Death Stranding, the debut independent game from longtime Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima and his team, is free for PC via the Epic Game Store for a limited time. The title is on offer from 19-25 May 2023, and is well worth claiming, to see what this truly unique game is all about.
The game, which stars Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and several other notable and recognisable actors, directors, and personalities, revolves around a far-future apocalypse where a polluted word has forced humanity into isolated bunkers. As Sam Porter Bridges, a courier of sorts, your job is to trek across vast stretches of the environment to make crucial (and amusingly trivial) deliveries.
A unique multiplayer mode sees helpful structures that other players have built – like roads, bridges, ladders, and ziplines – populate your own game, building on a sense of unseen community and helping your fellow man.
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Death Stranding has been a divisive game. This is in part due to its relatively mundane but intricate mechanics, which focuses on the act of walking and carrying objects across uneven terrain. It’s also due to Kojima’s very unique method of storytelling, as he attempts to explore big thematic ideas with both cryptic and incredibly on-the-nose techniques, which can be jarring.
Nevertheless, it’s one of the most unique video games to have been released in the past few years, and as seems to be common for Kojima, its fictional narrative and themes managed to uncannily predict what would actually happen to the world – there are some haunting parallels between Death Stranding and the real-life COVID-19 pandemic.
For the price of 0 dollars, it’s well worth dipping your toe into, if only to marvel at the vast, beautiful landscapes and hear the soundtrack by the Icelandic musical group, Low Roar.
Death Stranding is also available on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.
Death Stranding 2 (DS2) was announced in 2022, as was a film adaptation from Hammerstone Studios (Barbarian).