Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima unleashed.
That sentence carries a lot of weight in the video game universe, where solid personal branding and marketing across decades of Metal Gear titles means Kojima ranks as one of the rare game auteurs players actually know by name. And as much as Kojima used the Metal Gear games to defy both narrative and gameplay conventions, the series still represented a stealth-action box that Kojima found himself straining against over and over again.
Death Stranding once again stands as a bold subversion of expectations from a creator known best for leaning into action heroics. For the vast majority of the game, your protagonist is not a Solid Snake-style hard-bitten action hero. He’s just a guy carrying a comically overloaded backpack across a lot of empty space, focused on a simple but necessary job, for better or worse.