Death Stranding is an action game developed by Kojima Productions.The game is set in the United States during the aftermath of the eponymous Death Stranding, which caused destructive creatures from a realm between life and death to begin roaming the Earth. Players control Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus), a courier tasked with delivering supplies to the fractured and isolated colonies that remain and reconnecting them via a wireless communications network.
The player is evaluated by the company and recipients based on their performance (including via “likes” similar to social networks), including whether the cargo was delivered, and if it is intact among other factors. These merits are, in turn, used to level up the player’s statistics, such as stability and weight capacity, and increase their standing with individual locations and characters (which can improve rewards). The player’s main enemies include otherworldly creatures known as “beached things” (BTs), MULE (a cult of rogue, bandit-like porters influenced by an obsession with cargo, who attempt to steal deliveries so they can deliver it themselves), and Demens, MULEs who have begun killing porters to claim their cargo. BTs are surrounded by a rain known as “timefall“, which damages the player’s armor and cargo by speeding up their deterioration. BTs are normally invisible, but Sam’s suit is equipped with a robotic sensor that points towards BTs he is in close proximity to, and the player can then scan the area to reveal them.
As Sam is a “Repatriate“, he is taken to an underwater world known as the “Seam” if he is killed, where he can “swim” back to his body to revive himself. However, being killed and consumed by a BT also results in a destructive explosion known as a “voidout“, which permanently damages the location of the death with an untraversable crater.