I’m not sure what I was expecting with Hideo Kojima’s latest game, Death Stranding… But I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be the most realistic depiction of Marine Corps infantry life I’ve ever seen to date.
You play as this guy named Sam (played by Norman Reedus), who is tasked with hiking all over America carrying a giant, heavy pack; you drink literally nothing but Monster Energy; you have to take care of another man’s baby the entire time, and you’re haunted by the ghosts of the dead. If this isn’t the most Marine Corps infantry shit ever made, I don’t know what is.
Kojima has done it again.
In all seriousness, I’m kind of obsessed with this game right now, if you couldn’t tell. Those of you that have followed TL for a long time know that I’m a big Metal Gear Solid fan, and even did a 10-part Terminal Lance/MGS crossover series you can read here. With Kojima ousted from Konami, I knew that unleashing him upon the world could yield… Odd results… If nothing else. From the trailers, it was impossible to tell if Death Stranding was actually going to be good, or just really fucking weird.
I am happy to say that there’s just something about this game that makes it kind of amazing. To me, the management of the minutiae of your comfort and survival is more “infantry” than say something like Call of Duty. While the latter will focus on the intense, cinematic firefights of military action, those realistically only make up about .0001% of your time in the Marine Corps, if at all.
It’s weird to say that Death Stranding is somehow more “real,” given that its story exists in an incredibly odd science fiction setting, that is equally as brilliant as it is confusing. However, what the game does do is force you to think through every single step, feel the weight of this insane cargo on your back, change your boots, tactically distribute weight so you’re well-balanced, stay hydrated, take a piss, etc. These are actually the things that make up life as an infantryman, and somehow this fucking strange game about an unborn baby guiding you through a ghost-filled post-apocalyptic America has got it right on.
I give Death Stranding 10 Monster Energies out of 10.
Change your socks.