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Death Stranding 2: On the Beach Looks Weird, Even For Kojima

Don’t think too hard about it.

Death Stranding 2

Death Stranding 2 debuted a new trailer out of Sony’s January State of Play livestream, and it’s just as over-the-top and absurd as everything else Hideo Kojima has created. And yes, the leaks were right and the full title really is Death Stranding 2: On the Beach.

If you thought the first Death Stranding was weird, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s a whopper of a trailer, clocking in at nearly ten minutes filled with absurd imagery and lines that leave you scratching your head, including a stop-motion animated ventriloquist doll who sits perched atop a friendly shoulder.

The trailer opens with a bizarre scene showing Fragile and another character performing surgery on an unknown person. They appear to be trying to extract what look like suction cups on their arms. It’s almost like pimple-popping, and it’s gross to look at.

After that we see Sam Porter Bridges reuniting with Fragile, who seems to be recruiting him to help “reconnect” the rest of the world outside of the United Cities of America. Fragile states, “I’m afraid the Death Stranding is far from over. Humanity is still in danger, still on the brink of extinction.”

The mysterious masked man from Death Stranding 2’s first trailer, turns out to be the first game’s villain, Higgs.


The big surprise of the trailer is the return of Higgs, a major villain from the first game. Fans had theorized that the guitar-wielding character featured in the first trailer was Higgs, and that turned out to be spot on. In the last few minutes we see Higgs using an electric guitar as a weapon, wielding it at times like a light-saber and chain saw, while he battles a cyborg-like samurai.

Needless to say, the trailer is a nonstop assault of baffling imagery. It’s hard to glean a lot out of what we’ve seen, especially given Kojima’s track record of deceiving audiences in trailers. However, there are some interesting details to point out.

Chief among those, it seems like the delivery and building-focused gameplay of Death Stranding is still the primary focus in this sequel. There’s also a much greater visual variety in terms of environments, as we see Sam traversing rough mountaintops, arid deserts, muddy rivers, and what even appears to be an asteroid right next to the moon.

Death Stranding was an extremely solitary adventure for Sam, despite its themes of “connection” and including multiplayer elements in new ways. That might not exactly be the case for Death Stranding 2, however, based on the trailer’s description, which reads: “Embark on an inspiring mission of human connection beyond the UCA. Sam — with companions by his side — sets out on a new journey to save humanity from extinction. Join them as they traverse a world beset by otherworldly enemies, obstacles and a haunting question: should we have connected?”

That, and the contents of the trailer itself, would certainly seem to indicate more of an emphasis on the larger cast of characters.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to get any answers to the dozens of questions this trailer raises. Death Stranding 2 is in development for PS5, and will come in 2025, but beyond that we don’t have a more specific release date.

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