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Is Death Stranding An Open World Game?

When Death Stranding arrives in November, players will be able to explore the weird and wonderful world that Hideo Kojima and his team built. And what kind of world is that, you ask? An open one.

That's right: Death Stranding is an open world game, with beautiful vistas to marvel at and grassy hills to unceremoniously fall down. You, dear player, can direct Norman Reddus to walk every inch of this unfamiliar terrain. And you'll apparently be told quite the story, to boot. Death Stranding has an intense focus on its narrative, and Kojima acknowledges that it is hard to drive a good story in an open world game.

"This time was the biggest challenge and the biggest obstacle," Kojima said. "It's an open world, but at the same time we do not want to reduce the importance of the story, so fans of Hideo Kojima games will not be disappointed." This strange, strange story of Death Stranding won't get lost in the wilderness of its huge open world, according to Kojima. And as for what that story is? We're still trying to suss that out. What we do know is this: something has happened to the world we know and love, and that something has left behind terrifying creatures and babies in bottles. Norman Reedus' character, Sam, will be hiking around this changed world. Or swimming, if he's got that otter cap from Conan on.

Hideo Kojima now loves open worlds, apparently

After developing the final chapter in the Metal Gear saga, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Kojima got a taste for open world games. In an interview with 4Players, Kojima said, "Of course, there are other ways to make a game. A linear game for example. However, I cannot go back after having had the experience of having a large-scale world in a game." But the open world strategy may have backfired on him; after all, many players were upset with the lack of attention given to narrative in The Phantom Pain. Open world games give players quite a bit of agency, including the freedom to forego the main story line (we're still getting around to saving Zelda in Breath of the Wild). Will Kojima's latest tale be buried by the enormous world it takes place in? We'll have to wait and see.

Death Stranding comes to PS4 on Nov. 8, 2019.