Death Stranding’s trailers are psychedelically entertaining, but offer zero information regarding the actual gameplay we should expect.

Kojima has remained tight-lipped in that regard, but in an interview with Red Bull, he was willing to speak of the tech powering his upcoming game.

“I was on the hunt for a new engine, so I’ve done quite a trip together with Marc Cerny around the world.”

“When we visited Guerrilla Games and I played Horizon: Zero Dawn I felt in love with their philosophy of technology. And then things went quickly in an almost crazy way”

“Hermen Mulst (Managing Director of Guerilla) sent me this cool box with a USB drive containing the entire source code of the engine. This was quite a special moment for me because at that time we didn’t even have a contract. They just trusted me and my team with the code base. It’s fair to say that Hermen is as insane as I am,”

Kojima detailed what the engine can do.

“Our engine, called Decima, is able to pull off an extreme level of detail, even in a vast open world. With ‘Physical Based Rendering’ we can give every material its own touch and really go into details. Whether it’s skin on a face, animated hair in different weather conditions or the dusty metal of a war helmet.”

Although it’s the same engine as Horizon: Zero Dawn, don’t expect the finished products to look similar.


“Decima is a groundbreaking rendering engine, but if we would create the same worlds there’s no point to that. Horizon: Zero Dawn has this fantastic artistic vision, but we’re more aiming for a very photorealistic style. I’m a big fan of physical based lighting, and we’ve created something which we call ‘Glass Room’, which is literally just a meeting room, where we can check the quality of reflections and accuracy of lighting on every single object, like tanks or the baby doll.”

Trailer running in real-time

Take this with a grain of salt, but Kojima claims the trailer could be indicative of what the gameplay will look like.

“Yes, it was rendered in real-time on a PS4 Pro. And it will look much better when the game comes out,”

Rendering real-time has many potential definitions, but all that matters is what the final product looks like. I’m sure we’ll have a few more mind-melting trailers over the next few years to whet our appetite for whatever Death Stranding ends up becoming.

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