We'll see Death Stranding on PC in June, Kojima Productions announced this week, but that doesn't matter any more. Today saw the launch of Walking Simulator, a free game about roaming the post-apocalyptic wastes of the near-future, delivering packages and chugging energy drinks. If you squint, imagine Norman Reedus's locks brushing against your ear, and huff the gas from an old fridge, it'll be almost exactly like you're playing Death Stranding. Walking Simulator is clearly some sort of piss-take, though even after playing I'm not entirely sure what's joking and what's broken.
There you are, just another fella with an orange tube strapped to his belly, sent out to deliver parcels between bunkers in the ruins of the future (here ravaged by that there new coronavirus). Stack 'em up high on your back, collect extra deliveries you find along the way, avoid people who want to steal your packages, deliver your haul to collect Likes, then spend those Likes on new vehicles and energy drinks.
Except our lad here doesn't need to worry about balance, he can leap around with a teetering tower of boxes on his back no bother. Kojima Productions must be kicking themselves for not figuring out how to program Death Stranding so Norm wasn't always stumbling and tripping.
Though... sometimes our anonymous postman does get into physics trouble. I'm genuinely not sure whether this was a glitch or a joke.
Why not both?
I gave up when my snowmobile and myself ended up six kilometres away driving on an invisible plane high in the sky, but the score leaderboards and trailer suggest there's more to see. I imagine you just keep on delivering packages to new places and getting new vehicles? Hoping you don't get ruined by the physics? Sadly no, I have not seen any weird cutscenes. You can't copy that part of a Kojima joint.
The main menu shows the developers, Pugscape plan to make two more Acts, including one with a landscape looking a whole lot like Death Stranding, but who knows how serious they are. I half-assume this is a wee joke to help promote the other game they're working on, GuildBound?
I should say that following the strict Alice & Pip Rules Of Walking Simulators, Walking Simulator is not actually a walking simulator. Too game-y with those deliveries and the stabby NPCs. I think Death Stranding itself could qualify as a hardcore subgenre of walking simulator if it weren't for all its game-y bits and combat. Too bad. I really would be well up for a finicky physics-simulated stroll across blasted wasteland. I'm definitely keen to have a play when Death Stranding hits PC, mind. I've heard good things from my PlayStation pals, I love a good landscape, and I do enjoy Hideo Kojima's unique combination of big vision, attention to detail, technononsense, and fawning over brands.
Walking Simulator is free on Steam. What else do you have to do until June 2nd?