UPDATE, 8/20/19: It’s been over a year since we saw the first trailer for Death Stranding, and even after getting an extended look at Hideo Kojima’s game this past May we still don’t really know what the hell to expect from it. But with it set to finally be released on November 8, PlayStation has offered us a few more clues about its strange world, with three new videos featuring never-before-seen in-game footage and character spotlights. They might not fill in all (of the many) blanks, but they do have us more excited to play, even if we’re more confused than ever.
In the game, “Sam Bridges must brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carrying the disconnected remnants of our future in his hands, he embarks on a journey to reconnect the shattered world one step at a time.” That synopsis does not come close to capturing how bizarre things get in these clips though.
The first clip, which includes a cameo by The Games Awards creator Geoff Keighley, shows “the more playful side” to main character Sam Bridges’ mission. It involves a “brief introduction to traversal, delivery and character interactions as Sam scales a mountainside to deliver supplies to an isolated prepper.” Ah, yes, of course, so playful.
The next video offers another look at Guillermo del Toro’s Deadman, a “character integral in Sam’s journey” who provides more details about Sam’s mysterious B.B. unit. “As a BRIDGES member, Deadman knows the ways of the living—and the dead. During the scene, he explains more about the background of B.B.s (Bridge Babies) and their role in Sam’s mission.” Somehow that description isn’t nearly as weird – and unsettling – as the clip itself.
….What the hell is going on in this game?
The final clip features Sam’s first face-to-face meeting with another BRIDGES member, Mama, played by The Leftovers‘ Margaret Qualley. It’s no less confusing than anything else we’ve seen though, for reasons that need to be seen to be believed.
Ghost breast feeding. Sure, why not? That’s maybe the first thing about the game that makes sense. Kinda.
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.