Death Stranding: trailers, confirmed characters, gameplay and more

By Lauren Aitken
9 August 2019 14:24 GMT

The hype train for Death Stranding is going full steam ahead, even though we’re still not sure what exactly is going on.

We got a longer preview of Kojima’s new masterpiece at E3 this year but there are still more questions than there are answers, as is common with a lot of Kojima’s weird but brilliant past projects.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at everything we know about Death Stranding so far.

Death Stranding – release date

Death Stranding will launch on PS4and possibly other platforms – on November 8, 2019.

It was recently pulled from the PS4 exclusive list, so hopefully, we find out why at Gamescom later this month.

Death Stranding – pre-order bonuses

There are four pre-order editions for Death Stranding, including a Collector’s Edition that has a life-size statue of one of the weird throat babies in a pod.

Standard Edition:

  • PS4 Dynamic Theme at launch.
  • Chibi Ludens PSN Avatar
  • Gold “Sam” Sunglasses
  • Gold Hat
  • Gold Speed Skeleton: Increase the speed of Sam’s movement when equipped
  • Gold Armor Plate: Increase protection against any damage Sam takes

Special edition:

  • Comes in a collectible Steelbook case.
  • A special gold version of the Gold “Ludens Mask” Sunglasses earned through gameplay.
  • Death Stranding: Timefall (Original Music from the World of Death Stranding) – digital
  • Music Album Digital Download
  • Behind the Scenes Making Of Digital Video – digital
  • Pre-order and receive all incentives offered through the Standard Edition.

Digital Deluxe Edition:

  • Special gold versions of in-game items earned through gameplay:
  • Gold “Ludens Mask” Sunglasses
  • Gold Power Skeleton: Enhance Sam’s ability to handle heavy cargo
  • Gold All-Terrain Skeleton: Enhance Sam’s ability to balance himself on uneven terrain
  • Gold Armor Plate (Level 2): Stronger protection for Sam against falls, gunfire, and more
  • Death Stranding: Timefall (Original Music from the World of Death Stranding)
  • Music Album Digital Download
  • Behind the Scenes Making Of Digital Video
  • Receive all digital pre-order incentives offered via the Standard Edition

Collector’s Edition:

  • Includes Digital Deluxe Edition in-game items and bonus content
  • Special Edition Steelbook
  • Life-sized BB Pod Statue
  • BRIDGES Cargo Case
  • Ludens Keychain

Death Stranding – trailers

We got an extended look at Death Stranding during E3 and Kojima is making another announcement at Gamescom later this month, so check back soon for a glimpse of more madness.

The trailer from this year’s E3 shows off a host of new characters, more shots of the pod baby and several large ladders. The use of ladders and ropes really hammers home the concept of connection, though it’s still a lot to get your head around.

This trailer focuses on one of the newly announced characters, Heartman, who dies every 21 minutes.

Watch on YouTube

We also got a look at Troy Baker’s character, Higgs, summoning a terrifying beast at TGS 2018.

Watch on YouTube

This was the first major trailer from E3 2018, which showed us our first glimpse of new characters, the terrifying shadow monsters and more weird baby shots.

Watch on YouTube

There were also two shorter teaser trailers in 2016 which primarily focused on Cliff and Deadman.

Watch on YouTube

Finally, this is the E3 2016 trailer that started all the hype despite being utterly baffling.

Death Stranding – gameplay

Troy Baker was quoted as saying that Kojima wants to move the medium of games forward rather than just making a game. Death Stranding is going to be more of a statement than your regular not-a-stealth game, though we’re still trying to unpack what that really means.

The main idea behind Death Stranding is connection; namely, reconnecting isolated cities and societies back together. It will have an asynchronous online multiplayer, meaning that you can connect with and help other players without ever directly interacting with them. You can share safehouses, resources and follow in the literal footsteps of other players.

There’s no real concept of death, either; you end up in a Stranger Things-esque upside-down world, like a sort of bizarre purgatory. You’ll then need to find your way “back” to the surface and carry on with whatever you were doing.

Speaking of death, there’s a consequence for every person you kill in Death Stranding. What that consequence will be, however, is still unknown.

Kojima has insisted throughout that Death Stranding is not a stealth game. Although there were some stealthy looking sections in the trailer, this is very much a new genre of gaming. Kojima has called Death Stranding a social-strand game, due to its multiplayer aspect.

Kojima is using Guerilla Games’ Decima engine to create Death Stranding. He previously described the Decima engine as being a “rocket” due to its power, claiming that it will take Death Stranding to past Mars to Jupiter, figuratively speaking.

Death Stranding – confirmed characters

We were introduced to several new characters at E3, including Heartman – who conveniently dies every 21 minutes. After three minutes he comes back, but it’ll be interesting to see how useful or not the ever-impending sense of death he feels will be.

The trailer also revealed the rest of the main characters:

  • Cliff
  • Mama
  • Fragile
  • Deadman
  • Die-Hardman
  • Higgs
  • Amelia

Norman Reedus plays Sam, the protagonist tasked with reconnecting the world and surviving the mysterious monsters roaming the lands. Death Stranding features some pretty big names, such as the likes of Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen, director Guillermo Del Toro – although he’s only lending his likeness – and voice-acting legend Troy Baker to name a few.

Keanu Reeves was recommended to Kojima, but ultimately decided to go with Mikkelson, which is just as well because Reeves is too busy being cyber-babe Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077.

Each character has a central role to play in the story, with Baker and Mikkelsen’s acting as the pretty terrifying antagonists to Reedus strand-connecting hero. The announcement at Gamescom should reveal more about the rest of the cast, so check back for an update soon.

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