It’s no secret that onlookers and the press have struggled to succinctly describe Death Stranding even after the big Tokyo Game Show unveiling shebang. Creator Hideo Kojima even struggles to define the game.
This may no longer be the case, as the best, most cohesive description yet may have inadvertently come from an unlikely source : a hilariously deadpan Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) summary.
Alongside a Mature 17+ rating proffered up due to blood, intense violence, partial nudity, and strong language, the rating summary makes for great reading.
Firstly, it defines Death Stranding’s narrative starting point and core loop.
“This is an action game in which players assume the role of a courier (Sam Porter) transporting packages across a post-apocalyptic environment.”
Then jumps to a quick description of the combat and violence in Death Stranding:
“As players traverse mountainous terrain, they can be attacked by human settlers and ghostly apparitions. Players use machine guns, grenades, and shotguns to kill enemies; firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, large splashes of blood, and cries of pain.”
From here, the summary is pure gold in just how matter-of-fact it is in describing some pretty gruesome facets Death Stranding, notwithstanding throwing in a few minor spoilers as well.
“Cut-scenes contain more intense instances of violence: a man and an infant shot—the latter, accidentally (blood splatter appears below the infant); a character shooting a comatose patient in the head; a man stabbing himself repeatedly in the distance.”
Does this mean Sam’s precious chest-strapped precious life-giving BB comes to a bloody end? You know, the one that will emit creepy sounds through the PlayStation 4’s controller.
I don’t think I’ve ever read about someone stabbing himself of his own volition with such nonchalance and utter detachment.
ESRB rounds off its take on Death Stranding with this absolute gem of a closer.
“A handful of scenes depict a character with his buttocks exposed. The words ‘f**k’ and ‘sh*t’ appear in the dialogue.”
Concise and unvarnished, Death Stranding is about a glorified delivery guy off on a long hike. He fights a bunch, a baby dies, and you catch a glimpse of someone’s rear end. Simple.