With the likes of Norman Reedus, Guillermo Del Toro, and Mads Mikkelsen, it’s clear that Death Stranding is already sporting a good number of high profile celebrities in its main ensemble. But if you venture further in the game’s massive open world, you’ll be surprised to know that even more recognisable faces can be encountered when you least expect it.
Before we proceed, please be wary that this article will contain spoilers for those who’ve not progressed far enough or have yet to play Death Stranding.
All good? Here are the known celebrity cameos found in Death Stranding so far, and where you can find them:
Kojima Productions, in a way, teased the possibility of featuring famed talk show host Conan O’Brien in Death Stranding a year ago on Twitter. It was not known what type of role he was expected to be playing but thanks to recent discoveries, we now know O’Brien is one of the many underground preppers that Sam Bridges (Norman Reedus) will encounter in the game. You’ll find him as The Cosplayer in the Central Region during Episode 3 as part of a side-delivery.
You could probably count this as a double cameo in a way. You’re not wrong if you thought this familiar face resembles the original Max Payne in Remedy’s critically acclaimed 2001 game of the same name. In fact, this is actually Sam Lake, Remedy’s writer and founding member who also provided his likeness for Max’s character model. Lake appears as The Veteren Porter and can be found during Episode 3 in the northwest area of the Timefall Farm.
Manga author Junji Ito is acclaimed for his work on horror manga titles such as Uzumaki and Gyo. It’s also worth noting that Ito was originally planned to collaborate with Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro to work on the now-cancelled Silent Hills. Although just a cameo in Death Stranding, we’re still hopeful that these three genius minds would one day work together again in a future Kojima Production title. Junji Ito appears as The Engineer in the Central Region, one of the many preppers Sam will meet in order to connect to the Chiral Network.
If you’ve not heard of Edgar Wright, you’ve probably heard or seen his films: Baby Driver, Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, At World’s End, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It’s known that Kojima is a major fan of movies including those from Wright, and expect to be encountering other filmmakers in Death Standing as well – more on that later. Wright appears as the UCA member in charge of the Distribution Center located south of Lake Knot City.
Another film director to be found in the game. Wirkola is known for his films including Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and What Happened to Monday. He portrays Phillip North, a UCA medic located at the Distribution Center north of Mountain Knot City.
The director of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, also appears in Death Stranding as… The Film Director in a prepper shelter southeast of the Distribution Center south of Lake Knot City. It’s also worth noting that Vogt-Roberts is currently working to create a live-action Metal Gear Solid film. It seems like he has earned Kojima’s approval by having this cameo in Death Stranding.
A well-known novelist in Japan, Manabu Makime’s works include Princess Toyotomi, Kamogawa Horumo, and various others which have been adapted into movies, TV dramas, and stage plays. Makime appears as The Novelist’s Son in the southeastern-most section of the map.
Daichi Miura is a musician who is popularly known in Japan for performing theme songs for TV shows and movies including Kamen Rider Ex-Aid and Dragon Ball Super: Brolly. In Death Stranding, he portrays a character aptly named The Musician and can be found in a location southwest of the Distribution Center west of Capital Knot City.
Ever heard of the clothing brand Acronym? If yes (or no), Errolson Hugh is the fashion designer and founder of the brand, as well as the designer of the jacket worn by Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. He appears as UCA medic Alex Weatherstone at the Weather Station facility in the Central Region.
Geoff Keighley is a TV presenter, as well as the executive producer and host of The Game Awards. He was also a freelance journalist who’ve contributed to gaming magazines and websites such as Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), and Kotaku. You’ll find him in the game as the Ludens Fan at the Eastern Region as early as Episode 2.
Hulst is the current head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios. He was formerly the managing director of Guerilla Games – the studio that created the Decima graphics engine that Death Stranding is powered by, and also developed Horizon: Zero Dawn and the Killzone franchise. You can find Hulst as The Craftsman at a prepper shelter southwest of Lake Knot City during Episode 3.
The current vice president of PlayStation’s global marketing division and known for his work on God of War II & III, and Super Stardust HD. Asad Qizilbash appears as UCA member Charles Khan at the Waystation north of Mountain Knot City.
Hamamura is the former editor-in-chief of japanese gaming magazine and website Famitsu, and is now the president and CEO of Enterbrain, a major gaming and entertainment publishing company in Japan. He portrays The Collector who treasures retro games, and can be found at a shelter south of the Distribution Center on the southern side of Lake Knot City.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, Death Stranding is a game written, directed, and produced by Hideo Kojima. Surely, he would have a grandiose way of appearing to the player in his very own game? Well… kind of. Instead of the many preppers you’ll encounter in the game, Kojima will appear as a BT creature in a random nightmare event in Sam’s private room if you decided to peek under the bed. Well, we did warn you of spoilers at the very beginning.
Keanu Reeves? Solid Snake?
Despite getting all hyped up to see Keanu Reeves’ pretty mug in Death Stranding after photos of him and Kojima was uploaded in Twitter a while back, we’re sad to report that Reeves did not make a cameo appearance at all. Perhaps he might appear in a DLC, or in a future game by Kojima? Or maybe no one has found him just yet.
Among those who also did not make it to the list of Death Stranding cameos is actor Kiefer Sutherland and screenwriter David Hayter, both whom voiced Venom Snake and Solid Snake respectively in Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series. However, it’s interesting to note that Tommie Earl Jenkins’ character Die-Hardman is also voiced by Akio Otsuka, the japanese voice actor for Solid Snake, in the Japanese version of Death Stranding.
Death Stranding was recently released on 8 November for the Sony PlayStation 4. The game is also slated for release on PC via Steam and Epic Games Store in summer 2020 with pre-orders now open.
Speaking of Steam, we would’ve loved to see good ol’ Gabe in the game as well. What a pity.
(Image credits: Sony, and Kojima Productions)