Thoughts on Death Stranding trailer

SONY blew us all away at this year’s E3 press conference revealing titles such as Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn and the official release date of The Last Guardian, because lord knows how long we have all been waiting for that. However, with all these titles came one that struck us and certainly stood out above the rest, this being the Koijima production’s Death Stranding.

The trailer reveals very little in terms of, well, pretty much anything. It opens with an airy sound track, credited to ‘Low Roar’, which is introduced with some unusual percussion that sound somewhat like clicking. During this there is a quote on the screen:


This is beginning excerpt from the poem. In brief, the poem highlights the regrowth and rebirth of nature and seeing the world through the eyes of other living organisms, such as the aforementioned wild flower.

The black background fades to a very dark, dank looking beach, littered with the corpses of various cretaceous wildlife. From watching the trailer, my initial thoughts where that it was some sort of post-apocalyptic setting merely from the first thirty seconds alone. The camera then continues to pan up on hand prints in the sand filling with black liquid, presumably oil. As the camera panning continues, we find that that ‘someone’ happens to be Norman Reedus, known famously for his stone faced role as Daryl Dixon in the popular TV series The Walking Dead, unless you’re also a huge Lady Gaga fan and happened to catch him in her music video for Judas.

Not only is it just Norman Reedus, but it’ naked Norman Reedus – you’re welcome ladies. However, before even seeing his face, much more is revealed (not in that way!). The first thing you notice Is that he is wearing handcuffs only on one hand. They are not any ordinary handcuffs, they have a strange blue glow around the inner circle. I have determined that this could mean one of two things; either they are some sort of futuristic electronic handcuffs, or there is a symbolisation behind the blue glow. By the direction that this trailer is going in I would like to safely assume the latter.

Reedus lifts his head from the ground and sees a new bornbaby crying, with the umbilical cord still attached. He crawls towards it and cradles it in his arms and begins to cry. This is the moment when every member of the E3 audience went from “um, what?” to “WHAT?!?”

As he is clutching the child in is arms, he becomes surprised as the infant disappears from his grasp. This suggests the child to be more of an abstract than an actual living being. Perhaps it is him as a child? Or it represents his future child and his concerns for it in today’s society. He then looks down to his hands to reveal they are covered in oil and he also notices that on his thigh, smaller oily handprints are appearing. Now starting to lean a bit more towards an environmental campaign, especially when that scene is followed by a mound of dead fish.

Norma Reedus then stands revealing his scarred stomach from what looks like a possible C-section and squints at what faces him, reminding us all of the Daryl Dixon we know and love. As the bass drops on the track, the camera quickly cuts from an extreme close up of Reedus to the view that confronts him. A vast ocean of dead beasts covers his view from as far as the eye can see.

The most peculiar thing is that every creature, including Reedus, has an umbilical cord leading to the ocean. To me, this is a very straight forward message: Mother nature, we are all born from the same planet no matter who or what we are. The exception is the five floating figures on the horizon who do not have an umbilical cord.

What can this all mean…

  • The figures could be aliens and the cords could be suggesting a sense of unity of all earth creatures to protect themselves.
  • Norman Reedus is an escaped prisoner from a ship full of criminals and found himself stranded on a cursed beach.
  • Is Reedus in limbo?
  • Or he is having a super deep dream about global warming.

The game could go in any direction, thus far all we know is that it is to be an action game, but it’s going to be ‘completely different’ to what we are used to, as Kojima had stated in an E3 after show.

Either way, it seems that this is exactly what Kojima wanted to happen, all the speculation and confusion has left everyone on the edges of their seats wanting to know more.

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