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Hideo Kojima unveils an hour of raw Death Stranding gameplay — yep, it’s still weird

Footage from Tokyo Game Show 2019 shows Death Stranding systems, movement

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There is so much of Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding that we still don’t understand, so much about the systems and the mission that we’re still trying to grasp. But after Hideo Kojima’s hour-long Death Stranding presentation at Tokyo Game Show 2019 — Kojima showed off 50 minutes of raw gameplay — we know a little more about Sam Bridges, played by Norman Reedus, and his life. Particularly, the dude likes to indulge in a little bit of self-care. Don’t we all?

Around 15 minutes into a delivery journey — where Bridges ran, jumped, and climbed with a massive load of cargo and a baby — Reedus’ character paused for a rest, sitting on a hill overlooking a river below. He strapped off his shoes to reveal his bloodied feet and stretch his legs. Death Stranding apparently “encourages moments of tranquility and recuperation,” according to a post on the PlayStation blog. While resting, Bridges has options to sleep or massage his shoulders, but he can also pull out a harmonica to play a tune for the baby, who appears to like it a lot, cooing and dancing in the delivery pod. A later scene shows Bridges taking a bath in some murky orange water to recharge with the baby, who, again, also appears to be enjoying their self.

The systems shown off in the new Death Stranding footage suggest that players will need to manage Bridges, with self-care an important part of that process. Similarly, players will need to prepare for each mission by balancing cargo on Bridges; he can strap an impressive amount of stuff to his back, but he can also carry stuff on his arms, too. We don’t know exactly how these loadouts will impact Bridges, but it will likely mean different sorts of movement and capabilities out in the world. It feels natural that a heavy load would impede Bridges’ speed ability, but we also saw him use an “Active Skeleton” that gives him increased stamina and speed.

Likewise, there appear to be different ways to adjust how players carry their cargo — the footage showed Bridges using a hover carrier to transport stuff. When he doesn’t have stuff on the carrier, Bridges can hop on for a ride, too, according to information on the PlayStation blog.

While players are cruising around on their hover boards, they may encounter stuff that other players have left behind. “There are clear signs of other travelers like yourself using equipment to cross gaps and scale mountains, making you the benefactor of their generous intrepidness,” Sony media specialist Kristen Zitani wrote. “Be sure to leave them a like for their troubles — it’s not yet known what purpose that serves, but at least it will make them feel deservedly appreciated.”

Kojima Productions also released a seven-minute Death Stranding trailer, called “Briefing,” at Tokyo Game Show. The trailer focuses primarily on the game’s story — specifically, a scene set in the White House.

Death Stranding will be released on PlayStation 4 on Nov. 8.

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