We knew Hideo Kojima was going to make an appearance at Gamescom: Opening Night Live to premiere new footage from Death Stranding, but it was probably too hopeful of us to think his appearance would be straightforward. Kojima just doesn’t roll like that.
While the gaming auteur certainly tried to explain Death Stranding, and in particular the baby we see Norman Reedus carrying about, it still manged to be a convoluted affair.
But don’t worry, we’ve attempted to unravel exactly what we’ve learnt.
What’s with the babies?
We kind of have a better idea about what Death Stranding’s Bridge Babies are about thanks to a couple of new trailers.
It seems like Bridge Babies (or BBs) are babies who are born on “the other side” (aka stillborn). However they remain attached to their mothers via some sort of supernatural umbilical cord, which means they exist in a kind of mirror plane to the real world – ethereal, but still ‘connected’ to their mothers.
The babies then seem to be used to allow people in the real world, like Norman Reedus’ character Sam, to see BTs (supernatural, shadowy creatures). So Sam attaches a device to him that acts like a mother’s womb, so the BB thinks it’s still in there.
It seems Sam needs to keep his BB calm and happy because they’re “unpredictable” and can possibly fail. It seems like Sam will die if the BB dies. So essentially you’re a delivery man and a surrogate mother…
What else did we…uh…learn?
After the two trailers on BBs, Kojima revealed gameplay of Death Stranding which started with Sam urinating to empty his “tank”. The pee also caused a mushroom to grow a bit. We can only assume there’s a survival mechanic that means you need to drink, eat and pee. We assume…
Next, the trailer detailed Sam interacting with a character modeled after Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley (who is literally in the game now). Sam delivers a package and then a new strand is uncovered, showing more of the map. Then, he fell off a cliff face-down into the ground, flat on the baby resting in its artificial womb on the character’s chest, which was… unscathed. We have no idea.
The baby then start crying and Sam has to rock it to calm it down.
The new trailers didn’t shed a whole lot of light on Death Stranding but it seems the babies are technically dead and create a link to another world, allowing Sam (and anyone attached to BBs) to see the shadowy BT figures. Maybe? Who knows.