much detail released yet, but I would assume it is pretty obvious in regards to the name. He will probably be able to do more with DOOMs and withstand more timefall before extinction, and he may even have the power to conquer extinction. Timefall, on the other hand, has had some info released and it can be described as, “an otherworldly rain which accelerates the progress of time within nearly all biotic life it comes into contact with.”
This character will be played by Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal, Doctor Strange), and is regarded as the “direct opposition” to Sam. As he is not the main character, not nearly as much is known about him. However, in one of the trailers we do get to see him use an ability that allows him to control some type of creepy glow eyed skeletons. Of course this all happens while they are surrounded by some form of black oil or tar, which probably means that these powers will be available to him outside of the real world (perhaps in some type of timefall or time travel capacity?). Another interesting tidbit about the character is his fondness of smoking. Apparently, the character did not start off with the bad habit, but Hideo Kojima noticed Mads smoking during one of the breaks at one point and decided to give that real life trait to the video game character as well.
Higgs’ voice will be played by Troy Baker, who has quite the extensive career in video game voicing (Uncharted, The Last of Us, Bioshock). He is also referred to as the “man in the golden mask”, and will be another antagonistic character throughout the game. Closely affiliated with the militant group Homo Demens (latin for “Mad Man”), he and this group will be the opposition to the United States. They will be trying to maintain the independence of Edge Knot City, but outside of that not much is known about the group. Higgs looks to be able to conjure creatures as well, which we conclude when he summons a massive four legged thing and tells Sam to “not get eaten”. One of the final important pieces of information about Higgs is that he claims to understand the meaning of Death Stranding, and that “it’s hard for people to form connections when they are unable to shake hands”. I think this character will be a very intriguing piece of the story and cannot wait to see what unfolds with him and Homo Demens.
Other Notable Mentions
Some other key players as of right now look to be Fragile (voiced by Léa Seydoux), Mama (voiced by Margaret Qualley), and Die-Hardman (voiced by Tommie Earl Jenkins). Fragile will more than likely be one of the more crucial characters, and allies, in regards to Sam’s storyline. She works for Fragile Express and looks to hold some sort of executive position at the company. Mama will be a main character when it comes to anything Bridges, and she will be able to share thoughts or feelings with spectral entities that resemble BTs (Beached Things, which are the otherworldly entities that seem to have gotten stuck in this world). Die-Hardman is the commander of Bridges, and wears an insanely harrowing mask. Not much else is known about his character yet either, but I’m sure he will play a crucial role in the story at some point as well.
The plot for this game, in my honest opinion, is still somewhat vague and up for grabs. Currently, the story excerpt for the game is as follows:
“In the near future, mysterious explosions have rocked Earth, setting off a series of supernatural events known as the death stranding. With spectral creatures plaguing the landscape, and the planet on the verge of a mass extinction, it’s up to Sam to journey across the ravaged wasteland and save mankind from impending annihilation.”
Even though that may sound descriptive, it really isn’t (especially if you have watched any of the trailers). We can assume that the supernatural events known as Death Stranding pertain to the BT’s somehow, but can’t really be 100% positive how. Are the BT’s causing the timefall and other dimension things that we are seeing? Does timefall start and draw the BT’s to earth? Maybe Sam is the root of it all and we find out that BT’s are there for him because he has the ability to withstand timefall better than most (with his high rate extinction factor)? No one but Kojima and whoever worked on the game can be too sure at this point though.
Other Game Details
As of now, the game is slated to be released on November 8th, 2019. It will have been over 1,150 days since Kojima’s first teaser trailer was formerly released at Sony’s 2016 E3 conference. Along with all of the stars already in the game, we may be expecting a surprise appearance by Guillermo del Toro as well. This game is expected to be ground breaking, and Kojima himself has stated that it will be something completely new that no one has seen so far. This is more than likely due to his new “strand” connection, which he believes to be the way the will re-unify players across the globe. THere will be a huge part of this game that requires players to connect with others, yet no one understands this entire concept yet.
Along with all of this, the game is said to be stunning on the graphics front as well. In early 2019, Kojima demoed the first two hours of the game to Guerilla Games and the movie producer of the Metal Gear Solid film. It was described shortly after as “next-level immaculate” and that it “dares to push the boundaries”. As a Kojima productions game, that is not even one tenth of a percent surprising however, especially with the game being run off of Guerrilla Games’ in-house Decima engine. Hideo Kojima has been an absolute mastermind when it comes to video games over the last two decades, and I for one cannot wait to see how his latest (and possibly greatest) work of art turns out.