One of the most intriguing games on the horizon that we know very little about is Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding. We know it stars Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead but beyond that we have no idea about the game details... well, until now... sort of.
According to Siliconera, Kojima Productions have been tweeting out scant information about the upcoming third-person title, revealing that Death Stranding will have a "new form" of co-op. Kojima has been describing the co-op in terms of "sticks" and "ropes", mysteriously classifying the way multiplayer is handled in some games. He described most multiplayer games as having "sticks" in which to fight with (typically PvP oriented multiplayer games) but he wanted players to have a "rope" in which to tether them together. He doesn't explain the "rope" philosophy beyond a concept he showed on stage recently where an illustration had Guillermo Del Toro, Norman Reedus, and Kojima jumping rope together. Because that makes sense!
If the idea is to connect players through experiences rather than PvP, then it's not something terribly new given that games from thatgamecompany have managed to do the same in the past with titles like Journey for the PS3 and PS4. The hook for that game was that players had no way to communicate other than through light sound indicators and players would come and go from each other's games as they journeyed through the world. It was a seamless, unique experience that "roped" players together through the common goal of reaching the end. No bickering, no trolling, no vocal communication. Just companionship.
If Kojima and crew take that route then that could be very interesting for Death Stranding. But how would co-op be setup if it already has a single protagonist? Well, according to the tweets, there could be a female heroine. The account notes that casting is still underway and a female heroine could be included. What would be cool is if for every player who picked a female protagonist they would be matched up cooperatively with someone playing as Norman Reedus. And for everyone who picked Norman Reedus, they would be matched up with another player playing as the female protagonist. That would be interesting.
The rest of the tweets focus on the release window for Death Stranding. The window is about as vague as the information we have on the actual plot of the game. According to Kojima Productions, we're looking at the game launching ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, which means it has a production cycle of just under four years. They also note that it's coming before the new Akira movie. But then again... the Akira movie has been delayed and waylaid so many times that it inspires little to no confidence in terms of a solid release window.
The Kojima Productions Twitter account does note that the release window is set in relative stone given that the budget is already in place.
Some gamers are wondering about the platform release given that we're already halfway through eighth-gen and it would seem kind of weird to focus on releasing on the PS4 when it seems like it will no longer be the prime console of focus within four year's time. Sony already has a refresh in the form of the PS4 Pro, so it is a valid concern. For now, we'll just have to follow the production of Death Stranding, picking up every little morsel that Kojima Productions drops along the path toward its eventual release.