Death Stranding returned for Sony’s E3 2018 press conference with another grand, bizarre, wild look. Although Kojima-san wasn’t on hand to introduce it, he brought something just as good: gameplay.
This one starred Norman Reedus’ character Sam Bridges, the protagonist of the game. We saw him in a rainy, jungle-like environment trying to survive. That involves climbing mountains, carrying a heavy life pack — in which he holds a tiny baby, encased in a synthetic womb — and even pulling off an infected toenail.
We saw actual gameplay for the first time ever. Bridges is seen walking up those mountains and making his way painfully through an intense rainstorm. His mission appears to be saving people who have been taken hostage by mysterious forces. We’ve seen those before, too; they were included in a trailer released last year.
Other than gameplay, we also met two new characters. One is played by Lea Seydoux, who talks circles around Bridges and eats what appears to be a live maggot at the trailer’s end. Another is Lindsay Wagner, whose role is even more uncertain. They’re the first two women to be shown as part of the game’s cast, although their inclusion only introduces more questions.
Collaborating with Kojima on Death Stranding, which is due on PlayStation 4 sometime in the future, are several other big names. These include Guillermo del Toro, Mads Mikkelson and Norman Reedus, each of whom perform key roles in the game.
Last time we saw Death Stranding was at The Game Awards 2017 last December. Kojima and host Geoff Keighley are good friends, meaning The Game Awards is often a platform for Kojima to show off what he’s working on. Meanwhile, the first time Death Stranding appeared was at Sony’s E3 2016 press conference two years ago. It’s been a regular fixture ever since.
Death Stranding will be the first game released by Kojima Productions, the studio formed by Kojima after he and Konami had a bitter parting of ways in late 2015. We still have no idea when, of course. But at least we know it has some form of playability now.