[Analysis] Death Stranding (Kojima Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2017)

Wow, I love the E3. And I’d definitely love to go there myself someday. But until then I’ll just have to live with the snippets of information that find their way to good old Germany.
One of these snippets definitely got to me in a very intense way: the reveal of Death Stranding.
After Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus have already worked on Silent Hills together (which was unfortunately never finished and never will be), they seem to still have a good working connection. Reedus seems to be the protagonist of Kojima Productions first game. But I don’t want to talk about the background for such a long time, just let me have a closer look at the teaser itself – as you know, I’m sooo into good stories.

Let’s get it started by showing you the video:

The atmosphere is so dark and mysterious, it sends chills down your spine. Especially underlined by the beautifully mystifying “I’ll keep coming” by Low Roar.
The first thing we see is a bunch of dead crustaceans, “stranded” on a sandy beach. Following hand prints appearing in the sand without the hand itself being visible. As soon as the hand print is pressed into the underground, it is filled with a black substance, most probably oil. Is this a hint at humans destroying their home planet in the future by abusing natural ressources? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe a bit too obvious for a Hideo Kojima.

The hand prints lead directly to a naked, seemingly unconcious Norman Reedus, laying in the sand, being littered with dirt and hand prints himself. His body is connected to a foetus by an umbilical cord, that is black (oil?).
As he awakes he picks up the little one and holds it tight to his body, starting to cry. Such a heartbreaking scene. But what happened to the little one? Is it alive? Is it dead? Would it make any sense for the protagonist to cry, if it was alive?
We don’t really get the time to worry about the small baby, because from one shot to another, it disappears. Leaving no umbilical cord, no sign of his existence – just his tiny hand prints of oil on the right leg of Norman Reedus. *shiver*
As he gets up, we see a cross-like scar on his body, implying that he was not only connected to the cild, but also his “father”? Will this be possible in Hideo Kojimas version of the future? Will men be mothers? Will they be able to give birth? Hm, that could be one possibility, but there’s another I’ll explain later on.

But it gets even creepier, as Reedus takes a look around and sees nothing but destruction and death – dead whales, dolphins and all sorts of other sea animals. All of them having umlibical cords. Connected to each other? Connected to something even bigger?
That might be a good suggestion, as we also see five figurines in the sky. Is this an alien life-formof some kind? Do they need living creatures as a source for their energy? That could be a reason for the cross-like scar on Reedus’ body. Maybe he pulled out his own cord to not longer be connected to whatever system he was linked to?
That would probably even make sense. We’ve already seen something similar in Avatar, where all of the life-forms were connected via a neuronal network.
Well, except from the alien theory, I could also think of a large-scale human experiment, in which some kind of communication or energy (with regard to the oil as well) system is developed.

There are even more detailed reviews and theories out there- especially regarding the dog tags around Reedus’ neck. Scientific formulas can be seen on them, some of them referring to theories of black holes – and therefore maybe indirectly pointing at an energy topic.
But as we know Hideo Kojima – everything could be possible. The title alone can be interpretated in several ways. “Stranding” could refer to Reedus being stranded on a beach, coming from wherever and however only he knows. Or it could mean “being connected by strands”. Maybe even a mix of both.

I’m so excited for this game. The atmosphere got me instantly and I hope that will remain, when the game comes out and the story unfolds.

Hopefully this time we’ll get to see (and play) a game to the teaser. 😛

Picture Credit: ©Hideo Kojima (Twitter)/ Sony Interactive Entertainment


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