Regardless of whether or not Death Stranding truly deserves to be ranked as one of 2019’s best games, it can’t be denied that it’s one of the year’s most interesting, both for its own merits and the discourse that has arisen around it before and after release. It’s impossible to have a normal opinion about a game where the only available beverage in a ghost-filled post-apocalyptic world is Monster Energy Drink.
At the very least, Hideo Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions can be commended for trying to create something different and unique, even if its gameplay loop of delivering packages, killing ghosts with blood-grenades, and dealing with weird Death Stranding story moments have kept it from winning over everyone. Having become one of the most divisive games in a while, it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.
Since it’s only been a few weeks since the game launched, it’s impossible to say how this new IP could grow, but a potential cryptic hint could give us an idea. Recently, Vulture published an article discussing Kojima and Death Stranding, detailing the game and how it came to be. It also includes an interesting detail:
“Inside the gallery green room, the conversation quiets after Kojima talks about his mother, so we change topics to [Norman] Reedus. Kojima discusses working with the actor again, perhaps on a Death Stranding sequel — though if he were to create such a thing, he ‘would start from zero.’”
That Kojima is thinking of making a sequel is hardly news. In the months leading up to the game’s launch, he mulled the possibility of sequels expanding on Death Stranding’s unique “social strand” system. Yet that “start from zero” bit is interesting, especially in the wake of the divided response to the first game’s gameplay. If the next Death Stranding game does end up being completely different from its predecessor, it’ll be interesting to find out whether Kojima took all the criticism into consideration or merely has other ideas for different types of gameplay that could fit in the weird world he’s created.
In the meantime, fans can look forward to Death Stranding’s first major update this month. This update will drop sometime in the middle of the month and bring with it a number of fan-requested fixes and quality-of-life improvements, including the ability to increase the game’s notably small text.
Death Stranding is out for PS4, and will be out on PC in summer 2020.