What is this Death and why is it Stranding?

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I’ve said this before plenty of times, I think... In writing, on streams, day-to-day living and probably in my sleep a couple of times, “I hate fandom.” Not that I despise being a fan of things. If you like something, you should be proud that you like it and you’ll hopefully know a group of people that also enjoy the same thing.

But fandom has become this singular identity. This enjoyment of a product in which you also want to become the thing you enjoy so much. I’ve lived on this planet long enough to know when people love something in moderation and when their soul is being entrapped in a tiny little box labeled “fortnite dances”.

The elephant in the room is getting larger and it’s name is Death Stranding.

I could be embellishing my blog a little bit here, based solely on how I feel like it’s being presented to me. Geoff Keighley is the best and worst example of this. A conflict-of-interest waiting to happen, as he kicks off the opening night of Gamescom to be in service of Kojima. Reminding everyone that he cried at the Game Awards, and that he and Kojima-san would be reunited once again. Mouth agape, waiting for that golden shower, only to be disappointed that it’s actually a mechanic in the video game and wasn’t really promised to receive one.

Did you see how many people ran up to the stage, holding their phones out waiting to be looked at? Did nobody care that you can edit your ride in Need for Speed’s new PHONE APP?

I know this is just a small example, but I don’t understand what Death Stranding is, when it feels like they’re distracting me with my own petty grievances. So I’m going to try and figure this game out, what it looks like to me, what I hope it is, and whatever is inevitable.

What it looks like.

MAMA introduces the crying mechanic from Super Mario World 2, and how you can deal with it.
MAMA introduces the crying mechanic from Super Mario World 2, and how you can deal with it.

The Postman is probably one of my favourite movies of all time. The idea that a man escapes a militia to become a U.S. postal worker, travelling from town-to-town, finally delivering mail that was lost all those years ago. It’s hilarious because it doesn’t feel like it's that far into the future and everyone in the U.S. seems to be lost on the concept of mail. They even co-opt the idea of the mailman to be more of a resistance army. It’s the post apocalypse and any job can really be whatever you want it to be, because it doesn’t matter anymore.

Now imagine that for Death Stranding, but instead of the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon is more technologically advanced as ever and is given the task to reconnect America with the power of delivery. An idea expressed with recent clips at Gamescom.

The new character MAMA is a kind, gentle person that is stuck working at the Amazon warehouse and can never leave. She’s a sympathetic character, with the tragic story of, “while she was pregnant the company wouldn’t even relax her hours, let alone give her time off to go to the hospital and give birth.” As a result her dead baby now haunts her from the other side via umbilical cord. Every other mother in the “Amazon family” died during childbirth and are sent to another facility, while their babies are put to work as “Bridges” to that other part of the game that isn’t quite explained yet. (so let’s just call it the other side.)

What I hope it is.

That being said, My hope for this game is that it’s a glorified walking simulator. It looks like you spend the whole time travelling on foot (or motorcycle I guess) delivering packages to Geoff Keighley holograms all across the country.

Experience the side mission of trying to help Keighley round up world exclusives for the next Game Awards.
Experience the side mission of trying to help Keighley round up world exclusives for the next Game Awards.

Sometimes a tar-like militia will try and invade your personal space and prevent you from making deliveries. So far they haven’t introduced any real way of defending yourself, so running away is your best option. (Unless that’s what they introduced the pissing mechanic for. I can guarantee gamers everywhere will pee all over the ‘Tarmy’ as an act of self defence. Feel free to come back to this blog months later and post a clip from your favourite twitch stream below.)

My hope for this game is: Even though there’s going to be a convoluted anime-bullshit story we’ll spend 50 hours watching, there should be a decent amount of tedious delivery gameplay that I will happily spend 70 hours aimlessly wandering for.

The second hope for this game is that I have an endless supply of ladders and I can lay them all out one by one, truly connecting together America.

What it probably will be.

Since this is the Metal Gear developer that is never truly happy with every game he makes, it’s probably a many years into the future spiritual successor built specifically for Mads Mikkelsen fetish enthusiasts. The “I don’t know, whatever” gameplay developed for MGSV will be developed even further...

Hell you know what, all bets are off with whatever kind of game this is going to be. From what I was alluding to earlier, Kojima’s following is basically cult-like and you can see it with gamers and even the press. Death Stranding is going to be the test of seeing if Kojima can do whatever he wants and we will all love it, even if it’s going to be terrible.

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(I'm not trying to be cynical here, I am looking forward to it, but the PR for this game needs to settle down.)