'Death Stranding' Release Date, Plot, Gameplay, Cast for the Kojima Game

The year's most mind-bending video game is coming into focus.

Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear series and viral psychological (unreleased) horror game P.T. is preparing to launch Death Stranding. The open-world action title will be the first release published under Kojima Productions after he parted ways with Konami in 2015 and its been shrouded in mystery since its E3 2016 announcement.

Death Stranding features a star-studded cast, clear political commentary, obscure metaphysical concepts, a slew of science-fiction tropes, and yes, a urination mechanic. But at its very core Death Stranding is about one, simple concept: human connection.

Kojima appeared at Gamescom 2019 in Cologne, Germany Monday to reveal new trailers, characters, and gameplay for Death Stranding. This introduced fans to storylines and concepts that will unravel throughout the game, but it also made an already complex game even more mind boggling.

Thankfully, the exclusive Gamescom gameplay demo also shed light on the vague comments made by Kojima in May.

“The goal of the player is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society,” he said. “It is created so that all elements, including the story and gameplay, are bound together by the theme of the “Strand” or connection. As Sam Porter Bridges [(Norman Reedus)], you will attempt to bridge the divides in society, and in doing create new bonds.”

Confused? We’ve got your covered. Here’s everything we know about Death Stranding.

When Is the Death Stranding Release Date?

Death Stranding is set for release on November 8 and it will be exclusively available on PlayStation 4. (Sorry PC and Xbox gamers.)

When Kojima stepped on stage at Gamescom 2019 Opening Night Live with games journalist Geoff Keighley, he said through a translator that the game is in the “crunch time of the development phase.”

With roughly two and a half months left until launch, is likely putting the finishing touches on what will be Kojima Productions’ debut showing.

What Is Death Stranding About?

Like any other Kojima game, Death Stranding will have a lot of moving parts. But the through line between the other dimensions and the baby strapped to Sam’s chest is straightforward. Players will need to reconnect civilization.

Sam’s mission is to track from the East to the West cost of the United States to reestablish communication networks. The end goal is to bring together a splintered nation by delivering a message of hope from the President of the United Cities of America, Bridget, who is on her deathbed.

Amelie, a mysterious woman who has some relation to Sam, first embarked on this quest, but was captured by the game’s antagonists: the Homo Demens. These terrorists are Death Stranding’s main decentralizing force Sam will face in his travels as he tries to reactivate communication beacons and rescue Amelie.

Kojima Productions

What AboutDeath Stranding’s Other Themes?

Death Stranding will also tackle themes of motherhood and the afterlife primarily through the Bridge Baby (or BB for short) that Sam will carry around everywhere. In the game, the realm of the dead is referred to as the “other side,” which certain newborns seem to have an innate connection to.

BB’s mother died during childbirth, which means they are connected to the other side and Sam can somehow use this connection to also see and interact with the dead. The details of exactly how Sam is able to tap into BB’s connection to the other side were not made clear yet.

Another character revealed at Gamescom 2019, Mama (Margaret Qualley), has an inverse connection to the realm of the dead. Her baby was somehow born in the other side, but is still connected to Mama through an umbilical cord. She’s seen in the trailer holding an invisible baby that Sam can sense.

It’s still unclear how these two realities will merge together with the Death Stranding’s larger theme of human connection. It could be that Sam somehow finds a way to bridge reality to the other side, but that’s speculation for now.

Kojima Productions

Who Are the Cast and Characters in Death Stranding?

We know of eleven characters by name at the moment. There are also three more actors we know will be in Death Stranding who’s characters have yet to be named.

Sam Porter Bridges is the protagonist of the game. He is voiced and modeled after actor American Norman Reedus, best known for his role in The Walking Dead as Daryl Dixon.

Die-Hardman is the commander of Bridges, a delivery services company that Sam is a member and who’s personnel are all connected to the other side. He is modeled and voiced by American actor Tommie Earl Jenkins, best known for his work as as Ubercorn from the television show Go Jetters.

Mama is a member of Bridges and was introduced at Gamescom 2019. She is voiced and modeled after American actress Margaret Qualley, who starred in the Netflix films Death Note and IO and appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Mama in 'Death Stranding'.

Kojima Productions

Deadman is a member of Bridges who was also introduced at Gamescom 2019 that is familiar with how babies are bridges to the other side. He is modeled after Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and he’s voiced by American Jesse Corti, best known for voicing LeFou in Beauty and the Beast.

Heartman is a member of Bridges who’s heart stops every 21 minutes and after dying for three minutes he searches for his family in the other side before he is resuscitated by a defibrillator. He is modeled after Danish film director Nicolas Winding Refn who directed Bleeder (1999) and Drive (2011) and is voiced by Darren Jacbos who’s appeared in Me in Black International (2019).

Amelie is a pivotal to driving Sam’s plot to connect the U.S.. She is modeled after and voiced by Emmy-winning American actress Lindsay Wagner best known for her leading role in science-fiction series The Bionic Woman.

Bridget is the current President of the United Cities of America who is bed-ridden in the Oval Office and who is closely tied to Bridges. She is also modeled after and voiced by Lindsay Wagner, suggesting that Amelie and her could somehow be connected or potentially the same person.

Higgs in 'Death Stranding'.

Kojima Productions

Higgs, also know as the Man in the Golden Mask, is one of the game’s main antagonists who captured Amelie and is affiliated with the Homo Demens. He is voiced and modeled after voice American actor Troy Baker best known for his performance as Joel in The Last of Us.

Cliff is a mysterious soldier who is Sam’s rival figure, he has the ability to control skeletal soldiers and emerge from black liquid anywhere in the world. He is modeled and voiced by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen best know for starring in the TV series Hannibal and the 2012 film The Hunt.

Fraglie is a woman who meets Sam somewhere along his journey and also falls victim to Higgs and the Homo Demens. She is modeled and voiced by French actress Léa Seydoux who starred in Specter (2015) and Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013).

Ludens Fan is a “prepper” and delivery recipient of Sam’s who was introduced at Gamescom 2019. Sam needs to connect the nation by finding as many preppers as possible and establishing a network of them. Ludens Fan is modeled after Geoff Keighley and voiced by American Matthew Mercer, who’s been featured in Attack on Titan and is the voice of McCree in Overwatch.

Amelie in 'Death Stranding'.

Kojima Producitons

Kojima said there will be many more cameos throughout Death Stranding so gamers will need to keep their eyes peeled to find all of the famous faces and voices.

What Even IsDeath Stranding Gameplay Like?

As Sam traverses the U.S. from coast to coast he’ll have access to tools, abilities, items, and vehicles. We’ll have to wait until the game is released for a full scope of all of these, but the Gamescom 2019 gameplay demo gave us a taste of what to expect … and some of it unsavory.

Peeing: Sam will need to answer the call of nature during his travels, and the game will even track how much pee Sam’s bladder is holding (in milliliters if you’re wondering). Kojima said urination can be used as a weapon and will even serve as a “key” for certain things.

In the demo a bright white mushroom sprouted out of the ground after Sam peed. Kojima said if a lot of people pee in one area something “good” might happen. Let’s hope Sam isn’t trying to connect the U.S. to pee in one spot…

Players won't be able to relieve themselves when they're around other characters, just FYI.

Gamecom 2019

Shoulder Scanner: Sam’s trusty shoulder satellite thing seems to be the main way players will travers the expansive world of Death Stranding. It scans a certain radius around Sam and highlights points of interest.

Sam’s Toolkit: Sam will also have access to tools and weapons. We’ve only brief snippets of gunfights, but in the Gamescom 2019 gameplay session Sam uses an extendible latter to climb a hill. His toolkit will likely expand as players advance through the game.

BB Connection: It seems like Sam will have BB strapped to his chest for the entirety of the game as it’ll serve as his key to the other side. There will be times when BB gets sad, angry, stressed, and even hurt. Players will need to use the PS4’s motion sensing controller to carefully rock BB and sooth them. But don’t shake too hard.

There will likely be many more mechanics to explore, but that’s all we know for now.

Players will need to rock their controller to soothe BB.

Gamescom 2019

When Will We See More of Death Stranding?

Kojima said the next big announcement for Death Stranding will be at the Tokyo Game Show starting September 11. Fans will want to tune in if they want to parse together more details about what is turning out to be the most mind-bending game of the year.

Death Stranding will be released on November 8 exclusively on PlayStation 4.