[PODCAST 276] We Answer Your Questions About 'Death Stranding'

The Embargo Zone has been cleared (partially). We can finally talk about Death Stranding, the first game from Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima's new studio. And to do it, we have Motherboard's own Emanuel Maiberg and Matthew Gault joining us. Austin and Cado have questions, and Rob, Patrick, Emanuel, and Matt have... some answers? There's BTs, BBs, Likes on Ladders, and a plethora of stories of Rob fucking up. We dive deep into the mechanics of the game before getting into early game spoilers at the 36 minute mark. After the break (around 1:20:05) we answer your questions on Death Stranding! You can listen to the full episode below:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5j39/what-is-death-stranding

Cato’s losing it in laughter at the revelation of the Monster Energy Drink product placement is maybe my favorite moment of this podcast ever.


I am DYING at the incredulous reaction of Austin learning that the marauders are ADDICTED to delivering packages.

It’s like Kojima wrote The Outer Worlds without realizing the slogan-heavy corporate societies are a joke.


Anything in this episode for someone who wants to go into Death Stranding as clean as possible? Or should I just skip the whole thing.

Patrick at about the 36 minute mark says that anyone who wants to go in clean should not listen at all. But if you want a taste that’s a good exit ramp.


I look forward to listening to this after I’ve finished (given up?) the game.


One of the interesting things someone mentions about Kojima is that it feels like he doesn’t have editors, or people holding him back. More and more I feel like Kojima is gaming’s George Lucas. The first star wars films had a foundation of editors, producers, and other people waving a coherent vision that a dude had into something successful. With that untethered, you get the incredibly disjointed and baffling prequel films.

Kojima had that himself with people like Tomokazu Fukushima or Shuyo Murata, who could hold the reign at Kojima’s most Kojimaness.

You see his work start to fall apart when Fukushima is taken away, when he seems to solo more things like MGS 4 and 5.


“We don’t have to grade him on a curve of his own past fuck-ups” is a hell of a line. Love it.

I’m concerned, because while I have found none of the trailers appealing (entertaining, but not enticing), I do think I might have to play this game, given that I am someone who has particularly enjoyed all of the following:

  • Every Metal Gear Solid game (including Peace Walker and MGS5)
  • Breath of the Wild (including getting caught in the rain while climbing a mountain)
  • Torchbearer (especially hemming and hawing over inventory slots and distribution)

I’m a college student, and my game budget is set aside for Pokémon, but boy do magic monster canteen and pee grenades interest me


So to anyone who has listened, how did everyone like it. Rob seemed to enjoy it in his review, but what about Patrick and the Motherboard folks?

It seems like they’re all delightfully baffled but embarrassed? So every bit of talk on the writing seems to elicit groans. But it seems like a game that is very much Rob’s and Austin’s shit.

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Did Kojima just make a game where he wonders why nobody wants to date him? “Ungh, nobody wants to make connections anymore.”


The Motherboard folks seem to like large swaths of the gameplay (doing the thing is fun) and appreciate the quality of the visual/audio production. They definitely hammer it on the writing BS, and a tendency for the game to seem to be unedited and unfocused/incoherent. There’s a lot that is still under embargo that they couldn’t into that I feel they really wanted to. Matthew is also probably the most positive of everyone on how the game hits its major plot reveals.

It sounded to me that Patrick hasn’t landed on a take yet.

The whole podcast sounds a little like a group of friends who just watched a B-Movie that they liked, but are having that conversation that explores why it’s not really a good movie, exactly.


Also - having Rob Zacny review this game seems dangerous for a couple of reasons.

  • I can’t think of a single person who is better at taking a game I wouldn’t ordinarily give the time of day, and describing it in a fashion that makes it sound uniquely compelling and enticing. It is a great and terrible power, and I both respect and fear it.
  • More than ever, I want to hear Rob play and describe the Metal Gear Solid series.

Please stop typing while you’re podcasting. We can hear it so clearly.


Austin: kinda bashes Horizon Zero Dawn-
Patrick: Hold on now! I like that game. Don’t bring that game into this.
Austin: proceeds to bash HZD and its dev every chance he gets for the next 20 minutes


I am DYING every single time Rob describes his time playing this game! No one on the internet can describe their time playing a game like our own Robert “I’ll just dukes-of-hazard the panel delivery van manufactured by a shopping cart company into a big ass canyon” Zacny.


To be fair, neither Fukushima nor Murata eh, prevented Metal Gear Sold 2 Son of Liberty from becoming a pile of what-the-fuck provoking hot mess.

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Poor Horizon,Breath of the Wild ate its lunch in terms of many things, discourse included.

Everything about Death Stranding seems like a game I could love if I had a lot of time to dedicate to it, but if I was looking to just kick back and have fun after work, this would absolutely not be the game for that.

Seems like the definition of great podcast game though.