Now that we know that Death Stranding is, indeed, a very real game with a very real release date, here comes the fun part: poring over every little detail in that new trailer and trying to figure out what the game is all about before it even launches.
In the extensive eight-minute trailer that dropped yesterday, it’s clear that social bonds and the idea of reconnecting civilization are going to be very big themes that get explored in Death Stranding.
It almost sounds like a modern Persona game, if not for this little description tacked on the game’s official PlayStation page:
“Help other travelers without ever crossing paths via asynchronous online gameplay. Send supplies, share safe houses and walk in the footsteps of fellow couriers to reunite civilization.”
While Death Stranding is certainly going to be a very single-player focused experience, that hasn’t stopped Kojima Productions from injecting a bit of multiplayer fun into the game as well.
Through asynchronous online gameplay, it looks like players will be able to connect with each other to ease the journey a little.
There are no details on what the online gameplay will be like of course, but from the way the description is worded, you might be able to leave resources for others or even share the locations of safe houses you’ve discovered.
What’s most intriguing about the description, however, is the goal to “reunite civilization.” And this is where I put on my tin foil hat and ask that you humor me a little.
What if Death Stranding features a secret or true ending that actually involves the reunion of civilization?
And in order to do that, every player would have to reach a certain threshold of gathering enough supplies or making enough connections with other players online.
This sounds pretty far-fetched, but when you consider the fact that a whole other ending cutscene was hidden away behind a minor mechanic in Metal Gear Solid V, this theory doesn’t seem all that implausible at all.
We all know about The Phantom Pain’s mythical third chapter that never came to fruition, but we often overlook that other cutscene that only gets triggered when all nukes in the MGSV game world have been disarmed.
This isn’t something that a solo player can do on their own in-game; it requires every single MGSV player to decide not to research and develop more nukes, and actively disarm them whenever you infiltrated another player’s base.
Naturally, this made the hidden cutscene impossible to trigger, as you’d always have players who decided to develop nukes for selfish intents.
However, it was an effort on the game’s part to actively bring the community together to remove all nukes from MGSV and achieve true peace in the world.
Compare that with the emphasis on rebuilding the world and society in Death Stranding, and it’s easy to start seeing similar elements in both goals.
Rebuilding civilization certainly isn’t a one-man job after all, and as badass as Norman Reedus is, I have a hard time believing that protagonist Sam Bridges would be able to bring humanity back together without any help. And that’s where the online gameplay comes in.
Kojima has been hammering home the point of making connections, making strands and ropes that connect people, and coming together with social bonds to rebuild civilization.
With that in mind, I can’t help but recall that lofty nuke-free goal from MGSV and start entertaining the possibility that Death Stranding is going to have some sort of ending or secret that can only be triggered through the online community.
Only time will tell, of course. And for now, Death Stranding continues to look every bit as deliciously mysterious as we’d expect from a game by Kojima.