- A highly-anticipated game set to arrive this November is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4 – it’s called “Death Stranding.”
- Since being announced in June 2016, several bizarre trailers for the game have been released. They offered little explanation of what players would do in the game, or what the story was.
- But a new trailer, released this week, offers the first clear picture of what the game’s about, how it works, and what it plays like.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
During the past three years, there have been several lengthy trailers released for the upcoming game “Death Stranding.”
“Death Stranding” is the hotly anticipated new game from Hideo Kojima, the video game industry’s foremost auteur and creator of the critically-acclaimed “Metal Gear.”
But each of the “Death Stranding” trailers has been more inscrutable than the last.
In the first trailer, a naked Norman Reedus weeps while holding a baby on a beach full of dead sealife. In another, Léa Seydoux eats a squirming grub. In several of the trailers, a baby in a womb gives a thumbs up, does a backflip, and shows the viewer its butt.
What is this game?
This week, we finally found out, thanks to an extra lengthy new trailer that provides a deeper look at how the game will actually play. Here’s everything we learned about the biggest upcoming game of 2019:
1. “Death Stranding” is an open-world, third-person action game with a heavy emphasis on stealth and puzzle solving.
The most important thing we saw in the new trailer for “Death Stranding” was straight-up gameplay: Norman Reedus’ character Sam exploring a gorgeous open-world environment.
He explores on foot, and he explores on a motorcycle. Sometimes he uses gadgets to traverse a particularly perilous bit of terrain – a cliff face or a mountain ridge or a snow-covered peak.
Moreover, he’s exploring America.
2. The game is set in a “near future” America, on an Earth that’s “on the verge of a mass extinction.”
According to a description of the game published by Sony, Sam is on a “journey across the ravaged wasteland” of America, in a near future where “mysterious explosions have rocked the planet.”
As you can see above, he has a pretty sweet motorcycle to help him get around.
3. There are four core components of “Death Stranding,” which were finally spelled out this week: Puzzle solving, exploration, asymmetric co-op, and combat choice.
There’s a major emphasis on puzzle solving as a means of connecting communities in “Death Stranding” – Sam is exploring the “United Cities of America” (UCA), attempting to re-connect them in the wake of disaster.
Additionally, exploration is another core component of the game, while carefully avoiding the “beached things” (BTs) that roam the American landscape (we’ll get to those in a moment).
There’s also an asymmetric co-operative element to the game: “Send supplies, share safe houses, and walk in the footsteps of fellow couriers to reunite civilisation,” the game’s description says.
Moreover, the concept of dying in “Death Stranding” is a little different than most games. “Lose your life during combat and you’ll find yourself in an upside-down realm, searching for a way back to the living,” it says. Moreover, any actions you take in that upside-down realm could have an impact later on in the game.
4. There are invisible monsters, known as “beached things,” haunting the landscape.
You may or may not be able to see as much above, but there are a handful of haunting humanoid figures floating above the ground. These are the so-called “BTs,” or “beached things.”
They appear to be a physical manifestation of the issues plaguing the US, which are described as “a series of supernatural events known as the ‘Death Stranding.'”
When Sam sees them, he’s gotta be very careful – or else they will chase him down as a flowing river of oil-like slime, and drag him into a netherrealm in a visual that looks like something pulled from Dante’s journey across the River Styx in the “Inferno.”
5. What’s the deal with the baby? That remains an unknown.
From the very first time we saw “Death Stranding,” a baby – sometimes within a womb-like container – has been part of the game’s core imagery.
What’s clear after watching the latest trailer is that these babies are known as “bridge babies,” or “BBs.” It’s also clear that Sam isn’t the only person with a bridge baby.
6. This man appears to have one. Also, he appears to be one of the game’s antagonists.
The man seen above, played by Troy Baker, is named “Higgs.” It’s not clear what this deal is, but he appears to be a bad guy of some sort.
Notably, he has a BB pod attached to his body. He also has a mysterious and spooky shroud.
In another image, he’s seen with a whale floating in the air behind him – perhaps he lives in the “upside-down realm” described in the game? Perhaps!
7. The game’s cast is a laundry list of major Hollywood names: Norman Reedus, Léa Seydoux, Mads Mikkelsen, Guillermo del Toro, and more.
Though Reedus’ character Sam and Seydoux’s character Fragile appear to be working for competing courier agencies, they also appear to be friends of some type.
8. Reedus’ character Sam, Del Toro’s character Deadman, and Tommie Earl Jenkins’ character Die-Hardman all appear to be working together in some capacity.
In what capacity, however, remains to be seen – a brief moment shared by the trio paints them as a cooperative of some sort. It’s not clear how Del Toro or Jenkins’ characters fit in with Sam’s story.
9. Sam appears to be friendly with the US president, and the US president appears to be bedridden in the Oval Office.
“America is finished,” Sam says in the latest trailer.
The president, a woman named Bridget, implores him to focus on re-connecting the country. “You can help us re-connect. You can make America whole,” she says. “Alone, we have no future.”
10. Yes, there are guns. And yes, there is shooting.
Let’s be clear: “Death Stranding” does not appear to be a combat-focused game. There are certainly combat elements to it, as seen above, but they don’t appear to be the main thrust of what you do in “Death Stranding.”
That said, there are definitely standard weapons – like the assault rifle seen above – and even a weapon selection wheel.
In the instance seen above, Sam appears to be fighting undead soldiers in the upside-down realm. But that’s not the only instance we saw of Sam engaged in combat.
11. There appears to be an element of combat in the normal world as well.
At one point in the trailer, Sam is seen sneaking around in some high grass as he attempts to hide from a truck full of orange-suited boogeymen. Spoilers: They see him anyway.
As a result, Sam takes off running – moments later, he’s punching one in the face and slamming his hardcase into another.
The combat, it seems, is intended as a last-ditch move.
12. Sneaking appears to be an important component of “Death Stranding” gameplay.
At multiple points in the trailer, Sam can be seen sneaking around – whether it’s an attempt to avoid beached things, or to avoid human foes, or to avoid engaging in whatever is happening above. Is that a ghost tank, covered in black tentacles? Sure is!
13. Another crucial component is puzzle solving, which appears to be mostly focused on traversal.
Two different equippable items were showcased in the trailer: A climbing anchor, and a ladder.
In one instance, Sam plants his climbing anchor and descends a cliff face with a rope.
In another instance, Sam extends his ladder and uses it to reach a previously unreachable area.
It’s entirely likely there are other puzzle scenarios, but these are what we’ve seen thus far.
14. Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Cliff, could potentially be another antagonist.
Is he a bad guy just because he’s covered in blood, wearing military fatigues, walking through a river of fire, and commanding what appear to be skeleton soldiers?
That depends on you, I suppose, but the look is certainly not a friendly one.
Here’s another shot of Mikkelsen’s character Cliff, hanging out in a trench covered in barbed wire and baby dolls. Again, this guy doesn’t appear to be friendly.
15. There are some very large, very creepy monsters.
Though this giant, tentacle-laden creature didn’t appear in the US version of the new trailer, the Japanese version included it.
Is it creepy? Yes, it’s super creepy.
It’s not clear if this is a boss character or what, but it sure is gross and weird – check it out in action right here.
16. Everyone’s crying in “Death Stranding,” from Norman Reedus…
…to Léa Seydoux…
…to Margaret Qualley, known in-game as “Mama”….
…to Nicolas Winding Refn, known in-game as “Heartman.”
Some folks are crying <em>blood</em>.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about “Death Stranding,” but we do know one thing for certain: The game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and it’s scheduled to arrive on November 8.
Check out the latest trailer right here:
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