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Kojima's Death Stranding will be an action game, sort of

With an interview with Digital Spy and a series of longform tweets from the official Kojima Productions Twitter account, we can finally see the vague silhouette of Death Stranding in the distance.

The most important revelation from the interview is that Death Stranding will be an action game, kind of. Here's the full quote:

"The player will be controlling Norman Reedus' character and it will be an action game if you really want to put a genre on it. For example, when I made Metal Gear, it was an action game but it was different because the main thing was about hiding. People eventually ended up calling that 'stealth action'. In this game the player will be controlling Norman but by playing it they will find something different, something that won't fit in established terms."

So we'll be playing as Norm in a new 'genre' of action game, but what will we be doing that qualifies as action, exactly? It's still unclear, but Kojima Productions tweet storm gives a bit of insight into broader themes for the game, and how they might be represented in how it's played. They're all embedded below, so take a look if you like. I'll just go over the meatier bits.

Failure, or death, has a new meaning. In a traditional action game, this typically means starting over at the latest checkpoint. It appears that Kojima is going to play with the concept. We could theorize all day about this, but I'm just glad to know Kojima is staying weird and still poking at traditional game concepts.

Next up, sticks and rope:

If rope, in the context of Death Stranding, is used to "bind important things to us" does that mean my theory about Hideo Kojima's Aquaman is on point? In my analysis, I somehow missed the fact that all the creatures have synthetic umbilical cords, so maybe instead of exclusively using a "stick" as "most online games" do, Norman will be nature's vindictive katamari, attaching himself to every whale with a pulse. 

He then goes on to ask, "how will you be able to use the rope to connect to people worldwide?" This implies that Death Stranding will have some kind of persistent online multiplayer component tied into what I'm assuming is a traditional-ish single-player game shell. Maybe other players will be represented as animals in our game, and that death quote is all about reincarnation. Die as a whale in one player's world, wake up as a tuna in another.

Either way, it sounds like we'll still have a "stick" which Kojima says represents man's early defensive and offensive tools—weapons, essentially. So we'll have a weapon (stick) and some kind of connective, psuedo-online tool.

To summarize:

  • Death Stranding will be an action game.
  • Norman Reedus' character is the playable protagonist.
  • We'll be using "rope" to connect with other players, maybe animals.
  • We will have a "stick" too, a reference to traditional assault weapons.
  • Death has a "new meaning"—Kojima is playing with game tropes.
  • No one has a damn clue what is actually happening.
James is PC Gamer’s bad boy, staying up late to cover Fortnite while cooking up radical ideas for the weekly livestream. He can still kickflip and swears a lot. You’ll find him somewhere in the west growing mushrooms and playing Dark Souls.