We’re on our fourth trailer for Death Stranding and what in the hell just happened?
The first three trailers for Death Stranding were some of the weirdest, most ethereal, otherworldly, and batshit insane trailers that have ever graced the world of video games. This one was no different. We got gameplay! But what does it mean?! Who cares!!
As we were girding ourselves for this fourth descent into incomprehensible creepiness, several members of the Mashable gaming squad wrote down what we thought would happen in the newest look at Death Stranding.
Those were tough acts to follow but the fourth Death Stranding trailer did not disappoint.
Here were our thoughts/theories/hopes for the new trailer
We begin inside a womb. The little fetus inside is the picture of unborn innocence, with hints at some underlying grotesquery (like his eyes are open — fetuses should never have their eyes open). Then, the camera takes us through the umbilical cord, its fleshy innards transitioning into a metallic pipe that is revealed to be connected to a machine. The machine has green goop in it. The sweeping shot continues, pulling out of the goopy fluid and past the glass — which has streaks (aka strands) of black tar on the outside — and are greeted by images of a desolate wasteland in the throws of war and late capitalist greed. But the more the camera zooms back, the more we see a pattern forming: it’s not just a desolate wasteland. The landscape itself is a pulsating, like a black-tar filled womb akin to the one in the opening shot. We keep pulling out and we soon realize that this wasteland is actually the insides of Norman Reedus. Cut to black. His voice comes through the darkness: “When men started being able to have babies, our future was doomed.” The Death Stranding logo streaks across the screen to the sound of a kaiju-like creature wailing in agony.
Oh man, Death Stranding is going to be so weird. I want things to turn into other things. You think Norman Reedus is standing on a beach? Surprise, it’s several million tiny Norman Reeduses pretending to be a beach. I want the sky to be full of jellyfish the size of Montana. Death Stranding should ideally be about conquering death and/or the concept of time and I want to be able to physically fight both of those, but they’re represented in the game by two eyeless children stacked on top of each other underneath a trench coat. The soundtrack will be that tickly ear whine you feel when a television is on in another room. Death Stranding will come in smell-o-vision. There will be a full-frontal shot of giant naked Norman Reedus but his genitals will be a nest of sleeping field mice. Maybe Death Stranding won’t even be a video game. Kojima likes switching stuff up, so we’ll buy the hard copy and crack open the box to reveal a tab of LSD and some very detailed instructions written in invisible ink.
I had this whole elaborate prediction in mind involving a flying whale popping out of a cardboard box while the little baby from the last trailer runs around in circles screaming “la li lu le lo” with all its might. But then a typo in our morning email introduced me to Seth Stranding and it’s all I can think about. What is Seth Stranding? How would it play? I can only imagine it’s a story-driven adventure game in which you hunt down the famous Seths of the world (Rogen, Green, MacFarlane, some other Seth I can’t think of) and ditch them on a desert island. So sort of like Lost, except everyone is a famous Seth. Yeah, I’d play that.
Me, Kellen Beck
This trailer is finally going to give us some answers. Not a lot of answers, but some. With a voice over from Norman Reedus, we’ll get a little backstory into how the world got into this disgusting mess where babies are carried to term by men (like how seahorses do it), innumerable sea creatures are stranded on black sandy beaches, and Mads Mikkelsen has Lovecraftian tentacle powers. Under the voice over and haunting music will be scenes of combat with Reedus and some fellow soldiers fighting back against a squad of tentacle-controlled bad guys. The point of view will pan up and out, first showing us in the outskirts of a city, and continuing upward until we see exactly where we are on the planet: a formerly land-locked U.S. city where the surrounding area has been subsumed by a risen tide. Dozens of craters have carved out large chunks of the Earth. Humanity is in dire straits from some otherworldly, metaphysical threat. The trailer is 15 minutes long. Death Stranding.
None of us were even close.