Death Stranding launches worldwide next month and everybody should be hyped, if my experience is anything to go by. It gave me nightmares.

Death Stranding went gold late last month and is set for release early November. I have been fortunate enough to experience a little of the game’s atmosphere and even though it barely pushed a quarter hour, the game left lasting impression… it actually gave me nightmares.

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Even though you get to play as the Boondocks Saints bad-ass himself, Norman Reedus, just watching someone else play gave me such incredible anxiety. It is the fear of the unknown while roaming around the world that filled me with such dread. I felt much safer just being a spectator; here is why.

Death stranding haunting environment
Death Stranding’s environments are haunting.

Death Stranding gave me nightmares

Yep, Death Stranding gave me nightmares! Never in my 20-something years of gaming have I ever felt so hopeless and lost while playing a videogame. And it has nothing to do with the game mechanics, but the world itself. Death Stranding’s environments are nightmare inducing. The world of Death Stranding is indeed a strange one. Imagine this:

You are wondering a almost barren alien planet with no knowledge of what kind of life it harbours. It’s a massive open world with wide open spaces and you are completely exposed. As night falls you begin to hear creepy sounds but you have no idea what they are. You try to look around for signs of danger but a thick mist slowly begins to suffocate your site. The sound gets louder and you strain your eyes to see if you can see something and, lo and behold, there seems to be something floating in the mist, and towards you, I might add. I don’t know what this is, I don’t know what to do, I just freak out and toss the controller over to my friend. That’s my experience in a nutshell.

Death Stranding’s environment is one of the scariest and immersive I’ve ever experienced in a videogame. Although the world may seem barren and void of life, it never feels like you are truly alone… and it is terrifying. You don’t know what will pop out from where and it feels like there is this larger than life presence constantly watching you through the friggen’ clouds! It feels like Hideo Kojima took the Silent Hills vibe and injected it with steroids.

I’m calling it now, it will win Game of the Year. But I may need to find someone to keep me company while I play through it. The game has literally traumatised me; I had a nightmare about being stuck on an alien planet after only 15 minutes of game time… and I don’t even think it’s supposed to be a survival horror! Perhaps I was just so terrified because I was thrown randomly into the middle of the game with no context, no idea of story, or explanations of the game’s many beings.

Death Stranding scary mist concept art
Death Stranding Game of the Year?

Death Stranding nails the feeling of cosmic horror, it felt like I was thrown into the middle of a H.P. Lovecraft tale. Even CHRVRCHES new single Death Stranding seems to echo my sentiment. Just take a look at the lyrics.

Let’s open up to the sky
Ask it for closure
‘Least we can say that we tried
But it’s never really over
What will become of us all, at the end of the line?
Will we live? Will we die?

Thanks for the nightmare’s Mr. Kojima! You are definitely a master of your craft, I can see Death Stranding: Game of the Year in light already. Hopefully other people will get to experience what I did soon enough. Just make sure that you are prepared.

Note from the editor: Erina Rose has been a close associate of mine for many years and has often provided us with valuable industry information. Although I can vouch for her authenticity, I cannot vouch for the validity of this article. I have asked her to provide proof that she has had “hands-on” time with the game which she was unable to provide.

After a lengthy discussion with the PR and Partnership manager for PlayStation Australia I have made the decision to make a full retraction and ask the reader to be sceptical about the information the author has disclosed.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this article you should contact the author directly via email or Twitter.

  • Regards,
    Mickey
    Editor-in-Chief