Death Stranding had a big showing at Gamescom 2019 with its creator Hideo Kojima closing out the Opening Night Live show with new character trailers and a five-minute gameplay video. Everything shown was focused on the single-player experience but as Kojima has said in the past, there will be an online multiplayer element to the game. And, according to new comments at Gamescom from Geoff Keighley, people are not prepared for what Kojima is doing with that aspect of the game.
Sharing the theme of the entire game, which Kojima has said is all about connection, so too is the multiplayer aspect. Differing from a competitive experience common in most multiplayer games, Death Stranding's multiplayer will try to connect players. In an interview with IGN, Keighley emphasized that the multiplayer aspect of the game is indeed heavily focused on the idea of connection.
Much of the game remains a mystery and Keighley says even though fans are trying to piece together everything they've seen of the game to figure out exactly what Kojima is doing, Keighley says players are especially not ready for the online multiplayer aspect of Death Stranding:
“What he’s doing with the online aspects of it, I think people aren’t quite fully ready for what he’s doing.”
It has already been revealed that there is not a PvP element to the game, but instead, thanks to a description from PlayStation, multiplayer will be asynchronous and allow players to assist other players in each others' game worlds without ever actually being in them.
Keighley brought up the gameplay shown at Gamescom of Norman Reedus' character Sam Bridges urinating on a mushroom and how Kojima mentioned during the press conference that if multiple players pee on that same mushroom in their own games, something will happen. Keighley admits it is a silly example, but the key to understanding the impact of the game's online component is taking that same concept and applying to the entire game:
“You got to take that concept and think about how that applies to everything you do in the game, in this connected world and connecting people. [...] Think about that and how that applies to everything you're doing in the game.”
While details are still slim and only being hinted at, it does seem like Death Stranding may borrow some ideas from games like Dark Souls with its multiplayer that allowed players to both help and hinder each other without ever being in each others' actual games. Kojima has said he's doing "something different" with multiplayer, and like the rest of the game, many are left waiting to see what will be presented when Death Stranding launches later this year.
Death Stranding releases November 8, 2019 for PS4.