Some thoughts on Gameplay in Death Stranding

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#1 Posted by Lekebusch (16 posts) -

So Norman (Sam Porter Bridges) delivers. And we clearly see he delivers when faced with all sorts of natural conditions. Including rain that makes you age and "abuctors" that are invisible to you, if you do not bring a baby that is. All story aside, what do you do in this game?

I think something like this might be close: You deliver packages, that rope (through spacetime) to other online players upon delivery. The more you bring, the more danger you will face (surviving, natural threats or otherwise) but an unknown other player will bear the fruits of your labor. Goal is to plan and survive the trip, and not die in the process, as it leaves a crater in the world. Maybe for another player, maybe for your own gameworld. Viceversa, you may gain items from ropes created by others in your own game world. Thus depending on each other, and non linear multiplayer being important in the game.

Imagine starting with the devs only having acces to motorcycles, guns, drones, different enviromental suits, (all of these can be seen to be used in the game during the trailer) etc. Then through the online component and people packmuling across the most dangerous terrain, any player may obtain these through the skyropes. Maybe what you bring will shape the world. Choose to deliver a gun to another player? Maybe there will be more invisible abductors in your gameworld by making those choices.

Do you have any thoughts on Death Stranding's gameplay mechanics after the E3 trailer?

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#2 Edited by Lajiaya (4 posts) -

@lekebusch said:

Goal is to plan and survive the trip, and not die in the process, as it leaves a crater in the world. Maybe for another player, maybe for your own gameworld.

I'd be very interested if the gameplay loop were something like this. I think in general it will have some kind of asynchronous cooperative online element. What some people (myself included) are apprehensive about is how cerebral the moment-to-moment gameplay will be, especially if the emphasis is directed away from any substantial combat, and what kind of enemies or obstacles one will have to deal with in what ways including and in addition to those ghost-things.

(Edit: Also I don't remember there being any drones in the trailer. But it was interesting seeing the bike, only to have it fall off of the cliff).

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#3 Posted by DorkyMohr (252 posts) -

Aging and wear and tear on your body most likely to be a major component of the gameplay. The interviewer on Playstation's thing when talking to Kojima was under the impression that you would be playing as people other than Sam (Norman Reedus) but Kojima said that wasn't the case. I think the interviewer was noticing some shots of the player model looking different than how Norman Reedus has been portrayed overall for the game. Given that they did a really good job of de-aging Jamie Sommers' model, I think a younger Norman Reedus or two isn't out of the question. As for wear and tear on the body, I don't think that impromptu toenail removal was just for the sake of visceral-ness for the trailer. Pushing yourself too hard is likely going to have some gameplay effect.

Them's my thoughts. I hope they advance the real tactile movement feel of MGSV, given that this game looks like it's going to have a lot of traversal.

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#4 Edited by Lekebusch (16 posts) -

@lajiaya said:

I'd be very interested if the gameplay loop were something like this. I think in general it will have some kind of asynchronous cooperative online element. What some people (myself included) are apprehensive about is how cerebral the moment-to-moment gameplay will be, especially if the emphasis is directed away from any substantial combat, and what kind of enemies or obstacles one will have to deal with in what ways including and in addition to those ghost-things.

I don't know about cerebral, maybe more meditative? Maybe more balanced in that regard then most games. Like Journey, Abzu, Shadow of the Colossus as far as pacing and what you "do". With Kojima repeating the approach of a rope vs. a stick, also mentioning Norman is not a military professional Death Stranding sets us up for something different. Understand your apprehension. The challenge, of making a non-combat oriented game interesting, might be that for the devs.
So what might a short experience be like:
Your Main story quest asked you to make a delivery that can't be done yet. As you've drowned twice now in the rapids. You need some sort of floatation device to make it across. Also the sharp rocks near the mountain ridge killed your stamina and drained your supplies, as the rocks cut right through your boots. You decide to make a "Player" delivery, helping others stuck in this area. Why not take on a large one, as you know plenty about your route now. Meanwhile you could search the "drops"/skyropes for a boat and some boots.
Unlike your previous trip, the weather is different this time. You are wearing way to much gear with this much sun out. You don't decide to drop a package. Just keep pushing. Because of your hurry, you ripped open your suit. You guessed it; rain is coming. And with rain, "them". No way of seeing them yet. Your best bet is to hide and keep still. Spending time and resources you do not have. And with the suit ripped, this might age you much more then a normal trip would. After pushing as far as you can, you decide to "deliver" the items you have been carrying. A rope reaches out into the sky, creating a bond between anyone playing. Good luck to whomever may use them. There is no return trip now. As it seems you are out, and other players havent ventured out this far.
Just as you accept that it is over, you turn the corner and see a bright white rope reaching out. The food, the anitbiotics, the suit repair kit, please be in there. We might even think about making it back to base this time. What if the boats in there?
@lajiaya said:

(Edit: Also I don't remember there being any drones in the trailer. But it was interesting seeing the bike, only to have it fall off of the cliff).

Called the hoovering transport/carrier machines drones, excuse me if that caused confusion.

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#5 Posted by Lajiaya (4 posts) -

Basically what I mean by "cerebral" is that there are enough game mechanics to think about and situations to consider at a pace that keeps the player engaged; which is pretty much what your speculations for gameplay are describing. It can be meditative as well, but if it's slow to the degree that most people will get bored, it won't be very popular.

I don't think a big budget Journey (with the same number and depth of game mechanics) will do well for the new Kojima Productions. The first game that they release needs to be enticing to a large enough audience that publishers will be willing to support them further on. I'm not saying it needs to have shooting or big action sequences, but it needs to be fun and interesting, or else a lot of people will get off the KojiPro-wagon. Don't get me wrong, I still find it interesting myself and it's my most anticipated game, but I definitely see a lot of people saying "this looks boring" after the trailer was shown.

I hope it retains and builds on the ethos of open-world systematic elements, like some of the stuff you're describing. And if a lot of it is traversal, I hope it ends up being rewarding rather than troublesome (one of the mechanics I think will be keeping your balance as you carry on body on your back, and I can picture gameplay like that turning off a lot of people).

We know it won't be power fantasy like MGSV, but it's still unique enough to keep a lot of people's interests (so far).

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