Death Stranding’s Structure Finally Explained, Players Will be Walking Across America

Aug 21, 2019
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What the heck do you actually do in Death Standing? Hideo Kojima revealed new trailers and gameplay footage at Gamescom Opening Night Live, which answered some questions, but also raised all new ones. Kojima has said the game is about forming strands between fractured American cities and people from East to West, but what does that actually mean? Well, some journalists, including the folks from GamesRadar, managed to get a more in-depth look at Death Stranding behind closed doors at Gamescom, and based on their reports, it sounds like Kojima was being quite literal in his description.

Death Stranding takes place in a future America that’s more divided than ever thanks to a series of deadly terrorist strikes. In an effort to try to bring the fractured country together the president’s daughter Amelie (played by Lindsay Wagner) attempted a cross-country journey in order to reconnect a series of communication relays and spread a message of unity. Unfortunately, Amelie didn’t quite make it to her destination, as she was captured by a terrorist group, Homo Demens, and their leader the “Man in the Golden Mask” (Troy Baker) in the West Coast settlement of Edge Knot City.

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As Norman Reedus’ character Sam Bridges it’s up to you to follow Amelie’s path, walking from East to West across America, reactivating communication nodes and contacting various isolated “Preppers” along the way. The necklace we’ve seen around Sam’s neck is a Q-PIP, basically a series of keys used to unlock Cryon communication terminals. Unlock enough terminals in an area and it will create a strand connecting that area to other areas. A detailed map will track how much of each area you’ve marked and the connections you’ve made with NPCs.

While this isn’t strictly confirmed, based on what I’ve read, it sounds like Death Stranding is taking a page from games like God of War and Metro Exodus and their “wide linear” approach. That is, a series of large, explorable stages you proceed through in a set order, rather than one big sprawling map. The reactivating of Cryon terminals, on the other hand, sounds like pretty standard open-world stuff.

I’m sure these latest details will generate plenty of snark – those who were already accusing Death Stranding of being a walking simulator will be happy – but there’s still tons we don’t know. How will stealth and combat (which the game does have) measure up? Exactly how does the game’s online component work? What happens when enough people pee on that mushroom? I have faith Kojima will deliver something unique, even if the most basic details don’t sound totally mind blowing.

Death Stranding wanders onto PS4 on November 8.

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