After years of bizarre cinematic trailers, Hideo Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions finally showed off gameplay for Death Stranding during the PlayStation E3 2018 press conference. What we saw was just as strange as past trailers, but we do appear to at least understand a few gameplay mechanics.
A hooded Sam Bridges — played by Norman Reedus — enters a cave formation at the beginning of the gameplay demonstration, and he soon spots a series of giant “footprints” appearing nearby in the ground, but with seemingly no creature leaving them. Before Bridges can be attacked, a stealthy woman wearing a spiky black bodysuit — played by Léa Seydoux — grabs him from behind and ensures he makes no noise. Seydoux reminds Bridges that “these things never stay gone for long.”
This scene is broken up by footage of player-characters walking along a series of landscapes, including a rocky red area that doesn’t appear to be anywhere on Earth. Several people are carrying bodies on their backs, with legs visible under one character’s backpack and an entire adult corpse visible on another.
We also briefly see some stealth action, with Bridges pulling some sort of detection device, which reveals shadowy floating creatures that apparently want to eat him. He is warned by a voice over a radio that he will return if eaten, but the “surrounding area will still be a crater.” To combat this, Bridges pulls a baby from a pouch, though it isn’t clear what the baby does — it could be what makes the detection device work, but we’re probably going to have to wait for Kojima to tell us explicitly.
“Carrying the stranded remnants of the future in his hands, Sam embarks on a journey to reunite the shattered world one step at a time,” PlayStation said in the trailer’s description. “What is the mystery of Death Stranding? What will Sam discover on the road ahead? A genre-defining gameplay experience holds these answers and more.”
Death Stranding does not have a release date, but it will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive. In addition to Reedus and Seydoux, the cast includes Mads Mikkelsen and Lindsay Wagner.