With the Death Stranding reveal now behind everyone, information has slowly been trickling out regarding the game, and despite themes of connection and uniting humanity, it appears Kojima's title won't actually have that intricate of a multiplayer setup. Death Stranding has been one of the most eagerly anticipated releases ever since it was announced in 2016, and a new eight-minute-plus trailer has done little except fuel the fire for fans wanting more of the game's bizarre but beautiful world.
We know what Death Stranding is about, but most of the game remains a mystery despite this. Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima's first project with developer Kojima Productions, the studio he founded when he left Konami in 2015. As one of the last PS4 exclusives, there's a lot of expectation surrounding the game, with a strong sales performance expected by all. Luckily, Kojima has surrounded the game with a lot of talent, including actors Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, both of whom have been heavily involved with promoting it on social media and sharing their meetings with Kojima as they happen. Death Stranding feels like a multimedia event in ways that previous Kojima games haven't really captured, and the director has been heavily emphasizing the themes of connection that will take place during the game.
Unfortunately, however, it appears that connection might not really extend to Death Stranding multiplayer. According to a report from MP1ST which analyzes the information released about the game, the description of its multiplayer as "asynchronous online gameplay" seems to indicate that there won't really be much connection happening at all—at least, not directly. Instead, it appears players will be able to share safe houses and send supplies to each other to "reunite civilization," a process that strongly suggests a system that will simply use online imprints of other player's play data rather than actually uniting them during Death Stranding.
Death Stranding multiplayer actually sounds a lot like Dark Souls at first glance, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In those games, players could interact in the sense that they could see where others had died, receive messages from them, or see their decisions in the past, but not actually co-op through an event or engage in PvP. Given that Death Stranding is about a lack of connection, those distant, barely-there interactions with other players might do wonders for the game's atmosphere.
Still, though, it might not be the kind of Death Stranding multiplayer fans expected, especially since "connection" has been such a key theme in the build-up to the release of the Death Stranding trailer. There isn't reason to lose hope yet, though, as Kojima's last game, Metal Gear Solid V, featured some online-only events that were based on player participation—there were endings only achievable when players in the game unified in what they did in their own experiences, which sounds exactly like the sort of thing Death Stranding would be interested in, too.