What is “Death Stranding,” beyond a bizarre name for a gorgeous and creepy-looking new video game? Your guess is as good as ours.
Here’s what we do know:
- The game is being created by “Metal Gear” series creative lead Hideo Kojima, a legendary character in the video game business.
- It stars Norman Reedus, of “The Walking Dead” fame. He’s the main character. Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor best known as the bad guy from “Casino Royale,” appears to be the antagonist.
- The game is a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and famed film director Guillermo del Toro. It’s being funded by Sony, which means the game is only coming to the PlayStation 4.
If you noticed that the gentleman shown above looks a lot like Guillermo del Toro, that’s because it’s definitely him. Kojima and del Toro were working on a project together — a reboot of the “Silent Hill” franchise, from Japanese publisher Konami — when Kojima and Konami had a falling out. He was ousted from Konami and from the helm of the franchise he created (“Metal Gear”).
“Death Stranding” is a new version of Kojima’s collaboration with Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus, with an entirely new franchise and funding from Sony. Kojima’s an independent contractor with his own independent game studio — also named Kojima Productions — and this is the studio’s first project.
What the game is actually about is unclear. In the most recent trailer, del Toro’s character carries a baby in a glass jar; he and the baby appear to be human, while everyone else shown appears to be some form of monster. A tank rolls by with slithering tentacles, followed by an army of skeleton soldiers in war fatigues. Propeller planes fly overhead, followed by trails of black tentacles. It’s pretty gross!
The game was first teased earlier in 2016 at the video game industry’s annual trade show, E3. A second, longer trailer debuted on December 1 at The Game Awards, a now-annual video game award show. Kojima accepted an award for “Industry Icon” — a stand-in for the award he was supposed to receive in 2015.
After accepting the award, Kojima took a cue from the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs — “One more thing,” he announced with a smile. “I brought an early gift for the audience. Please enjoy.”
Here’s that full video:
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