Death Stranding is notorious for its obscurity. We've seen multiple trailers for the game by now, but even its stars have come forward to admit that they have no idea what's going on in the story. Whether or not they're playing dumb anyone's guess, but there's no denying that the game is, um, artistically communicating some kind of deeper meaning. While the story and its meaning remains hermetically sealed deep within Hideo Kojima's brain, he has been willing to open up in an interview with IGN and speak pretty candid about some of the game's mechanics.
Kojima made a point to emphasize that death is not the end in Death Stranding. Whenever Norman Reedus' character, Sam, is killed, he'll be transported to an aquatic purgatory. “At that point, you’re not dead or alive," Kojima explained. "It’s the equivalent of that screen that says ‘Continue?’ and a counter ticking down towards zero.” We know that players will be able to explore this area, but to what end we're not sure. We also know that when you return to the land of the living, the changes you've made in the world around you will persist.
So what about those freaking babies? In the premiere trailer a naked Norman Reedus is seen nude, crying, and cradling a baby in his arms. In the latest trailer we see a baby suspended in a strange tube, which seems to be a precious thing worth protecting, and we also see is give us a creepy thumbs up from inside of Norman Reedus' stomach. Kojima confirmed that it's the same baby.
He also confirmed that the baby relates to game mechanics, and will serve as more than just a curio of the game's plot. IGN's Marty Sliva observed that the mechanical arms mounted to the back of Sam and his companion seemed to come to life whenever the baby came into their possession, and I think that's worth pointing out again.
We're still in the dark, but the pieces are starting to come together. In fact, Kojima promised that in the end everything is going to come together in a way that makes sense. For now, he's not interested in clearly communicating what Death Stranding will be about -- he's more interested in starting an interesting conversation.