Death Stranding: Title Explained for Kojima’s New Game

By | 4 months ago 

Find out more about the meaning of Death Stranding, the title of the new Hideo Kojima game that was officially unveiled at Sony’s E3 conference yesterday.

Hideo Kojima is the rare kind of video game developer that truly does things his own way. Whether it’s the content of the games themselves or the bizarre ways he’s chosen to promote them, there’s always at least a trace of his eccentric style — and that looks set to continue with his new game, Death Stranding.

The new project was unveiled via a mindbending trailer that was shown at Sony’s E3 conference last night. The unsettling clip depicts frequent Kojima collaborator Norman Reedus lying on a beach, completely nude but for a strange necklace and a high-tech pair of handcuffs attached to one wrist.

The implication seems to be that Reedus’ character has been stranded on this strange, desolate planet — which would go a way to explain the title Death Stranding. However, his surroundings reveal another clue that could flesh out what Kojima is going for with that unusual moniker.

The beachfront that we find Reedus on is covered in piles of dead fish, as well as several enormous beached whales. The latter might be more relevant to the game than first impressions would suggest, as the technical terminology for the process of a whale beaching itself is cetacean stranding.

Probable causes for cetacean stranding include averse weather conditions, whales being led astray by other creatures and confusion arising from the nearby use of sonar. However, it remains to be seen whether Kojima is making reference to stranding for its environmental significance, or something a little more allegorical.

Taking the idea of a stranding as the process of propelling yourself into a situation that you can’t get back from, it’s easy to see how the image of a beached whale could be used for artistic purposes. The unhappy end to Kojima’s time with Konami could perhaps be expressed quite well through the metaphor of being stranded.

However, the fact is that we likely won’t know what Kojima is planning for quite some time. The auteur’s recent tour of the world to find an engine for Death Stranding suggests that the game is still in the earliest stages of development — don’t expect to see it release until at least 2018.

That gives fans plenty of time to scrutinize the trailer and see what Hideo has hidden away in its nooks and crannies. From the equations written on Reedus’ dog tags, to the relevance of the five strange floating figures that appear at the end, to the title itself, there’s certainly plenty to discuss.

Death Stranding is set to release for PlayStation 4 and PC. No release date has been announced.