Death Stranding: 9 Steps To Understanding Hideo Kojima's First Trailer

It's not QUITE as crazy as you think.

norman reedus death stranding
Kojima Productions

At this stage, you either love Hideo Kojima and his increasingly batsh*t ideas, you think he has his moments, orrr you're running so fast in the opposite direction whilst screaming "WTF was up with Quiet's character in MGS V!?", that another Metal Gear Solid-level groundbreaker is the only thing that will ever get you back on board.

Personally, I'm the former. Kojima is the exact kind of unshackled creative force the industry needs, and gamers deserve. He always layers his titles with all sorts of meanings and themes, twinning their execution with westernised action set-pieces and anime wish-fulfilment. The resulting concoction of everything including badass cyborg ninjas and global politics made Metal Gear Solid one of the most prolific and enjoyable franchises of all time, and now Kojima is free of Konami, Death Stranding is his first game that's been 28 years in the making.

Naturally, the trailer is complete insanity - at least, at first. Like the Silent Hills teaser Hideo worked on with Guillermo del Toro, it's been designed to be picked apart, analysed, studied and pondered upon.

Kojima has stated it's all in-engine, yet these scenes won't be in the final game. Instead, Death Stranding's first look exists to highlight its thematic intent and tone, meaning everything's up for grabs.

However, look just a little deeper and you'll find way more concrete evidence waiting to be uncovered...

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9. Norman Reedus' Handprints

death stranding
Kojima Productions

Cheers to WhatCulture Science for this one, as it seems the handprints covering Reedus aren't simply there to indicate a tribal aesthetic.

Instead, they connote Cueva de Las Manos, a network of caves in Santa Cruz where tribes of ancient man would use bone-made pipes to spray their hand prints on the cave walls. At between 13,000 to 9000 years old, it shows that even back then, we were interested in making our mark on the world, affecting nature to ensure we were remembered.

You can take the inclusion of these handprints as indication that Norman Reedus' character is representative of humanity overall - a walking metaphor for our foray into the world itself. If you take that as fact, everything else starts to make WAY more sense.

For example...

Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.