Ever since Death Stranding was shown off, it has had a real ‘what the hell is going on’ vibe. It seems deliberately obtuse, showing us confusing, surreal and unsettling imagery, not entirely wanting to be understood just yet. As of right now, in terms of how this game ‘plays’, we just don’t know much.
Speaking to IGN though, the veil has been lifted by Hideo Kojima on one of the game’s key mechanics – dying. In fact, we’ve already seen it happen in the latest trailer for the game. In the trailer, Norman Reedus looks up to a big scary creature before finding himself transported underwater with all kinds of wildlife. This is the game’s game over screen essentially and while there you’ll be able to explore and recover items in first person. Kojima explains:
At that point, you’re not dead or alive. It’s the equivalent of that screen that says ‘Continue?’ and a counter ticking down towards zero.
When you come back though, you won’t just be where you left off. It seems the world and story will progress without you. Kojima adds:
So as you saw in the trailer, you saw the crater, and when you come back, it’s still there. Most games would’ve taken you back to before the crater was made. So depending on the player, you might have a lot of craters all over the place — depends on each player.
There is some more in that interview about the game’s world and lore you should go check out.
This mechanic, in an odd way, reminds me of Prey 2006‘s death mechanic which transported you into another world, and you could kill a few things to come back with a bonus.
While there are still a lot of questions about what Death Stranding is, this at least is one of the first concrete ideas we’ve been given about how the game plays. It sounds… ambitious, but hey. When is Kojima not?