It seems Hideo Kojima has been cultivating a sci-fi thriller of the most insidious kind to surprise fans with. Eager not to rush development on his studio’s tantalising debut, Kojima completely skipped E3, waiting until the Game Awards 2017 to drop a mysterious new trailer for Death Stranding.
According to Kojima’s previous comments, Death Stranding “is not a horror game”, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so. In the footage, we see Norman Reedus awakening in a muddy, isolated wasteland. The rain fall is steady, matching his laboured breaths. He slogs through grime toward a mutilated worker, squinting at two more life forms in the distance before approaching. One is desperately trying to assist the other, who appears to be infected by an unknown toxin. His pained groans clash against the steady harmony of flickering white machine on his friend’s shoulder.
He cries out for help, but is cut short: “Shut up. Don’t even breathe”. Almost instantly, dusty handprints of an invisible monster materialise on the nearby wall. Beings not of this world have infiltrated it at the seams, messing with gravity, pulling at life’s telomeric strands as if they’re children’s playthings.
We witness a worker carrying a baby in a strange capsule that’s strapped to his chest. This image transitions to Reedus, sleeping underwater, as the camera whooshes into his oesophagus and down below to reveal a hidden newborn sucking its thumb.
The final moments of the world premiere trailer (the longest to feature at The Game Awards) concludes with a chilling message from Reedus:
“Once there was an explosion. A bang which gave rise to life as we know it. And then, came the next explosion. An explosion that will be our last.”
Shortly afterward, the real Reedus joined Kojima on stage, praising the former director of the Metal Gear series:
“I have to say, it’s such an honour to work with you. You’re such a genius. Seriously, I’ve opened my eyes to a whole new world.”
Indeed, Reedus’ comments certainly beg the question as to what this whole new world means. In the case of Death Stranding, are we talking about the space between life and death? The genetic fabric of human existence that imposes a time limit on our lifespan?
The Game Awards 2017 stream is now complete. Watch it here.
Death Stranding is being developed for PlayStation 4.