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New Death Stranding Trailer Stars Guillermo Del Toro, Mads Mikkelson

by  in Video Game Comment
New Death Stranding Trailer Stars Guillermo Del Toro, Mads Mikkelson

“Metal Gear” creator Hideo Kojima is now free to make the game of his dreams, and those dreams are super0psychedelic and mysterious.

At Thursday night’s 2016 Game Awards, a smiling Kojima debuted the second trailer to his upcoming game “Death Stranding,” the first from his new studio, Kojima Productions. The trailer featured uncanny digital characters capturing the likeness of director Guillermo del Toro (“Pacific Rim,” “Hellboy”) and perennial bad-guy actor Mads Mikkelson (“Hannibal,” “Doctor Strange”).

A bit of context: Kojima is the mastermind behind the sprawling “Metal Gear Solid” game series, which superficially looks like a common military action/stealth game, but is actually full of strange mutants, weird science and fourth-wall breaks that would leave Deadpool confused. By the time the fifth game in the main series was being released, it was clear Kojima was, to put it mildly, having problems with publisher Konami. In the end, Kojima exited Konami and left behind the rights to the franchise he had been masterminding since 1987 — which brings us to “Death Stranding.”

The first trailer, starring Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”), was really strange. Kojima has a history of cutting mysterious trailers, stretching back to the second “Metal Gear Solid” game. He treats promotional materials like riddles, and now that he’s his own boss, he can be more cryptic than ever.

This new trailer opens with del Toro running across a disgusting oily field, full of dead ocean life. He’s frightened, and clutching a fantastical device. His forehead is marred by lobotomy scars, and he’s wearing a lapel pin in the shape of the United States. After a caravan of freaky soldiers drives by, he activates his device, revealing a baby, which opens its right eye. Knowing Kojima, any of those details could be a red herring or the key to understanding the game.

In the tunnels under a bridge, five soldiers step out of the darkness, perhaps chasing del Toro and his baby machine. The leader takes off his helmet, and it’s Mikkelson, looking pretty evil, his face covered in oil slicks. A baby doll washes up against his foot, and opens its right eye. It’s pretty unsettling, but Mikkelson looks like a guy savoring the hunt.

The trailer is more impressionistic than anything else; it doesn’t reveal gameplay. But Kojima is working with people he likes and making what will doubtlessly be one of the most unique games ever. The mystery of these trailers is already an entertaining game in and of itself.

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