"Once, there was an explosion. A bang which gave birth to time and space.
Once, there was an explosion. A bang which set a planet spinning in that space.
Once, there was an explosion. A bang which gave rise to life as we know it.
And then, came the next explosion. An explosion that will be our last."

– Sam

Death Stranding is an upcoming action game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation 4. It is directed by Hideo Kojima and his reformed studio following the 2015 disbandment of Kojima Productions as a subsidiary of Konami. The game was officially announced at Sony's E3 2016 Press Conference.

The game's title is a reference to the cetacean stranding phenomenon.

Story Edit

Synopsis Edit

Official synopsis from PlayStation's YouTube video description for the E3 2018 teaser trailer:[1]

"From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all new, genre defining experience for the PlayStation®4. 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. What is the mystery of the Death Stranding? What will Sam discover on the road ahead? A genre defining gameplay experience holds these answers and more."

Cast Edit

Character English Voice Actor/Facial Capture Japanese Voice Actor Motion Actor
Sam Bridges Norman Reedus Kenjiro Tsuda Norman Reedus
Unnamed Commander Mads Mikkelsen N/A Mads Mikkelsen
Unnamed Man Guillermo del Toro (Likeness) Akihiko Ishizumi


Unnamed Woman 01 Léa Seydoux Nana Mizuki Léa Seydoux
Unnamed Woman 02 Lindsay Wagner Kikuko Inoue Lindsay Wagner
CPT 6 member 01 Kyle Card N/A Kyle Card
CPT 6 member 02 Claude Patrick N/A Claude Patrick
Unnamed Woman 03 Emily O'Brien N/A Emily O'Brien
The Man in the Golden Mask Troy Baker Satoshi Mikami Troy Baker
Sam's Boss Tommie Earl Jenkins Akio Otsuka Tommie Earl Jenkins

Themes Edit

The theme of the game is "to connect". According to Kojima, one of the key aspects of the game is the idea of a connection between life and death. Another theme of the game is the "Strand" explained through a short story by Kōbō Abe, The Stick (棒/Bou): "The first tool created by humans was a stick, meant as protection by putting a distance between oneself and "bad things", and that the second was a rope, used to secure things one finds important." Kojima compared the main "tools" in action games (actions like punching, shooting and kicking) to sticks, and that in Death Stranding, he wants people to communicate through the game equivalent of ropes or strands.[2]

Gameplay Edit

Death Stranding is an action game set in an open world, heavily story-driven, while also using online elements.[3] The player will have ample freedom of movement, with vehicles available, and in choosing how to approach the game, being able to choose whether to progress fighting or through alternative routes. The online component will be completely optional and will offer the player a different experience from normal multiplayer modes.[4]

When the main character, named Sam, dies, he is transported outside his body into an "upside down" world, where the player is free to explore and where it is possible to collect objects. This world is the equivalent of the "Continue?" screen and the player is "neither dead or alive". According to Kojima, when the player returns to the world of the living, anything they did or any damage that an explosion or the likes causes player's death remains persistent in the world and does not go away. Another element mentioned by Kojima is the existence, in the game world, of a particular rain called "Timefall", which has the ability to manipulate the time of all that touches, making the plants sprout and grow at an extremely fast pace and making aging and deteriorating the body of a man in contact with it.


Screenshot of the E3 2018 trailer shawing the use of the device to uncover several invisible enemies to sneak past them.

Likewise, Kojima has stated that both the children seen in the various trailers and the robotic arm mounted on the shoulder of the main character will play an integral role in the game, and in conjunction they gave the ability to see the Mysterious Entities that roam the game world.[5][1]

During the gameplay trailer, Sam trasport packages ad corpses packed with a particular yellow tape called "Damage Censor Tape". When the packs are damaged, the tape, initially yellow, will change color, thus indicating their integrity level.[6]

Development Edit

After Kojima Productions closed as a Konami subsidiary, in July 15, Kojima reformed it as an indipendent video game studio in December. On the same month, game director and producer Hideo Kojima announced, with Andrew House, a partnership with Sony Interactice Entertainment to make a new PlayStation 4 game.[7]

Kojima revealed the game, during Sony's E3 2016 Conference[8], with a teaser trailer[9] introduced by a quatrain of Auguries of Innocent a poem of William Blake and accompanied by the song I'll Keep Coming of the Icelandic band Low Roar. The trailer was made possible with the technology of Photogrammetry and Motion Capture and featuring American actor Norman Reedus as main character[10], already chosen by Kojima for Silent Hills, however cancelled by Konami in 2015. Despite the trailer, Kojima declared that the game did not yet have a definitive engine[11].

Kojima and Mark Cerny, lead system architect of the PlayStation 4, spent two weeks in January 2016 looking for a game engine on which to develop the game, one of the two remaining candidates had been used to create the teaser trailer[8]. At this time Guerrilla Games announced a collaboration on the development of the game providing their proprietary game engine, Decima[12]. A second teaser[13], presented during The Game Awards 2016, featured a character bearing the likeness of film director Guillermo del Toro, who had previously collaborated with Kojima and Reedus on the cancelled Silent Hills, and unveiled Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as the game's antagonist. During Tokio Game Show 2016, Kojima state that the game would be published before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokio, before the year in which Akira is set, and that a female protagonist was said planned to be revealed[14]. On December 3, 2016, the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain soundtrack composer, Ludvig Forssell, announced that he would resume his role as a composer in Death Stranding[15]. In 2017 Death Stranding enters full development[16].

In June, 2017, Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, states that Death Stranding is in fact in alpha-playable and that he had the opportunity to try it but not to be able to categorize the game in a specific genre[17].

A third teaser[18] was presented during The Game Awards 2017 in December, where Kojima, Reedus, and Del Toro also made an appearances. In this trailer it turns out that the name of the character played by Reedus is "Sam". The next day, the same trailer was shown again at Playstation Experience, in which also Kojima made an appearance on stage during the event. Mark Cerny, commented the trailer saying that the game would have gained sense after 4-5 hours of playing and confirmed that the video was captured on Playstation 4 Pro[19]. The same month Kojima reveals new information on the gameplay, that he was aware of the common belief that would see him proceeding too slowly in the development, but reiterated that this was not the case, and also revealed that the team was unable to do any performance capture or voice over for the third trailer in time for E3 2017 due to the 2016–17 video game voice actor strike, so it was delayed until the Game Awards[5].

In February 2018, Emily O'Brien and Troy Baker were revealed to be part of the cast of Death Stranding[20]. In May, Sony Worldwide Studios' Shawn Layden, revealed that Death Stranding would be part of four games – along with Ghost of TsushimaSpider-Man and The Last of Us Part II – on which the company would deeply focus during Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018[21]. On May 18, Kojima teased at the E3 trailer on twitter[22]. At the event, an extensive teaser trailer[1] premiering gameplay and incorporating the song Asylums for the Feeling by Silent Poets (feat. Leila Adu) was released and revealed that actresses Léa Seydoux and Lindsay Wagner were part of the cast[23].

In July 24, Hideo Kojima, with his assistant Ayako, is in London, UK, for a voiceover recording session.[24] The next day he meet French actress Léa Seydoux.[25]

On August 26, English director Edgar Wright visit Kojima Productions and is scanned for an unspecified role for the game. [26] On August 30, Mike Niederquell, Lead Sound Designer at Sony, reveal that he is currently working on Death Stranding.[27]

In September 5, with a tweet, Kojima Productions reveal that Hideo Kojima and the cast members of the Japanese version of Death Stranding will be at Tokyo Game Show 2018 in Sept 23. [28] During TGS stage show Japanese voice actors Kenjiro Tsuda, Akio Otsuka, Kikuko Inoue, Nana Mizuki and Satoshi Mikami will be present.[29] During the TGS 2018 Stage Panel Kojima talk about building up Kojima Productions and working on the game and introducing each seiyuu (voice actor) as they got on the stage: Kenjiro Tsuda as Sam, Akio Otsuka (the Japanese voice of Solid Snake, Solidus Snake and Big Boss in the Metal Gear saga) as Sam's Boss, Kikuko Inoue (the Japanese voice of Rosemary, The Boss, Sunny Emmerich and Chico in the Metal Gear saga) as Lindsay Wagner's character, Nana Mizuki (the Japanese voice of Paz Ortega Andrade in the Metal Gear saga) as Léa Seydoux's character, Satoshi Mikami (the Japanese voice of Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V) as The Man in the Golden Mask , who was revealed in a new video[30], and Akihiko Ishizumi as Del Toro's characters. Kojima said that Mads Mikkelsen's character has no Japanese voice yet, though he already decided on someone and will see if they’re available.[31][32] Kojima also said that he's in the "phase where I’m holding the controller the whole day, embedding new elements while playing the game", that the development is going according to plan and so the release schedule is not changed.[33]

During the Argentina Game Show 2018, Troy Baker, the American voice and motion actor of The Man in the Golden Mask, talk about Death Stranding. Baker said that the game is "a huge game. The scope of the game is huge.", that Kojima had the entire game in his head for two years, and that he believe that he and Norman have "finished shooting".[34]

During a talk, back in September, between newspaper Asahi Shimbun and Hideo Kojima it would seem that Death Stranding reached the polishing phase, with Kojima playing through the game and suggesting improvements, with all gameplay elements have also been put together. Kojima also talk a bit of his split with Konami and how he felt like everything was lost after that.[35]

Contrary to previous editions, neither Kojima nor Death Stranding was present at TGA 2018, preferring to continue development work.[36][37] During a podcast with Dan Fogle, Norman Reedus talk about his involvement in Death Stranding and talk about his character, Sam. When Fogler ask when the game will be avalaible and if still in development, Reedus says:"I think it's gonna be early this coming year, I have three more [mocap] sessions here in New York starting next week.".[38]

On 12 December, confirming what he said during the podcast, Reedus begins his session in New York, with the presence of Hideo Kojima and Aki Saito, the new Head of Marketing & Communications of Kojima Productions.[39] Later, on 19 December, Japanese VO recording session begins with Kenjiro Tsuda (Sam) and Nana Mizuki (Léa Seydoux's character).[40] On 26 December, Akihiko Ishizumi joins Tsuda and Mizuki in the Japanese VO session, in the role of the Guillermo del Toro's character.[41][42]

During a visit on Guerrilla's studio in 15 January, Hideo Kojima showed them the first 2 hours of Death Stranding, although the game is not yet complete.[43][44] During the late January VO recording session, Kojima reveal Yoshitada Otsuka (the Japanese voice of Ramón Gálvez Mena and Evangelos Costantinou in the Metal Gear saga) in an unknown role.[45] Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the director of the future Metal Gear Solid film, also play a demo of Death Stranding, pointing out a similarity with Fury Road, and ending the tweet with "YOU.ARE.NOT.READY.!"[46]

Release Edit

A release window of Death Stranding has been given by Kojima. The director has stated that, "[Death Stranding] will be out before the Olympics", referencing the Tokyo 2020 Games. More precisely, he has revealed that "there is a movie called Akira, and [Death Stranding] will be out before the year in which Akira is set", with Akira being set in the year 2019.[47]

During the TGS 2018 Stage Panel, Kojima mentioned that the game is still on track to release when planned, which is the year in which Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is set, in 2019.[48]

During a podcast with Dan Fogler, Norman Reedus confirm the early 2019 release.[38]

Easter Eggs Edit

A set of three very rare items, named Stranded Items, can be found in Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn. The icon for every stranded item is the silhouette of Kojima Productions' mascot and logo, Ludens.

The three Items are:

  • Stranded Necklace: described as "Six tarnished metal ingots threaded with a plain wire." are the dog tag-laden necklace worn by Sam in the reveal trailer.
  • Stranded Figure: described as "A battered idol of an infant, smelling faintly of decay." is the doll of the TGA 2016 teaser trailer.
  • Stranded Shackles: described as "Shackles made from an unknown, smooth material." are the handcuffs attached to Sam and an Unknown Man wrists.

Gallery Edit

Promotional Images Edit

Videos Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c Death Stranding - E3 2018 4K Trailer | PS4
  2. ^ Hideo Kojima reveals more about his mysterious Death Stranding game
  3. ^ Kojima's Death Stranding is an action game in an open world
  4. ^ The Hideo Kojima Death Stranding interview: Strands, Decima and Guerrilla Games
  5. ^ a b Kojima Explains Death Stranding Gameplay and Lore
  6. ^
  7. ^ Kojima Productions and Sony Officially Announce Partnership
  8. ^ a b Death Stranding's teaser probably won't be playable, Hideo Kojima says
  9. ^ Death Stranding – E3 2016 Reveal Trailer | PS4
  10. ^ Hideo Kojima's New Game, Death Stranding, Already Has Conspiracy Theories
  11. ^ Hideo Kojima Gives More Info on His New PS4 Game Death Stranding
  12. ^ Kojima Partnering With Killzone, Horizon Dev Guerrilla for Death Stranding
  13. ^ Death Stranding - Teaser Trailer - TGA 2016 - 4K
  14. ^ Death Stranding Will Be Out Before 2019, May Feature Heroine
  15. ^
  16. ^ Death Stranding Enters ‘Full Swing’ Development Next Year
  17. ^ E3 2017 - PlayStation's Shawn Layden on Death Stranding, Spider-man and the nature of the console competition
  18. ^ DEATH STRANDING - Teaser Trailer - TGA 2017 - 4K
  19. ^ Death Stranding Trailer Makes Sense After Playing 4-5 Hours, Sony Exec Claims
  20. ^ Troy Baker, Emily O'Brien Join Cast of Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding
  21. ^ PlayStation at E3 2018: The Journey Begins June 11 at 6:00pm Pacific
  22. ^
  23. ^ Watch the New Death Stranding Trailer From E3 2018
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Death Stranding - Official TGS 2018 Trailer
  31. ^ Death Stranding — Here Are All the New Details Shared by Hideo Kojima and by the Japanese Cast [UPDATED]
  32. ^ DEATH STRANDING PlayStation® presents LIVE SHOW “TGS2018”
  33. ^ Death Stranding development: Kojima is now holding the controller ‘the whole day’, embedding new elements while playing
  34. ^ Troy Baker talks about Death Stranding: it’s weird, and it’s big
  35. ^ Death Stranding May Have Reached Polishing Phase; Kojima Thought Everything Was Lost When Leaving Konami
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Death Stranding Will Be Out Before 2019, May Feature Heroine
  48. ^ Death Stranding — Here Are All the New Details Shared by Hideo Kojima and by the Japanese Cast [UPDATED]

External Links Edit