Nobody Can Get Over The Shameless Monster Energy Drink Branding In ‘Death Stranding’

"Even with magic babies and ghosts and time rain the wildest thing about 'Death Stranding' is the game telling you drinking 3 Monsters in a row increases your stamina instead of giving you a heart attack."

Death Stranding Monster Energy

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Death Stranding, the new game from Hideo Kojima, is very, very odd.

I mean, that’s been clear for a while: the game’s strangeness was its selling point from the very outset. Before anybody actually knew what it would be about, or how to play it, they knew that it featured a baby that lives in your throat, Guillermo Del Toro with cranial scarring, and a big, deserted wasteland.

But since the game’s release, it’s proven to be strange in new, previously unfathomable ways. Never mind throat babies, the game also features grenades made out of poop, a U.S. President who is a hologram, and a whole lot of Monster Energy drink.

Yep, in a property saturated with shit pulled directly out of a pop culture junkie’s night terrors, one of the weirdest things about Death Stranding is its blatant branding. Monster Energy doesn’t just pop up once or twice — it’s a core part of the gameplay.

See, you spend most of Death Stranding wandering around a massive, empty America, taking packages from one place to another. That gets very tiring, and the only way to replenish your stamina is by slamming a couple of cans of Monster. You can either drink the stuff from a canteen while out in the wild, or en masse while sitting in the comfort of your private room.

When you take the latter option, you are treated to a little cutscene that starts with cans of Monster filling your screen. It’s as on-the-nose as it is possible to imagine, and feels like Kojima gave the task of fitting the drink into the game to the world’s most basic robot.

Kojima himself hasn’t said anything about the product placement. Not that there’s really much to say at this point. The whole game is so idiosyncratic and weird and singular that the in-yer-face branding feels like a core part of the experience. Everything about the game feels like it was teleported in from another dimension entirely. The Monster just adds to that effect.

Anyway, because the internet is the internet, the energy drink has been turned into a massive meme.

And hey, looks like the branding is working out for Monster. It’s just like they always say — if you want to sell a product, shoehorn it into a game about drowned creatures trying to commit baby murder.