These views are @nbh1883 ‘s and do not represent the entire team.

A brand new nine minute trailer for Death Stranding has dropped, and wow. I am personally blown away by it, and it looks to be a ridiculously fun and enjoyable game. I wanted to share my thoughts about this trailer as a whole, so I’m going to do so in this article. I’m primarily a Nintendo Switch user, and I do not own a PS4. Death Stranding alone makes me feel like I have to get one, since I want to experience this game for myself. Even if you aren’t a PS4 fan, you still have to appreciate this game. It looks fantastic, and I’m glad it’s releasing this year. Please keep in mind these are raw first impressions, and I know absolutely nothing about that game. I’ll be going over the whole trailer, as well as giving my thoughts here and there.

The trailer opens with the baby, and it proceeds to go into the baby’s mouth. A man appears, calling the baby “BB”, telling it that everything will be alright and “I will always be with you”. He then proceeds to sing a lullaby to the baby, and it cuts to a picture with someone blurred out. Personally, I’m still very confused on who the baby is, as well as who the parents are, but I’m sure it will be answered in the game. It then cuts to a man riding a motorcycle on a mountain of sorts, with all of the birds flying away from something. A female voice says “You can reunite us”. I’m not exactly sure what the man may be reuniting, but it could be his family, relationship, or something like that. She then says “You can make America whole”. So Sam, the main character, has a goal of apparently reuniting America. I’m very interested to see how that goal ties in with the floating people and things like that. Sam replies “No, America’s finished”. He has a conversation with Bridget, who’s title of President apparently means nothing. So from this, we can understand that Bridget, the president (presumably of the United States) has gave Sam (Norman Reedus) a mission to reunite America. This sounds extremely interesting, and it is built upon later in the trailer. We move to Sam on a lowering platform with the word “BRIDGES” on it. It seems that this might be some kind of organization, as the cinematography looks to be indicating it. After this, we cut to a scene of Sam fixing something on his back, and he has handcuffs on. However, only one side of the handcuffs is intact. The other is loose. Did he escape a prison or something?

We then cut to Sam suiting up and walking out of the Bridges facility or organization. The opens, revealing Sam and what looks like a factory, and he walks out so it closes. The door says “BRIDGES” and under it is a map of the US with what looks like some kind of chart. Under the map, it says the words “United Cities of America”. Are there no more states? Are few mere cities the only ones willing to unite?

We then see the world. Sam walks along the top of a mountain, and you see strings of black in the sky. These look to be related to the ghost looking people that appear later in the trailer. The words “A New History Begins…” appear, suggesting we are going to be rewriting the present to become the past in the future. We then see Sam walking around in various places. One of which is a broken building, with rebar sticking out all over the place. Another place is Sam caught in a blizzard climbing up a mountain in snow almost up to his waist.

We are then given our first look at a menu. Sam chooses the ladder, and he can stretch it across a giant cliff that he was not able to reach. It will be very interesting to see if you can use the ladder in any situation. I feel it could be extremely useful in the game, as well as time saving. They then show Sam with a stake, climbing down a ravine. We then cut to a male talking, saying that they want the government to “leave them be”. This is referring to the various terrorist groups that are all over the US, which is mentioned multiple times in the trailer. A masked villain with a skull mask sort of similar to Scorpion from Mortal Kombat appears, and he teleports to the girl taken captive. He is one of many shown potential villains, and it will be interesting to see who the main villain of this game actually is. I suspect it is someone who appears at the very end of the trailer, but more on that later. We are then shown a new scene, with Sam in a field. All of the sudden, an orange ping of sorts starts to go off in his area, almost as if it is a sign that he’d be spotted by someone. I’m not exactly sure what this mechanic is, but if you look at the trailer it looks like a hologram of his cargo remains on the hill. Personally, I think this means that something in his cargo tripped something giving away his location. A group of men dressed in yellow suits step out, and they have similar flappy signal poles that Sam has. I’m not exactly sure who these people are, but I think it might be the government. Even though he was appointed by the president, it could have been in secret behind the government’s back. I feel that we’ll see more about this as the game’s launch approaches. Anyways, the men have white lights that turn red when Sam runs by, and they start chasing after him with the spears with electricity on the ends. Then, we see our first look at actual combat. Sam punches one of the yellow suited agents, and then grabs his briefcase. He uses the briefcase to punch the other two guards and escape. This is followed by a cutscene where the agents say they can’t move forward because it’s raining. Apparently “even they know better than to mess with BTs”. With this context, we can suspect the floating ghost people things are called “BTs” in Death Stranding. I’m not exactly sure what BT stands for, or even what these things really are, but that is the name they are given.

The next part of the trailer brings essential new knowledge to the importance of the random baby that Sam carries around, as well as knowledge about Sam and his unique abilities. Sam says “I can’t spot BTs, just sense ’em”. Can everyone spot BTs? Or is Sam the only person who can “sense” them? If he is the only person who has the ability to sense the BTs, it makes sense as to why he was appointed by the president. The scene changes, showing Sam holding a chamber of sorts grayed out. As he clips the chamber to his suit on his chest, a voice says “That’s why we came prepared”. Sam replies, “A Bridge baby, huh”. So, we now know when the man called the baby “BB” at the beginning of the trailer, it was the same baby. BB stands for Bridge baby. Sam then grabs a tube that looks to run into his suit, and inserts and twists it into the chamber. When he does this, the shield is removed and the baby immersed in liquid is revealed, looking around at its surroundings. As a voice complains about how it makes him feel, Sam replies “Well you are tapping into the other side”. How is this baby connected to Sam? Where does that tube lead? What is the “other side”? I think the tube leads directly into Sam’s bloodstream, as I think that he and the Bridge baby would have to have a strong bond to use each other’s abilities. I’m not exactly sure what this “other side” business is, but whatever it may be it does seem that the BTs are tied to it. We then see Sam walking in a forest, when all of the sudden he sees the BTs. He covers his mouth, and proceeds to walk forwards when all of the sudden they hear him. He’s grabbed and pulled into the black mud / water, and is dragged under the ground for quite some time. I’m not sure what this black substance is, but it has been seen in various trailers. When footprints from BTs are made, they are filled with this substance. It also seems to have a lethal effect on humans. When they come in contact with it, either creatures drag them under or they age rapidly. It will be very interesting to see how they are developed in this story, as well as what everything actually is.

Image result for death stranding screenshots

Then the words “Those bound to Hades” appear on the screen. Are the BTs tied to hell and Hades himself? For those who don’t know, Hades rules the underworld and was a god in Greek mythology. The BTs having some sort of tie to the underworld makes sense, and could explain the “other side” talk we heard earlier. We then cut to a first person view of what is presumably World War II, with soldiers turning into dust as Sam nears them. As he walks down a path, dust collects together to form a tank, which attack the opponent off screen. A black screen appears, saying “Those who cannot break the connection…”, which is most likely referring to the connection between the “other side” and the real world. It could also be the connection between the BB and Sam, or even Sam and the BTs. We then cut to a pool of the mysterious black water. 4 soldiers march out being held in the back by one man who looks human of sorts. He is connected to them through the same tubes that Sam uses to connect to BB. The black liquid drips from his face as he gives an evil smile. In my opinion, although I don’t exactly know who he is, he has to be the main villain. He is definitely human, but somehow he can control the BTs and freely go into the black water no consequences. Something is up with him. Also, when he rises from the water his chest is glowing. Why? We’ll probably have to wait to find out.

We then get our very first look at Sam using a gun. The gun being used is an Assault Rifle. There is a UI right by the enemy, and it looks very clean in my opinion. The crosshair is also very clean and unique, and it is unlike anything I have seen in recent memory. Then we go to a very familiar doll that was in a previous trailer years ago. The eyes are flinching, and it almost looks as if it’s the opposite of a Bridge baby. Behind the doll, we can see half of a man’s face and it looks as if he’s hung up sprung out. Not sure if this has any significance, but I thought I’d point it out. After, we see a compilation of various shots. First, we see two people whirled up in what looks like a tornado of sorts. Debris is flying, and a man is flipped midair while being brought up. We saw something similar in an earlier trailer, but this could be different. We then see what looks like a doctor using some sort of wrist technology to check a chart or graph. Behind some are some scans of the brain. I have a couple of ideas about how this could be important. I personally think that “going to the other side” could have detrimental effects on the brain, therefore the doctor is electing to study it. Just a small thought! We see a couple shots of Sam with his necklace, one of which looks like he is sinking underwater. Next, we see Sam, Deadman, and Die-Hardman at a table with what looks like a wrapped up corpse. I’m not sure if this is a meeting or a negotiation, but I assume that all of these men are on the same side. I could see Die-Hardman being a bad guy, but not Deadman. He is seen with the Bridge Baby quite a bit, and I don’t think the bad guy would be shown with it in promotional material. Then, we see Mama with some sort of almost invisible matter in the air. It could be a BT, but she would be holding her breath I would think. Maybe it’s a new technology or something like that? We see Sam and a blonde haired woman, potentially a love interest, have an exchange outside. After, we see the same corpse that was on the table earlier burned in a machine. I believe that this is one of their mutual friends that died from the BTs, so they had a funeral by burning the corpse. I think this makes sense as the meeting with the corpse earlier could have been a meeting about what to do with the body. We then see a woman reaching up at a BT, seemingly trapped. I don’t think she was trapped by the BTs, but it is a possibility. Two scenes follow this of some sort of technology that analyzes things. It first analyzes this chain with metal on it, and then the Bridge baby. I’m not exactly sure what they’re looking for, but it must be important. We then see the same shot of Mama and the invisible thing, but this time she is bringing it close to her chest. We see the doctor sliding down an incline, with a group of people looking at him as he does. Looks like it’s in black water too, so it must be the work of the BTs. This ends the first part of footage and we go into the cast. I was really impressed with this chunk of the trailer, and it was incredible.

The part of the trailer shows the cast, and Kojima released these awesome movie style posters for each member of the cast in Death Stranding. They are extremely high quality, and these are ridiculously cool. Take a look at all of them!

The cast for Death Stranding is:

  • Sam – Norman Reedus
  • Cliff – Mads Mikkelsen
  • Fragile – Léa Seydoux
  • Mama – Margaret Qualley
  • Deadman – Guillermo Del Toro
  • Heartman – Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Die-Hardman – Tommie Earl Jenkins
  • Higgs – Troy Baker
  • Amelie – Lindsay Wagner

Now, back to the footage. We see Sam with Amelie and Fragile in two different shots, and then we see Higgs. Higgs starts shooting at Sam, but his BT sensor arm blocks the bullets. I believe that Higgs is the leader of the terrorist group mentioned earlier. It makes sense because I think Cliff is the main villain. Plus, there is much more footage of Cliff when compared to Higgs. Both are definitely bad though. We then see a shot of the toy baby looking and giving a thumbs up just like the BB did. I think that this toy baby is maybe Clint or Higgs’ way of reaching the other side. It’s the opposite of the BB, and it is evil looking. We’ll definitely understand that once the game is out. Then all of the sudden, it’s a shot of Sam on his knees. A voice says “Sam we want you to go West, and finish what Amelie started” as he scrambles on the ground. Sam says “Rebuilding America isn’t gonna get rid of the BTs. As long as they’re still around, there’s no escaping it” as he looks at the gun in his hand. A female voice says “But at least we’ll have hope” as Sam pulls the gun to his head. There is a lot to talk about here. Sam is extremely blue or pale looking, nothing like what we’ve seen before. I wonder if this could have been an effect of going to the other side. The voice that said “Sam we want you to go West” was reiterating the President’s mission I think. If you look at the photo of the BRIDGES lab earlier in the article, it looks like the facility is on the East coast. So I think that in Death Stranding, you must go all the way to the West coast, rebuilding America. It makes a lot of sense with the footage we were given, and it will definitely be built upon leading to launch. Also, they say to “finish what Amelie started”. Amelie is a character in Death Stranding, and she was shown in the trailer. Is she dead? If she is, then the footage we saw of Sam and her are flashbacks. This will be another interesting arc to watch. When Sam pulls the gun up to his head, I’m not sure what’s going on. It could be a scenario where he was caught by the BTs, so he did what his friend did in an earlier trailer to silence himself. I doubt this though. Also, that scene does not relate to the voice clips that were over it. Those clips definitely happen early on, and I think this scene is late game. We then see the title “Death Stranding” appear on the screen, and then we have another scene.

After the title screen shows and fades, we are greeted to Clint’s voice. He says “You see, I’ve come to understand the truth about the Death Stranding”. So with this, Death Stranding is an event. I’m not sure when it happened or what it is, but it definitely brought the rise of the BTs. He then says “It’s so hard to form connections when you can’t shake hands. Fortunately I’ve got a good connection to the other side”. He is human for sure, and he’s unlike any other creature in the other side. In this scene, he stands up, smokes a cig, and 4 soldiers rise, except their face is just a skull with red eyes. These 4 seem to be his elite group or something like that, so it will be interesting on how and when you fight them. I think it could be really cool if all four of them are different, so the final boss battle is tiered. You fight each of the four individually, then fight Cliff. We then see various other scenes, the notable one being Amelie watching Sam sink into the black water. I feel that it’s not really Amelie, maybe a BT. Who knows. The final scene of the trailer begins where it started with the doctor. He tells BB “The whole wide world will be yours to explore. You’ll be able to go wherever you want–even the moon”. I’m very interested to see who this doctor is, and what his relationship with the Bridge baby is. Did he create it? Is there only one BB?

Hideo Kojima released this message via Twitter about the game:

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This gives quite a lot of insight about the game, and answers some of the questions I had. However, I know have new questions. The goal of the game is “to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society”. He says that everything that happens in the game is connected by a theme. The image gives a lot of context about what’s going on and what the game is about. Kojima hopes we, as the players, “come to understand the true importance of forging connections with others”. It’s pretty clear that this is the message, because there are a lot of times where in the trailer unity is talked about. He also talks about how the handprint is an important symbol in Death Stranding. He said “When you open the palm you can hold the hand of other. When you close, it changes to fist that can exclude others. Both are inseparable. The palm can be compared to stick & rope”. I think there will be many messages spread from this game, and some of which might be harder to find than others.

Kojima says Death Stranding is a “cinematic adventure”, and is a brand new genre of its own. I’m very interested to see his vision of this genre, and other things about it. It does not look like there is much combat in the game, it looks to be mostly cutscenes with a little bit of open world roaming. I’m okay with this. I also wonder how long the game will be. Death Stranding had a relatively short development time for such a massive project, and I’m not sure how long it will be as a result of this. I don’t think length will matter though, as the game looks incredible in the footage we have.

Death Stranding is shaping up to be a giant game, and a fantastic one too. I am very very intrigued by it, and I honestly can’t wait for its release. The characters and the environment are incredible, and this engine is gorgeous. There is quite a bit of mystery behind the game too, and it makes me even more excited to get my hands on it. I’m hoping that maybe we could see a PC release, but I’m not sure. All I know is I’m extremely excited to see more footage, and I cannot wait for November 8th, 2019.

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