Speculation and Opinions on Death Stranding's New Trailer
If you watched The Game Awards 2017, or have been following any of the hubbub following, you may have heard that a new Death Stranding trailer was released. Slated to come out sometime in the future (lol), Death Stranding is the artistic genius of Hideo Kojima mixed with the cinematic horror powerhouse that is Guillermo del Toro. This is the third teaser/trailer we’ve received for the game, and is perhaps the weirdest, which is a fun statement because the first and second trailers are anything but standard game trailers. With all three having been released, there are some really interesting revelations to pick out.
Firstly, there appears to be three main characters so far. Norman Reedus’s character, who is likely the protagonist, seems to be allied by Guillermo del Toro’s character in some way, as they both have a similar “baby tank” attached to themselves, which might in fact be the same tank. Lastly, there is Mads Mikkelsen’s character, who is likely the antagonist. All the characters look like the actual actors in real life, which for me is a bit off-putting, but who doesn't love that evil stare that Mads is so good at doing, a lá his performance in Hannibal? Absolutely chilling.
An obvious takeaway from the three trailers is that, something has definitely messed humanity up in a very serious way. Mads’s character has black goopy veins on his face, Guillermo and Norman are hooked up to these futuristic tanks holding babies in them, and skeletal soldiers with that same black goop are walking the streets, former humans having succumbed to whatever is going on in the world. The black fluid makes multiple appearances throughout all three trailers, and while Mads' character may be the antagonist, there is clearly something larger at play. In the most recent trailer, we see other humans being sucked into the ground by nightmarish hands, giant invisible monsters terrorizing the small troop that Norman is a part of, and in the second trailer this same black goop connecting Mads’s skeletal soldiers to himself. What also features twice--in the first trailer and the third--are these floating individuals. They seem to be human in form, but one can only guess; they very well may be some alien life form hovering in the air.
Another takeaway was that the second trailer very much seems to take place on Earth; there are city streets and sewers that Guillermo is exploring and a tank filled with more of that black filth and what look like tentacles. The third trailer, however, I’m not so sure. The tech that Norman and his crew are wearing, the environment itself, and the flipped vehicle nearby all illustrate to me that this is potentially another planet or moon. I’m not entirely confident, but it’s my best guess (which could be negated by the fact that the truck they are driving is made by “Bridges” which has the United States as its logo, and is a logo we see on Guillermo’s suit in the second trailer as well). Y’know what, it’s probably just on Earth.
One thing I noticed that was a pretty dope realization is that at 3:49 in the third trailer, the individual wearing all black on top of the vehicle makes the EXACT same hand gesture as Mads does at 3:49 in the second trailer. COINCIDENCE? I think not. Which means that if in fact that figure in the third trailer is Mads, he is working together with Norman in some capacity at some point in the game.
Some really weird stuff happens towards the end of the trailer--an enormous monster with long black tethers shows up, Norman is thrust underwater and is naked, a sperm whale swims by, then Norman is fully clothed standing at the edge of a giant crater and speaks, referencing the Big Bang and the eventual end of all humanity with a second explosion.
On the game’s Wikipedia page, we learn that ‘death stranding’ is another term used for ‘beaching,’ which is the phenomena of when whales going up on shore, getting caught in the sand, and being unable to get back out to sea. With the constant theme of water in all three trailers, and the fact that we actually see beached sea animals in the first trailer, as well as a swimming whale in the third, I’m pretty confident that the title as well as the imagery used plays a very key part in the story of Death Stranding, except this time I believe it’s humanity itself that is doing the beaching. Despite this grizzly and depressing theme, I'm very much looking forward to experiencing the very first KojiPro game, and will be keeping up with all the hype leading up to its release.