Death Stranding, in its current early stage, already looks like a highly ambitious project. The trailers themselves are highly detailed and surreal, and to have the game match those visions, Death Stranding will probably need a powerful engine. As it turns out, Kojima has officially gotten permission to use the Decima Engine, from Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn.
At his PSX 2016 panel, Kojima says, “It has to be technology and people, they cannot be separate. From the first moment I met Guerrilla I had a good feeling about this,” and that the Decima Engine was “very appropriate to working on open worlds.” This possibly hints that Death Stranding will be a very open game. Apparently Guerrilla Games even gave him access to the source code for the engine before the deal was even finalized.
To test the engine, Kojima Productions apparently built a replica of one of their conference rooms to put models in, just to see if the lighting would be right for the trailer they premiered at PSX, leading to some of the most uncomfortable photos.
Realistic Del Toro model in badly lit realistic office room isn’t exactly surrealist horror, but the uncanny valley-esque feel of the whole thing is unsettling. It’s really interesting that they were given the chance to have such a good reference for the lighting, however, and completely worth the effort, as the PSX trailer for Death Stranding was outstanding.