Hideo Kojima’s name alone conjures images of mind-bending narratives, genre-defying experiences, and trailers that leave you scratching your head harder than a crypto bro trying to explain NFTs to their grandma.
And Death Stranding 2: On The Beach’s recent trailer? Well, it’s vintage Kojima in all its glory. Following multiple teasers, this showing presents a beautiful enigma that throws more questions onto the beach than answers.
Why it matters: The new Death Stranding 2 trailer is a cinematic masterpiece, filled with stunning visuals and cryptic imagery. However, despite its visual appeal, the trailer raises numerous questions, plunging fans deeper into Hideo Kojima’s mind.
The subtitle “On The Beach” in Death Stranding 2 is meaningful in connection to the main metaphor of the initial Death Stranding. This metaphor centers on The Beach, where the realms of the living and the dead intersect.
The Beach goes beyond mere symbolism; it is a tangible location where time freezes, serving as a realm situated between life and death, resembling the theological idea of Limbo.
Given the evident setting of Death Stranding 2 in Mexico, the subtitle “On The Beach” might have a straightforward significance. Opting for Mexico, renowned for its sandy beaches, might suggest a dual interpretation that aligns with the metaphysical Beach introduced in the initial game.
A Bunch of Guest Appearances
The trailer introduces a new character played by Marty Rhone, directed by George Miller of Mad Max.
Alongside Fragile (Léa Seydoux), they encounter a mysterious tar-covered woman, bringing forth a theme of unsettling tentacle imagery. Does the tar, rich in amino acids, suggest the potential for new life?
Moreover, Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin makes a cameo as a small puppet affixed to Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus). Animated with various moods, this puppet injects an element of unpredictability.
The recurrent use of puppet imagery in the trailer, including translucent strings attached to Elle Fanning’s character, leaves questions about its significance in the game. Kojima himself chose the entire cast for Death Stranding 2, so rest assured the actors are up to the task.
Are Higgs and Lou Connected?
The trailer marks the return of Higgs (Troy Baker), who is revealed without his mask, wielding a guitar that emanates lightning while cryptically referencing Talking Heads.
Higgs, looking almost like the Joker, possesses information about Lou’s death, prompting inquiries into the circumstances surrounding it. It seems that Higgs has more knowledge about Lou than he is willing to reveal.
With Sam’s descent into despair and eventual resurgence, the storyline takes a gripping turn. Furthermore, Lou’s mysterious role serves as a crucial connecting thread, tying the narrative together with a layer of intrigue.
The first trailer hinted at Fragile and Lou’s assault, resulting in the replacement of Lou with a mysterious shadow, Bridge Baby. The new trailer pretty much confirms Lou’s death but leaves lingering questions about Lou’s origin, introducing layers of complexity to the storyline.
It’s worth noting the appearance of white-haired Sam from the first trailer and Higgs projecting a “You don’t get it yet? Shame” atmosphere when questioned about Lou’s death.
There seems to be a significant element of time manipulation at play, and it might have already transpired.
What Happens in the Post-Unity World?
We know that in Death Stranding 2, the story progresses after Sam effectively links the cities of the former United States using the Chiral Network. The Bridges project, now known as Drawbridge and led by Fragile and George Miller’s character, aims to extend the network worldwide.
The focus of the narrative revolves around Drawbridge’s activities in Mexico, hinting at a possible link to the Beach introduced in the first game. However, the sequel raises questions about the aftermath of Sam’s actions in Death Stranding.
The plot becomes more complicated with Drawbridge’s attempt to replace human porters with robots, as suggested by the title cards in the trailer.
I Love Everything About This Trailer
Amidst the confusion, there are moments of genuine awe.
The beauty of the beach, the haunting score, and the sheer technical skill on display are undeniable. Kojima’s team has fashioned a world that feels both alien and oddly familiar, a realm where beauty and desolation dance hand-in-hand.
However, the more you dissect the trailer, the more questions surface. What transpired in the world post-Death Stranding? Why does Sam find himself back on the beach? What roles do the new characters assume in this unfolding narrative?
And, in the name of Low Roar, what is that colossal, fleshy hand emerging from the sand?
But here’s the thing: some might argue that all this ambiguity is smoke and mirrors, a distraction from a potentially thin narrative. They might say that Kojima’s style prioritizes spectacle over substance, leaving players with more questions than answers.
And to them, I say this: perhaps. But isn’t that part of the allure? The journey of discovery, the thrill of piecing together the narrative puzzle, the satisfaction of finally cracking Kojima’s code?
Hideo Kojima has a talent for writing stories that linger in your thoughts well beyond the rolling credits. And with Death Stranding 2, he seems to be raising the bar once again.
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