DEATH STRANDING – While it comes out this Friday on PS4, Death Stranding seems to be apart: it is described by the specialized press as pushing the limits between cinema and video games.
[Mis à jour le 8 novembre 2019 à 9h21] “Finally!”, Say some. Death Stranding – and to put it mildly – has been eagerly awaited since the project was announced in 2016 at E3, the Los Angeles video game show. This Friday, November 8, on PS4 and later on PC, fans will finally be able to discover the world apart from this game called “hiking”. A few background elements: this is the latest creation by Hideo Kojima, a respected character in the gaming world as the creator of the “Metal Gear Solid” franchise, one of the legendary video game sagas released in 1998.
Death Stranding is an “open world”, that is to say that the character embodied by the player evolves in freedom on an immense territory. The aim of the game ? Difficult to summarize in a few lines, but it is a question of crossing the United States with a post-apocalyptic face, the back loaded with packages in order to rebuild a communications network to reconnect humans living underground. To this are obviously added dangers, materialized in very different ways with ghosts, but also rain which accelerates aging.
This world out of the Japanese creator’s imagination may seem crazy but it reflects a real desire to denounce the excesses of the current world (the real one): individualism, inaction against global warming … “‘Death Stranding’ is a new type Playo, whose objective is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society “, summarized in May 2019 Hideo Kojima on Twitter. According to the specialized press, the narration would be very advanced – the game reaches forty-five hours of adventures -, and Death Stranding does not seem to be made for lovers of video game fights. If there are many confrontation sequences, they do not seem to be the strong point of the game, much more engaging when it comes to developing survival strategies.
Like a Red Dead Redemption II, the Rockstar blockbuster, Death Stranding pours into the contemplative, while the player’s objective is sometimes only to start from point A to reach point B. Sound another strong point remains its proximity – hailed by the critics – with the cinema. The cast is no stranger to it since the characters in the game take on the features of Norman Reedus, Léa Seydoux and Mads Mikkelsen. Death Stranding “pushes the border between games and cinema. It is actually an interactive film, and it is something we are seeing more and more,” says Marc Alonso, game expert for the research company. “Euromonitor International” market quoted by AFP.
Death Stranding on PC
No one was expecting it, but Death Stranding will be released on PC. Without details on the specifics of this version, the game is announced for the start of summer 2020. If the timing of the announcement is intriguing, PC players can rejoice since they will only have a few months to wait before getting their hands on the latest creation from Kojima.
The fate of PnJ is in the hands of the player
Hideo Kojima spoke at the Garage Museum of Modern Art in Moscow and explained how players will have to maintain connection with the characters they will meet throughout the game. “For example, we have a character who lives underground. He is sick and needs medicine, which Sam can deliver to him. The meeting is made at the beginning of the story, and this makes him a very good example. ” Explain Kojima. “After completing the quest that concerns him, the player will have the following choice: come back regularly to see the old man to bring him his medicine, other objects or listen to his stories, or forget about him”. Obviously, you will constantly progress in Death Stranding, and that will keep you away from that old man. Some will choose to go further and further in order to maintain this famous connection, while others will choose to go ahead and focus on the tasks ahead.
“Of course, since you haven’t delivered his medicine to him for a long time, the old man will eventually die. These are the kinds of actions that will make a connection between the characters. We really hope the deep meaning of the connection between people (how it is formed and develops) will be interesting to play for the players “ends Kojima. If the game mechanics in itself is very interesting, it is added to all the mechanics already presented, and could weigh down the game more than it takes, and thus risks depriving it of its playing function.
This trailer has already been revealed to a privileged few during Gamescom, and introduces the character of Amélie. This character, embodied by Lindsay Wagner, represents the only hope of reconstruction of the United States and reconnection of the survivors. This new president, who would have inherited her role from her mother, does not seem to age and has known Sam for a long time. Amélie is therefore held in the city of Edge Knot by a group of paramilitary separatists, the Homo Demens, who oppose the reunification of cities, called UCA (United Cities of America). This will push Sam to cross the country and meet people to finish Amélie’s work, to possibly release her at the end of her trip.
The new character is Heartman, the man who dies every 21 minutes and then spends 3 minutes in the afterlife before coming back to life. In the 2-minute cutscene introducing us to the character, he talks to us about how he learned to live his strange existence, in particular by amassing a huge library and video library, each component of which keeps you going for 20 minutes or less. Heartman is interpreted by Nicolas Winding Refn, director of Drive or Only God Forgives.
Unveiled at the end of May 2019, the trailer shows a lot. The scenario places us in the United States after an apocalypse, bringing together several groups. The goal would be to restore the bond between men, which was lost at one point, and which caused Death Stranding. Without saying more about the course of the game, the gameplay is however well put forward. What marks us directly is the freedom of movement that the game promises, with many objects allowing to move regardless of the obstacle. The main enemy to avoid is obviously the famous Death Stranding, which seems to be an embodiment of a spirit from beyond the grave. We see in the trailer many ghosts of the two world wars, led in particular by “Cliff”, the character played by Mads Mikkelsen, able to link the world of the living and that of Death Stranding. But humans will also oppose us and we will have to face them with very little means, the most useful option often being the flight into the territories of Death Stranding so that humans stop chasing us, but at our risk and perils. Many players are also present, in addition to those previously announced. The cast is really 5 stars with Norman Reedus, Léa Seydoux, Mads Mikkelsen, Guillermo Del Toro, but also Margaret Qualley, Nicolas Winding Refn, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Troy Baker or Lindsay Wagner.
To tease us, Hideo Kojima had offered us three tweets just before the trailer for May 29, with a symbolism, each carrying a sentence that has meaning in the cultural universe of Hideo Kojima. The first is a video with the phrase “Create the rope”, literally “create the rope”.
The second tweet for its part, came out a little later, and put us in front of an almost identical scene, with a few more images on the screen. However, in addition to the “Create the rope” of the previous tweet, we now have a new sentence, which appears above the trailer: “help us reconnect”, “Help us reconnect”. A sentence much more enigmatic than the previous one, but the notion of reconnection can be compared to the different trailers that we have seen so far, notably involving an incubator containing a child, which several characters will successively disconnect and reconnect. This teaser would therefore validate the capital importance that this baby would have for the unfolding of the story and the adventure, as we later learn in the big trailer. But reconnecting can also be done socially, and loneliness seems to be the watchword of this work. Loneliness in desert areas, in a world where humanity has collapsed, it is more than necessary for his mental health to find another person to connect with socially, even though these people may have fallen into madness.
This sentence probably relates to the fact that Hideo Kojima often refers to a text by Kōbō Abe, a Japanese playwright, who said that the man first invented the stick to defend himself and the rope to protect what is for him. expensive. Hideo Kojima, inspired by this sentence, said then that he wanted to focus on “the rope”, since we mainly use “the stick” in the games we usually play. It will therefore be necessary to plan a more passive game, without however that it pours in the infiltration specified Hideo Kojima. The poetry that overflows with Death Strading is becoming more palpable with each passing year, but this poetry tinged with horror would be able to repel more than one. Finally, the second tweet in turn allows us to clarify things about the information that was revealed during the trailer for May 29.
Death Stranding, for those who are not sure what it is, it is above all a video game strangeness. A UFO in the video game world in which we are used to seeing the same kinds of games, if not the same games. The cast is five stars, with Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux or Guillermo Del Toro. The baby still incubated is however the center of attention, and several characters will try to protect it. But protect it from what? It is very difficult to say because most of the creatures in this world seem totally invisible, yet capable of grasping humans as if they weighed nothing, even even corrupting some and raising the dead, just that. Death Stranding is an invisible, intangible, yet dangerous threat. We know Hideo Kojima for his fantastic inventiveness, and we can trust him to put us in situations that push us to our limits.