Non-Gamers Try To Decipher That Death Stranding Trailer

So we've finally got a better look at Death Stranding ... and most people still have absolutely no clue what is going on. But I'm part of the gaming cycle every day. So if that trailer was bonkers for me, what's it like for someone who doesn't play video games?

I put out the question to the wider Kotaku/Gizmodo/Lifehacker/Pedestrian office late last week: non-gamers, I need your help. I was looking for people who weren't into video games, and for those who replied, I had a simple question: watch the Death Stranding trailer and tell me what you think you just saw.

Unsurprisingly, I got back a string of confused replies. Travel forth and enjoy their confused musings, my friends. If you want to play along, or get yourself in the mood to work out how everyone arrived at their conclusions, here's the trailer again.

Jess, videographer at Pedestrian

It follows a boy born to an active US military serving member who I presume is dead by the angsty hatred for the US presidency the main character displays. He's got to traverse through either a war torn country (alien or human political war/terrorism who knows at this point) to continue Edgeknot city??? IDK.

Clearly it's also to show off all the gear he's got on sale from Bunnings, I've never seen so many ropes, ladders and tools displayed from what can only be the best tool bet my dad could froth over. And it's confirmed terrorism is the cause for the country to be the way it is. OK I had to stop at the cheek licking but I assume at this point that's all the crucial info at this point. So in summation dude has to go save Edgeknot city including the life of what is presumed to be his lady friend against wannabe Deatheater terrorists and has to overcome whatever other challenges would be listed in the remaining 6ish minutes.

Vanna, Pedestrian's office manager (part one)

Me right now, an artist's impression:

Brad, senior reporter at Pedestrian

What da hell. So there's like some Matrix-level thing going on with either time travel or some sort of interdimensional transport. And it's involving babies. Which may or may not be real. And they can transport you to some Stranger Things level upside down.

It looks like Mads Mikkelson is the creator of the system? And that he's evil? So I'm guessing he wants to destroy ways to get back to the past?

And you play as the guy from the zombie show and you have a huge backpack on and can carry ladders and explore sort of like Zelda but when it rains something scary happens (not sure what?). And you don't want to use your baby to time travel but you have to because that's how you can defeat Mads Mikkelson.

So at some point humanity put a bunch of 'cables' around that people could transport to? I don't know man. Looks cool though.

Annie and Penelope, partnership managers at Pedestrian

So we started with a real Terminator mood, one of Arnie’s finest. Plenty of dudes running around with suitcases on their backs which perhaps were battery packs. I’d say the battery pack gets its charge from the weird ass baby. Struggling to place the baby’s involvement, but seemed imperative to the storyline. Acknowledge a strong theme of staying connected and warfare.

Along the journey we met a president - of Jeff's Shed perhaps? A real iconic Melbourne exhibition centre. Very tomorrow when the war began vibes, not sure if real people or computer generated.

Sam was trying to finish Emily’s unfinished business against the terrorists to re-build society. He is definitely a bit of a rev head, more of a Yamaha guy over a vespa thats for certain. His Yamaha can really handle the extreme terrain. The Zombies threw us a little, and loved the bad arse ciggie toss to finish us all off.

Vanna, Pedestrian's office manager (part two)

Note: Vanna was intrigued, so she watched the trailer again and sent me a second email later in the day.

"Help us reconnect" — I think it's in the distant future where humans don't rely or depend on each other for anything (everyone lives and dies alone hence the name Death Stranding and we have forgotten how to connect with each other. (Humans arent made for living alone, we need to reconnect...) and the earth, so all is collapsing on itself as this isn't the way (God?) intended for the world. (Another religious reference with Those bound to Hades)

Therefore I think it's armageddon — "See the sunset, the day is ending." Also all the bad guys seem to be rising from the ground (representing demons in a way).

I think this baby might be a the first one born in a long time. OR the baby IS Norman Reedus and he needs to physically connect it to him for strength as he and the rest of humanity is weak and connection to a more simpler more human time is what the world needs to be saved?!?!

Those who resist the future, those who stay connected to the past, those who struggle to stay connected - followed by images of the broken FAKE babies. (Do babies symbolise the past? Yes in this trailer it would appear so.)

Maybe fake babies were made by the government to show that babies were still being born even though they weren't?! "You are the president of jack shit."

"It's hard to connect when you cant shake hands — lucking i have a strong connection to the other side" — Is that person from another world/universe/ afterlife??? (Probs afterlife as all his friends were skeletons.)

Who could walk through fire...

And so could he... defs not human or from this world.

And the the guy talking to the baby at the end "One day I'll show you the real thing, you can explore everywhere even the moon."

Was this possibly a world before ours? Or an alternative one? Otherwise why would he stop at the moon?

OK, I need to get back to work. Did I do so bad? Can I look the meaning up now?

Matt, Pedestrian CEO

So that makes pretty much no sense whatsoever.

Something about ghosts being connected to the present (by telepathic babies?) in a post apocalyptic America?


Death Stranding will launch locally on PS4 on November 8.


    I can see how people with no context might be confused but I must be the only person who's finding that after watching all three of the long play videos everything is starting to make a lot more sense in terms of the setting and gameplay. I'm sure there's a lot we're not seeing and probably a few plot points that have changed over time due to development but for the most part what we know "makes sense".

    Also I love how just by coincidence everyone interviewed was "Pedestrian" in an article about normal people's reactions.

      I asked around the office for non-gamers ... it shouldn't be a surprise that everyone on Kotaku/Giz/LH is very strongly in the gamer camp!

        I was more referring to "Pedestrian" also being a term to describe things as being more mundane and norm-like.

    Been gaming for 30+ years and I am still confused by Death Stranding.

    If you think less about a game and more in terms of Japanese Anime, JRPGS, Western and Japanese cinema the story makes more sense.

    Think Final Fantasy Movie, Evangelion, Event Horizon, God Eater... scientists discover untold power and doom the planet, everything is tied by fated relationships that revial slowly, as an existential crisis unfolds, and the unwanted protage is key to victory (by design of the scientists) but ends up winning his own way (against the scientists true dark motives)... and then its going to get really wierd at the end cause the studio ran out of time and money.

    I think I got 80% of the story from that trailer. Even two of the twists.

    Something about ghosts being connected to the present (by telepathic babies?) in a post apocalyptic America?
    Pretty much sums it up LOL

    I think Vanna on the right track, its most of my own deductions went there.

    You should do a video of reactions once the game releases with these people. Id watch.

    Vanna's part two is probs the most interesting out of the opinions.

    I got the impression that the trailer had something to do with reincarnation (babies in the container /"plugging into other side") and the "BT's" having some influence on the material plane are possibly astral cars/bodies (left over entity that is sort of a karmic body of our lives, specially influenced by extreme events like say war) that have some how broken free of their plane into ours. Maybe?

    Last edited 03/06/19 4:58 pm

    Unpopular opinion here - Hideo Kojima is massively overrated

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