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2019 / 09 / 15


Watched the near-hour of gameplay demo for Death Stranding the other night. Pretty stunning, although I know it’s not for everyone. There’s an incredible richness in the lonely vision of the future Hideo Kojima and his team are finally bringing to light.

The fact that the rain in this dimensionally-sundered world accelerates time/aging for organic and inorganic matter is, damn, what a cool concept. So everyone wears plastic or other synthetic materials to shield themselves from this “Timefall” and its effects. Because plastic/synthetics take forever to decompose. It seems like Sam’s hood instantly deploys when it detects rain. Absolutely love that combination of mystical/weird and practical in this “Man vs. Nature” dynamic. A little like plugging your controller in the other port to thwart Psycho Mantis.

So if rain is aging stuff in this version of earth, it’s possible huge geographical alterations have occurred in random swaths across the American continent. I mean alongside the supposed merging and tearing-apart of multiple realities/dimensions in the game’s world, there’s a “OK, that makes sense” quality to it. It’s a clearer sci-fi “what if” than the World of the Dead pockmarking the World of the Living, pockmarks which are also going to be big obstacles. To me, those sections look like the Tactical Espionage Action element; the stealth gameplay Kojima and company have mastered over decades.

Then there are just the general secrets/mysteries we’ve come to expect (and crave) from a Directed by Hideo Kojima game. I’ve kept myself relatively in the dark by staying away from the game’s subreddit, and I feel like watching the gameplay demo was enough (something nicely esoteric about not having subtitles for it; just observing the mechanics as an outsider). I’m all about that strange baby (BB?) and how Sam carries [him? her? it?] like he has a womb. Another curio of Sam’s insanely desireable and detailed post-apocalyptic professional deliveryman techwear getup. Also a fan of all his gadgets; seems like there will be the classic nonlethal shooty-things, then there was the exoskeleton legs letting Sam run as fast as a truck and do superjumps, and that hover-carrier but also hoverboard… of course. It was a barrage of every future-tech thing I would want back when I was 15 but also as a 30 year-old man.

Smaller note, but I admire how Hideo casually weaves the feeling of traditionally Asian or ancient human things into this Dystopian Far Future America. Enjoying a hot spring (probably filled with interdimesional restorative nanomachines) fully nude, for example. In another Death Stranding gamplay video from TGS 2019, it seems like you share these springs with other denizens making their way through the world. Or maybe they’re ghosts.

What is the signifigance of Sam making deliveries and carrying more and more cargo (heh)? Is the human body the most adaptable vehicle to traverse the frighteningly fast changing landscape of this messed up world? The desolation in the game speaks to me; it’s tantalizing for a massively introverted person that has had to live in cities for years. Despite its otherworldly hazards, the rendition of the super hikable United States — devastated/reclaimed by supernatural time and nature — is a really new and exciting setting to the likes of me. And I must play it.