Postscript is Cameron Kunzelman's weekly column about endings, apocalypses, deaths, bosses, and all sorts of other finalities.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne88g7/death-strandings-hero-is-just-a-side-character
I would say there is at least one major relationship that Sam Bridges has in this game and that’s with BB. Now maybe a lot of this is my own biological clock going off while playing this game and falling in love with little Lou, but this really seems to be the heart of the game. The Evangelion-esque end of the world story even ends first leaving you just to settle things with your baby in the final hours. All that ended up so much more important to me than Heartman or Mama or President Onesan.
Also, video games have been about dads for like a decade now. But it’s always a grizzled Dad Body cynical single dad to an increasingly independent teenager (see: Kratos, Joel, Geralt, Booker, etc). I love that Death Stranger is a game about a new parent and first building a relationship to somebody that’s in a on-the-nose metaphor to your womb. It’s the first time falling in love with your child.
Ulitmately though Sam so little of a character he’s probably just the player’s cipher through which to experience that bond.