The Death Stranding trailer shown at The Game Awards 2017 was the biggest look we’ve got at the game yet. In true Kojima fashion, the new footage presented more questions instead of solving any, but we may have gotten some significant clues to what the world of Death Stranding is like and how it works.
There were a ton of little details in the trailer that really popped out on a second (and third) viewing. There’s a lot of things we didn’t notice till we took the time to rewatch the trailer in 4K and really study the environment. We’ve put together a list of five big things that were easy to overlook in the trailer.
The United States of America is Now The United Cities of America
We first learned about Bridges/United Cities of America in the 2016 The Game Awards Death Stranding trailer. In that footage, Guillermo Del Toro’s character was wearing a pin on his suit with the Bridges insignia. The emblem itself is interesting and might give a hint as to what happened to push the world to this weird, surreal vision.
On the Bridges logo, you can see a web stretching across the continental United States. The web itself could indicate the strands that Kojima has referred to as being part of the theme of the game, but it’s the center of the web that might hole the real mystery. Where the center is on the logo is a giant hole that blots out where Washington DC, Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania and all of Maryland and Delaware would be.
It seems like some event has occurred to make the USA become the UCA, and the destruction of the nation’s capital would definitely fit in with the birth of a new country. Before the new trailer, it wasn’t explicit as to what Bridges and The United Cities of America were. After seeing the people with the paramilitary outfits with Bridges/UCA logos and the crashed vehicle carrying UCA signage, it seems like it must be the ruling body of at least one faction in the Death Stranding universe.
The Men in the Trailer Were Part of Corpse Disposal Team 6
While we’re still not 100% on Norman Reedus’s characters role, the two men in the orange fatigues were part of Corpse Disposal Team 6. Just from the name of the unit, it seems pretty clear as to what its purpose is, but who knows how corpses in Death Stranding work. If the trailer is any indicator, it’s clear that dealing with the dead isn’t as straightforward as it is in real life.
We only see one corpse in the trailer, and it’s wrapped up and secured. It also has “Caution” on it, which seems to indicate that there’s some danger in handling it. In the second trailer we saw several skeleton soldiers, so perhaps whatever negative force is the antagonist in the game is able to use the dead as weapons. This means dedicated Corpse Disposal Teams have to ensure bodies can’t be used against them.
Norman Reedus Character’s Name is Sam and May Have a Special Role Within the Corpse Disposal Team
It’s only said once in the trailer so you might have missed it, but one of the two men in orange fatigues calls Norman Reedus’s character “Sam.” Sam is dressed in different garb than the two men with the Bridges/UCA patches with the word “Porter” printed on it in several locations. It seems like he was concentrating more on the corpse than the man who was trapped, so it’s likely he’s somehow directly involved with corpse disposal with the other two men providing security.
It’s not out of the realm of reason that Sam is a specialist that deals with whatever strange phenomenon is affecting the dead in the world of Death Stranding. The word “Porter” can mean gatekeeper or one who carries baggage so Sam may be Death Stranding’s Charon who brings the bodies of the dead to their final resting place.
The Babies Power the Sensor Devices We See on Sam and the NCA Soldier’s Backs
The baby’s we’ve seen in the Death Stranding trailers are in some sort of artificial womb. This womb interacts with the bracelet Guillermo Del Toro’s character is wearing in the 2016 trailer, and with the sensor devices on the character’s back in the 2017 trailer. If you notice, Sam’s sensor stays retracted in the trailer until he takes the baby from the NCA soldier. As the NCA soldier is being pulled into the air, Sam picks up the baby, and his sensor becomes active.
It’s obvious the babies play an vital role in the game, but we don’t know to what extent. We at least know that they’re used for some sort of detection system for the invisible enemies that killed the NCA soldier trapped under the vehicle. The masked figure who floats down onto the vehicle before the creatures get the second NCA soldier also has an artificial womb, presumably with their own baby. Whether these babies are genetically engineered to be equipment, or they’re something more isn’t known yet, but we can be sure if Kojima is involved that it’s going to be something wacky.
The Devices Characters Wear on Their Wrist are Health Indicators
In the 2016 trailer, we see the wrist device that attaches to the artificial wound for the first time. The device returns in the latest trailer, but with more hints to its functionality. It seems like the color displayed on these devices indicate the wearer’s health state, which might be a hint to a gameplay mechanic.
You can notice as the 2017 Death Stranding trailer goes on, these bracelets change color to match the action on the screen. The man pinned under the vehicle has a bracelet that starts as green/yellow, then turns to red when he’s attacked by the invisible creatures. When the other soldier is pulled into the air you can see his bracelet change from blue (full health) to green, then yellow, then red as he stabs himself.