Death Stranding has a lot of product placements and despite being a form of in-game advertisements, their inclusion isn’t even surprising. Hideo Kojima loves to include references to popular pop culture and other aspects from the real world in his projects. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater had CalorieMate. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker had both Doritos and Mountain Dew. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain had Puma. There were several other product placements as well by the renowned developer, including Pepsi, Playboy, Hori, and iPod.
Death Stranding, however, takes this concept a bit further. The different product placements in the game are actually tied with gameplay to a certain degree, meaning that players will continuously come across them throughout their progression. Rather than discovering them at particular junctions, they kind of stick in your face compared to how the design was in previous Kojima games.
The clothing that protagonist Sam Porter Bridges wears in his private quarters in Death Stranding was personally designed by Errolson Hugh, the brains behind the German-based apparel brand Acronym.
The glasses and sunglasses worn by every character in Death Stranding were designed by J.F. Rey, a popular eyewear brand that has collaborated with Kojima on previous games as well. Like before, some of the eyewear models featured in Death Stranding will be released down the road as actual products.
The bike featured in Death Stranding was specially designed by the people behind “Ride with Norman Reedus”, a television series where the actor rides with a guest across different destinations on a motorcycle to explore biker culture.
The shower/toilet that protagonist Sam Porter Bridges uses in his private quarters in Death Stranding carries a large poster for the same travel series, Ride with Norman Reedus. It even mentions AMC, the network behind the program. The poster serves as a blind to hide Sam as he does his daily morning duties.
Cans of Monster Energy will be found conspicuously placed throughout Death Stranding, notably inside the private quarters of protagonist Sam Porter Bridges. The drink actually is a form of power-up in the game and restores stamina. Take due note that players will find themselves chugging down Monster Energy cans a lot because drinking three of them gives the maximum boost to stamina. Unfortunately, the animation is absurdly long and patience will be tested.
Then there are other product placements that are a bit less jarring. Models of Ludens, the company icon and mascot of Kojima Productions, can be found scattered throughout Death Stranding. Collectibles like soundtracks for God of War and other critically acclaimed games are also in the mix.
Death Stranding is now available on PlayStation 4. In our review, we found that Kojima may have swerved off course in trying to integrate novelty features. However, Death Stranding still has other attractions that makes it a potential purchase for both old and new Kojima fans.