We saw the first extended trailer for Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding at E3 in 2018 and we were baffled. No game creator has a better claim to the cinematic term “auteur” than Kojima does. Death Stranding looked like a movie and certainly wasn’t immediately clear about what the gameplay would be. Now, nearly a year later, we have another extended look at the game along with a release date. On November 8, 2019, we’ll get to see what the game is actually about. From this nine-minute extended look, we know who’s in it and kind of what you have to do. I mean, sort of.
From what I can gather, Norman Reedus is Sam, the player character, who is tasked by an aged and dying Lindsay Wagner to help restore America following some kind of otherworldly devastation. Rain is bad (they call it “BT” and it looks like it starts fires). Mads Mikkelsen is some kind of scientist and/or soldier who uses Bridge Babies (perhaps fetuses from the past?) to traverse the landscape and look out for Death Stranding, which I think are ghosts. Does that make sense?
Most of the gameplay we see in the above looks like venturing across unfriendly terrain, running from or fighting company men and terrorists, and shooting stuff when you have to. In addition to avoiding the ghosts, there also seems to be invisible monsters that chase you but have glowing footprints.
We also get brief looks at the cast and their character names. Of particular interest are characters named Deadman, Heartman, and Die-Hardman, played by Guillermo del Toro, Nicolas Winding Refn, and actor Tommie Earl Jenkins, respectively. Obviously their names have something to do with their purpose. Or at least that’s what I’d assume.
It’s all just so weird! “Rebuilding America isn’t going to get rid of the BTs.” Great. What does that mean? I feel like I’m gonna play this just so I can know what the hell is happening. Considering Kojima’s last game, 2015’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, was an amazing stealth shooter that also had giant flaming ghost whales, I’m guessing Death Stranding will up the ante on everything.
We have a little under six months to wait. And maybe we’ll figure something out. Eventually.
Death Stranding hits the PlayStation 4 on November 8.