Death Stranding is out on November 8, which is a reasonable amount of time to shut out any new details about game designer Hideo Kojima’s newest game. If you do decide to go “media dark,” however, you’ll have to miss out on today’s launch trailer. And maybe that’s good. The video is nearly eight minutes long and brimming with spoilers. But to me, it’s wrong not to watch a Kojima trailer. They are as much a part of the experience as playing the game.
To be clear, the trailer does spoil some of Death Stranding’s twists and turns. But I think that’s different than “ruining” the game. I think watching the trailer will have the opposite effect. It will make playing Death Stranding even better.
Death Stranding’s trailer tells you what to pay attention to in the game
Based on the demonstrations of the game, Death Stranding seems like it has a lot of wandering around on foot between its cinematic sequences. Maybe I just have the attention deficits (I do), but I find it difficult to absorb information from games like that.
But now that I’ve watched the trailer, I have a better understanding of what to look for. The video provides signposts for what Kojima thinks matters. For me, that’s going to make it easier to digest and parse exactly what the story is. Otherwise, it might all wash over me.
Let Kojima set up his magic tricks
When I say that Kojima’s trailers are part of the game, what I really mean is that they are part of his magic trick. In The Prestige, a film about magicians, Michael Caine’s character says every trick has three parts. The pledge, the turn, and the prestige. The pledge is when the magician presents an ordinary object.
For Kojima, the marketing leading up to a release is always part of the pledge. You can look back to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty as an example. The trailers and screenshots for that game portrayed Solid Snake as the playable character, but that’s not how it played out in the actual game.
I don’t know if Kojima is doing something like that here. But again, as Caine says in The Prestige, “You want to be fooled.” And if Kojima is trying to fool me, I want him to succeed at that.
So watch the trailer. I think it’s going to make playing the game even better for you.