Psst, hey kid. You want some new Death Stranding footage? Some of that really high-resolution, fully motion captured real people voiced by different real people stuff? Want some cool holograms and premises that don’t make a ton of logical sense but still work somehow? You want some proper nouns, kid? Eh? How ’bout 48 straight minutes of gameplay footage to go along with it? First one’s free:
This latest footage of Kojima Production’s rapidly approaching PlayStation 4 exclusive comes courtesy of Tokyo Game Show 2019, where the above trailer is being looped for folks who visit the Death Stranding theater at the PlayStation booth. Kojima also debuted nearly 50 minutes of gameplay footage during a stage show at TGS, which has been embedded below. The theater also includes a life-size Mads Mikkelsen statue, which I’m sure is going back into Kojima’s living room after the convention is over.
The above footage concerns a new character, Amelie, who is portrayed by a young version of actress Lindsay Wagner, who starred as the Bionic Woman in the show of the same name in 1987. Wagner also voices Amelie’s mother, Bridget, but doesn’t voice Amelie herself — that job falls to another actress named Emily O’Brien. Wagner might be, to the best of my knowledge, the first actor to be split in half across two related characters in this way. Kojima got ideas, y’all.
This above trailer also represents our first good look at Die Hardman (played by Tommie Earl Jenkins), a character about which precious little is known. Well, we know about the mask, obviously, but not about its purpose or function, if any. It kinda moves when he talks and it has “BR-19-14P-9999 LUDENS” printed on it, and that’s all we got. As for Hardman himself, we know that he’s the leader of Bridges, the company founded to reunite a ruined America after the Death Stranding, whatever that was. Dude’s also got some sick chains.
Later in the day, Kojima walked an audience through 48 minutes and change of pure, undiluted (but edited for spoilers) Death Stranding gameplay footage, which divulged a wealth of new information about the game’s basic flow and asynchronous multiplayer features. The session starts with Sam, our protagonist portrayed by Norman Reedus, gearing up for a major delivery mission to Port Knot City, and some smaller, ancillary deliveries along the way.
Sam can arrange his cargo in a multitude of configurations, which alter his movement capabilities and overall center of gravity, which plays a huge part in how Sam traverses the rocky wastes of North America. Sam then embarks on his adventure, on foot, during which he makes a small equipment delivery to a musician that has sequestered themselves in an underground bunker. The musician decides to join the United Cities of America (as discussed in the story trailer), and we see the Bridges organization’s “Chiral Network” expand to include a new “strand.”
As Sam continues towards his final destination, he blunders a raid on a camp of marauders, takes a dip in a hot spring, rides a “reverse tricycle,” uses a floating cargo carrier as a sick hoverboard, and fights a large, monstrous BT (read: “Beached Thing,” aka the game’s enemies) in what appears to be the “Other Side” of reality that previous trailers have hinted at. He even finds time to sleep for exactly 32 seconds, and to play a sweet harmonica melody for the baby strapped to his chest.
All along the way, Sam encounters items, signs, and other various landmarks left by other real-world players. Sam’s reverse tricycle, for instance, was left by another user, and Sam is able to “Like” their contribution to his journey. Likewise, Sam leaves a sign marking the hot spring that he bathed in, which other players will be able to Like in return. One user-created station (or perhaps just user-flagged, it’s tough to tell from the Japanese-only presentation) repaired all of Sam’s equipment and cargo, while another recharged the batteries on his powered mobility assist skeleton.
When Sam did finally make his deliveries, it looked as though the cargo was examined for damage and flaws, which would presumably reduce whatever credits or rewards that Sam receives for making the journey. We also get a nice look at the spacious showers of the future, as well as a nude virtual Normal Reedus, who is covered in scars and tiny hand prints. Death Stranding launches on PlayStation 4 on Friday, November 8, 2019.