Death Stranding is potentially many years away from releasing at this point, but that hasn't stopped Hideo Kojima providing multiple teases and glimpses of the game over the past few years. In this Death Stranding everything we know guide, we'll be compiling all the information we have on the enigmatic game so far, including all the Death Stranding gameplay we've seen, as well as a complete list of the revealed Death Stranding characters, and their actors. There's also a roundup of the various Death Stranding trailers that have been shown off at events like E3 and TGS, and talk of a potential Death Stranding release date, however many years away it might still be.
There's no doubt that Death Stranding is still years away from launching, even if it has been in development for well over two years at this point in time. We'll keep this guide completely up to date with any new information that releases about the game, so you've got a complete hub of knowledge for Kojima Productions's game right here.
Death Stranding Release Date
We we previously mentioned, there's still no release date, or even release window, for Death Stranding at the time of writing. Although the game has been in development at Kojima Productions for well over two years at this point, we've only just seen gameplay for the title (more on that below), so it's still a fair way off from releasing.
Realistically speaking, there's basically no chance of Death Stranding releasing within the next year or so. A 2020 release date could be a possibility, although there's been a healthy amount of speculation from around the industry that Death Stranding is a PlayStation 5 game.
Death Stranding TGS 2018 Trailer
Just below, you can check out the latest trailer for Death Stranding, which Hideo Kojima presented at the Tokyo Games Show 2018, in September. This is the first time that we've seen Troy Baker's character in action, and it certainly looks like he'll be playing one of the few antagonists to Norman Reedus' character in the game.
At Sony's E3 2018 presentation on June 11, there was another trailer for Kojima Productions' game. This was a departure from previous Death Stranding trailers, as where they've before functioned as atmospheric teases, this trailer showed off actual gameplay for the first time, as well as distinct camera cuts, whereas previous trailers have featured one extended take.
In the extended trailer, Reedus' character is offered a job by an unknown character, but he declines, stating that he "only makes deliveries". We then see Reedus' character traversing rivers and mountains, in what definitely looks like it could be Iceland. A second character, played by Lea Seydoux, then joins Reedus later on, while monsters seemingly close in all around them, and she revealed that the name of Reedus' character is Sam.
Finally, Sam has to sneak past tons of spectral figures, using a device in his shoulder to reveal their locations. The spectral figures eventually catch sight of him, and it looks like he's suffocated by a group of them, before the screen fades to black. This is the debut of actual Death Stranding gameplay footage, which shows the direction that Kojima Productions is taking the game in.
As for the game engine that Death Stranding will be running on, Kojima eventually settled on the Decima Engine, the one used by Guerilla Games in Horizon Zero Dawn. This was way back in 2017, and since we've only just seen gameplay for the title halfway through 2018, it makes a 2019 release basically impossible, even if Kojima previously claimed that Death Stranding would release in the year that Akira is set (2019).
Ludvig Forssell, the composer who worked with Hideo Kojima on the music for Metal Gear Solid V, will partner up with Kojima Productions once again, to create the music for Death Stranding. We also know that long time Kojima collaborator Yoji Shinkawa, who has designed the look and aesthetic of every Kojima Productions game so far, will work on Death Stranding.
Death Stranding at The Game Awards 2017
At The Game Awards 2017 ceremony on December 7, 2017 in LA, the trailer just below was shown off for Death Stranding, which teases us even more as to the true nature of the game.
If like us you watched the Game Awards 2017 trailer with a look of puzzlement on your face, you might be wondering what the lengthy cinematic was all about. Well, the bad news is that we don't know either, but there are some interesting things to note.
- Detect invisible enemies - the cinematic shows the human characters using shoulder-mounted devices to illuminate the area and detect whatever the invisible threat is.
- Enemies take humans - The enemies in the Death Stranding cinematic seem to latch onto humans and drag them down. The unfortunate man who dropped his gun after being taken is seen shooting a fallen friend to save him from whatever came next. The end of the main portion of the trailer also shows a giant beast consuming a human.
- The Baby - A baby has played a major part in all the Death Stranding reveals, and this Game Awards cinematic is no different. A baby is seen being carried in a vessel of some sort by the aforementioned man. When he is grabbed by the enemies he drops the vessel so Norman Reedus' character can take it and presumably keep it safe.
At the Siggraph 2017 event in Los Angeles, Guerilla Games principal tech programmer Giliam de Carpentier and Kojima Productions' Kohei Ishiyama hosted a presentation called Decima Engine: Advcances in Lighting and AA. During the presentation, the fog system used by the Decima Engine for Death Stranding was shown off, snippets of which you can see for yourself just below.
The demo footage shown below is from the second Death Stranding trailer, revealed back at PSX 2016. The aim of Kojima Productions when using the Decima Engine is to create photorealistic graphics, and these tech demos look like they're drawing closer to their goal.
Death Stranding Characters - Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Guillermo del Toro
When asked about the key gameplay design of Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima described it as a “quasi-action” game, with different elements. He highlighted the “kicking, punching, and shooting” elements of action games as being incorporated into Death Stranding, albeit in a form of communication.
Outside of these gameplay elements, Norman Reedus was the first character shown off for the game, appearing in the debut trailer for Death Stranding shown at E3 2016. In the enigmatic trailer, Reedus is shown to be waking up on a beach with a baby beside him, before the baby disappears, and Reedus looks out onto the shores of the beach, seeing a horde of deceased sealife. We know now that the name of Reedus' character is Sam, although he's still largely a mystery for now.
In the second trailer for Death Stranding, revealed by Kojima at PSX 2016, Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen were shown to be characters in the game, with the latter being the antagonist. It is unknown what role del Toro will play, but Mikkelsen will be the villain of the game, opposing Reedus’ character and an unannounced female protagonist. We've not seen either character in promotional material for Death Stranding since this trailer in 2016, but we know that both characters are still very much an active part of the game.
Finally, we know that Lea Seydoux has joined the cast of Death Stranding in an unknown role. The character appeared in the E3 2018 trailer for the game alongside Norman Reedus, and it appears as though she may have even eaten a fetus at one point in the trailer. Ew.
Death Stranding Lindsay Wagner
During the E3 2018 gameplay demo for Death Stranding, it was revealed the Lindsay Wagner would be a part of the game. Wagner actually appears as a younger version of herself in the trailer, and when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Kojima revealed that he settled on Wagner for the role of the heroine the day after deciding on Norman Reedus for the role of the hero.
Kojima also revealed that it was particularly difficult to get Lindsay Wagner on board for Death Stranding, considering there are guns and violence used in the game. Nonetheless, Wagner is now a part of Death Stranding, playing a younger version of herself, and you can see the full poster for her character just below.
New characters and actors that Kojima is working with for Death Stranding are being revealed all the time, with Lea Seydoux's character in particular being a late addition. We'll make sure to keep this section of our Death Stranding guide completely up to date, so you know of any new characters that will be making an appearance in the game.
Death Stranding Fan Theories
We might know basically nothing about the true plot behind Death Stranding, but that hasn’t stopped those around the internet from theorizing about what the game could potentially be about.
For one, there’s a theory about Death Stranding focussing on the preservation of nature. The term ‘Cetacean stranding’ describes an event where aquatic wildlife strand themselves on land, dying due to a lack of salt water. This ties in with both the title of the game, and all the wildlife carcasses that Norman Reedus’ character witnesses on the beach, in the debut trailer for the game.
The first trailer for Death Stranding opened with a William Blake quote, who believed humans are born with a religious faith. The baby seen with Reedus could represent religious faith, and the tears that Reedus sheds could in fact be tears of joy, at rediscovering faith through the child. Also, the c-section scar across the stomach of Reedus’ character could also be seen to resemble the cross of Christianity.
Another new theory surfaced online, once the second trailer with Guillermo del Toro was released. Fans found out that if you sync up the two trailers in perfect harmony, the baby awakens in the second trailer at exactly the same moment as it vanishes in the first trailer. This obviously produced more questions than answers, as it was speculated that del Toro’s character could be stealing the baby from Norman Reedus.
There’s no doubt that more theories will be talked about whenever the next trailer for Death Stranding is released.