One of the most memorably marmite AAA releases from recent gaming history is making a bold return to our screens. Death Stranding: Directors Cut. Soon coming to PS5.
It’s Coming Back!
Nicolas Winding Refn, the multi-award-winning director of such renowned modern (yet arguably divisive) classics as Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon collaborated with Hideo Kojima for Death Stranding, to which he starred as the character Heartman. Cryptically, on the 7th of December 2019, he posted an image on Instagram, a shot of him and Kojima with the text Heartman Will Return <3”. Naturally, fans speculated the return of his character in a multitude of forms: a sequel? A rerelease? A spin-off? The most likely current explanation for this tease has been more or less confirmed in the E3 2021 released reveal trailer for Death Stranding: Director’s Cut.
The trailer, released on Thursday, June 10th, opens on Sam Bridges, the iconic yet semi-silent hero played by Norman Reedus. First, he enters a brand-new, most likely MULES-run warehouse organisation. The warehouse, ice-coated in parts, is explored by a soaring camera, accompanied by several nods to the series that needs no introduction: Metal Gear Solid. The camera, exploring the set-ups for potential stealth and attack paths, and paths that antagonists patrol and repeat endlessly. The intriguing, nostalgic and inviting soundtrack hangs over everything.
Bridges turns his attention to a perfectly crisp cardboard box (you can see where this is going), labelled with the “Fragile” logo from Death Stranding. Bridges toys with the box, jumping inside of it and studying it, before placing it back onto the warehouse shelf, the trailer then ending abruptly, revealing the text: Death Stranding: Director’s Cut.
The 2019 epic, vastly regarded by audience critics as a walking simulator, suffered critique for the lack of challenge. Most notably in the combat and stealth elements against the rogue MULES. The Director’s Cut, however, seems to be tackling this head-on, hinting at a Metal Gear Solid-esque stealth system to further explore, evade and exploit the criminal MULE antagonists.
To those of us who, for some reason, find delivering packages on foot crazily addictive, the announcement of Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is an entirely welcome surprise for this years E3. Not much is known so far as to whether the Director’s Cut will introduce a new campaign mode or perhaps introduce more multiplayer elements, but what we know so far is encapsulating enough for fans of the original title. Our bets are placed on it being a remastered version of the original with new campaign locations and missions.
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