Hey, you know that feel? The one when you’re playing the revolutionary strand game by Kojima Productions, and when you watch Norman Reedus cuddle his friendly fetus, a single tear rolls down your cheek? Who amongst us isn’t aware of that familiar sensation?
Or, at least, that seems to be what this new advertisement for the PlayStation 4 Pro is banking on.
This is a technically impressive advertisement that brings terrifying concepts to mind, like a world that has succumbed ravages of climate change. I was admittedly intrigued to see what the source of this disaster was. How could this have come about? Then, the video ends with the capstone of a gamer gazing lovingly on Death Stranding. A tear rolls down his cheek.
This reminds me a lot of the jokes that people tend to make around being brought to tears. “Haha,” a guy might say. “I’m weeping because invisible ninjas are cutting onions outside and also it’s raining on this cloudless day.”
This ad acknowledges that the subject is, indeed, crying from an emotion. But that emotion is so overpowering and intense that it leads to the end of civilization. Death Stranding is a game that will make you cry, but you’ll cry in a super cool, action movie trailer kind of way.
This ad invokes the memories of other advertisements that have taken a mundane subject and veered way off the road into the shadowy forest of overly artistic framing. Like remember this ad for Subway sandwiches, that starts with a child being welcomed into the world?
got another capitalism greatest hit. i will give you one hundred thousand dollars if you can guess the brand by the end pic.twitter.com/bwfJJLabg4— Ryan Simmons (@rysimmons) June 27, 2019
Or how about the Dead Island reveal trailer that took place in reverse chronological order and also had almost nothing to do with the actual factual game of Dead Island?
This Sony advertisements fits into a similar genre. It’s genuinely very pretty to watch, but at the end of it, I’m not thinking about Death Stranding. I’m more like, huh. How much did that cost to make? Probably a lot of money, right?
On the other hand, I’m struggling to come up with a better alternative on how to sell such a strange game like Death Stranding. Perhaps there’s another way to immediately convey the highest emotional peaks of Kojima Productions’ debut game. How about this?
There we go. That’s the real emotional essence of Death Stranding, conveyed in just a brief glimpse of powerful imagery. Forget the sunken city, this is what I’m here for.