Since gamescom: Opening Night Live earlier this week, Death Stranding has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. During the pre-show, Kojima offered another glimpse at the game and its story. The footage answered a few burning questions, but raised even more. One concerns the multiplayer component. Online functionality was teased in a bizarre way. According to pre-show host Geoff Keighley, who’s set to appear in the game, people aren’t fully taking Death Stranding’s online capabilities into consideration.
In the footage, Norman Reedus’ character, Sam, urinates in the grass, watering an area that soon grows a mushroom. Kojima explained that if other players do something similar in the same spot, even more mushrooms will appear. Sure, in this context, Death Stranding’s online functions sound absurd. However, in an interview with IGN, Keighley noted that people are missing the point. Forget the curious mushroom mechanics. What does this mean for the experience’s other multiplayer capabilities?
Keighley told IGN the following,
…What he’s doing with the online aspects of it, I think people aren’t quite fully ready for what he’s sort of doing. And if you remember, even in Opening Night Live, we talked a lot about how people like, you know, everyone can like pee on the mushroom, and it’ll grow bigger. And it’s like, I mean, it’s silly and funny, but you got to take that concept and think about how that applies to everything you do in the game, and this sort of connected world and connecting people… People are like, oh, that’s so silly, crazy Kojima. But think about that, how that applies to everything you’re doing in Death Stranding…
And again, I think he’s building something that is, it’s not just a single player game is sort of these online components. I think he’ll eventually talk about more of that. But I’m really excited for people to kind of realize what’s in the game. And again, I don’t even fully understand it, because there’s so much to it. But, you know, he’s operating at such a different level with like, rocking the baby and all this other craziness…
At the very least, Keighley does have a point. We can’t be too sure of how any of this will pan out, especially since Kojima is so secretive. Months ago, the developer spoke about Death Stranding’s emphasis on connections. What this means specifically still isn’t quite known. Yet, it suggests multiplayer may be more significant than anyone’s currently thinking.
Recently, journalists who had the chance to take a closer look at Death Stranding shared a basic breakdown of the title’s overarching premise. One prevalent theme seems to be spreading hope. Might that be how the title’s online aspects will play a bigger part? We’ll know in a few months.
Death Stranding will launch for the PlayStation 4 on November 8, 2019.