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Death Stranding release date: Kojima Productions announces official launch date

Hideo Kojima's enigmatic new game is launching later this year – here's everything we know about Death Stranding

Death Stranding is upon us. After a painfully long Twitch livestream, Kojima Productions dropped a monstrous eight-minute release date announcement video that unveiled the new title in all its glory. It’s the first coherent look we’ve had at this sense-defying game, and it has plenty to offer.

For a detailed look at the new trailer plus every other trailer we’ve seen so far, as well as all the other tidbits of information we have on Death Stranding, read on.

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Death Stranding: Everything you need to know

Death Stranding release date and price: When will it launch, and how much will it cost?

Praise be to Kojima: Death Stranding has a release date. It’s available for preorder right this instant and will launch on 8 November 2019 – a mere 6 months from now. There is a deluxe edition of the game that comes with a steelbook case and some golden cosmetic/functional items for your character Sam; this edition costs £65 on the PlayStation Store, where the standard edition costs £55. 

There’s also a collector’s edition of the game that comes with everything we’ve listed above plus a cute keyring and a life-size model of the baby-in-a-tank that you see in the trailer. Yeah, we wish we were kidding too. No word on a price for that one just yet. 

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If you want to keep things simple, Death Stranding is currently available for preorder from Amazon for £49.99. If you weren’t already aware, this is another PlayStation exclusive, so Xbox or PC owners can look away now. 

Death Stranding trailer: First look at the new game

Before we do anything else, here’s the official release date announcement trailer for Death Stranding.

The official description for the game does a better job of explaining what just happened than we ever could, so let’s throw that in for good measure:

“In the near future, mysterious explosions have rocked the globe, setting off a series of supernatural events known as the Death Stranding. With otherworldly creatures plaguing the landscape, and mass extinction imminent, it’s up to Sam Porter Bridges to travel across the ravaged wasteland and save humanity from impending annihilation.”

The trailer gives us a good look at the key players – many of whom are familiar faces – as well as the open-world environment, gameplay and story. Before we dive into what we’ve gleaned from the trailers so far, here’s what Hideo Kojima himself had to say about Death Stranding.

“People have built “Walls” and become accustomed to living in isolation.

“DEATH STRANDING” is a completely new type of action game, where the player’s goal is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society. All elements, including the story and gameplay, are bound together by the theme of “Strand”, or connection.

As Sam Porter Bridges, you will attempt to “Bridge” these divisions, and in doing so, create new bonds or “Strands” with other players around the globe. 

Through your experience playing the game, I hope you’ll come to understand the true importance of forging connections with others.”

Death Stranding story: What is it about?

This is another million-dollar question. Despite having at least six trailers to go on so far, including an eight-minute monstrosity, we still don’t have much of an idea about what’s going on. Here’s everything we DO know. 

It’s the USA, but different

Death stranding is set in the United States. We know this because multiple characters say so, but also because we see Sam chatting with a seemingly very ill President in the White House. The Death Stranding has clearly caused a bit of a mess, and the land is now stalked by the Beached Things and other entities or forces from the Other Side. 

You’re a courier 

Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) is a delivery man. We don’t know what he’s delivering, but we know he’s doing it with help from a group of individuals who are seemingly trying to rebuild the USA and avoid persecution at the hands of the Homodemons with their golden masks and superhuman powers. The trailer makes repeated reference to couriers like Sam forging physical connections with cities and individuals.

The Death Stranding is a problem

By the look of things, the cataclysmic event known as the Death Stranding has sent humanity running for the hills. Violent sci-fi bandits stalk the landscape in hazmat suits while frankly eerie shadow-creatures hang suspended from the sky by a string. An inky black goo seems to be oozing all over the shop, and somehow, certain humans have learned how to control it. 

Babies in jars are definitely weird

It was certainly relieving to hear Norman Reedus express his disgust at using a baby in a jar (called a Bridge Baby) to power his robotic arm and help him detect the Beached Things. The babies are clearly crucial to both story and gameplay, but their full function is as of yet unknown. 

Death Stranding: Gameplay

Death Stranding is definitely an open-world action adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The release date announcement trailer was littered with snippets of gameplay that shed a little light on what you can expect to be doing in-game; there’s still no clear sense of what your goal might be, but at the very least we’ve seen brief examples of some core mechanics.

Traversal is fun

The world of Death Stranding is an ever-shifting thing, and it looks like you’ll have to use a variety of tools to cross it safely. The trailer shows us that a menu wheel will grant the player access to all kinds of funky stuff: ladders and abseiling ropes feature in the clips we see, as well as a futuristic-looking motorbike that we’re dying to try out.

Apparently, the landscape will be affected by the various supernatural elements that exist upon it. It appears that Sam is also having to deal with the weight of the load he’s carrying on his back – this will presumably have an impact on elements of traversal.

Stealth is key

It’s clear that stealth plays a sizeable role in the more action-orientated sequences of gameplay. Sam is seen dodging bandits using tall grass and crouching in a manner strongly reminiscent of our favourite Tactical Espionage Operations expert. There’s even a familiar klaxon that sounds when Sam is discovered by the enemy… SNAAAAAAAAKE!?!

The Beached Things are clearly something to be avoided as well: Sam seems to be using his Bridge Baby and robotic arm to pinpoint the location of these shadowy creatures and slip past them unnoticed. 

Violence is a last resort

In the trailer, Sam is spotted by some baddies and goes on the run. They chase him down with electrified poles and manage to get conveniently close enough that we can watch a bit of Death Stranding combat. Sam throws a few punches, whacks the hazmat-suit bandits with a package and hurls a kick for good measure.

Judging by the effort involved in throwing those punches – and by how many hits the player takes in the process – it’s clear that combat is something to be used only if necessary. While being chased, Sam drops an item that he was carrying (perhaps a delivery) and staggers pretty heavily when he sustains damage.

Death is not the end

According to the official PlayStation webpage: “there is no traditional ‘game over’ state in Death Stranding.” When you run out of health, you’ll end up in a creepy floaty shadow world, where you’ll need to hunt for a way out instead of reloading a previous save. It seems that your death will have contextual repercussions, so try not to die. 

Death Stranding: Previous trailers

The first trailer, which came over two years ago, was perhaps the most basic – just a teaser confirming that Kojima was working on something new after his acrimonious split with developer Konami in 2015.

In the trailer, we saw Sam holding a baby which seems to become invisible before walking away. There’s quite a bit more to process here too, including dead fish, Sam’s oily hands, and five mysterious figures floating in the sky at the end.

At the end of 2016, we got another taster, plus two new characters revealed in del Toro and Mikkelsen. There’s more dead sea dwellers, del Toro carrying a baby this time, an army passing by a ruined city, and Mikkelsen commanding troops via attached cables.

After a year of nothing came the most action-packed trailer yet, with so much going on it’s hard to know where to begin, plus a ton of small details for the theorists to pick up and run with.

The opening voiceover hints at a second Big Bang having caused the events of the game, before Sam the ‘porter’ and his two companions are attacked by the unseen creatures. We see a face rapidly age when exposed to the ‘Timefall’ rain, the shoulder-mounted lights make their first appearance, a mercy killing, and an attempted mercy suicide. In addition to that, a gold-masked mystery figure (Troy Baker, perhaps) appears to command the attack, the oil creatures make an appearance, and at the end Sam seems to be ‘reborn’ after drowning. Phew.

Coming earlier this year we got the longest trailer yet, including the introduction of Seydoux and Wagner (who could be Sam’s wife), and a lot of shots of Sam ferrying stuff around an empty landscape.

There’s a bit of an exposition dump at the start too, as we learn Sam’s full name, occupation and that he can sense ‘them’ – presumably the monsters. The function of ‘Timefall’ is confirmed too, as we see it affecting plants. Towards the end we get confirmation that Sam can return from death, and a hint of gameplay as he attempts to creep past the mysterious creatures.

This little snippet was released at the Tokyo Game Show in 2018. The trailer, which lasts just over a minute, introduces a couple of new things to Hideo Kojima’s disturbing new world, including the game’s antagonist and a new, terrifying creature.

Norman Reedus’ protagonist Sam, carrying a live human on his back, comes across the assumed antagonist of the game, a man wearing a golden mask played by Troy Baker (Metal Gear Solid V, The Last of Us). Baker’s character is carrying the same Bridge Baby Pod and wearing the same shoulder-mounted robo-arm, so maybe a good guy turned bad?

The oil-based monsters are back, seemingly commanded by Baker’s character and his mask. There’s a new monster too – some kind of big oily lion wearing a gold mask (yeah, we know) which is summoned by Baker. The events of the trailer seem to be a prelude to a boss battle.

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