A few minutes of new Death Stranding (opens in new tab) gameplay footage was shown at Gamescom today, and in classic Death Stranding fashion, it didn't answer a single question about what the game is or how fun it is to play. Here are the questions it did answer: Does it let you watch Norman Reedus pee? Is Geoff Keighley in it? Does falling down a hill hurt the baby - excuse me, the BB - attached to Norman Reedus? Is Hideo Kojima stark raving mad or just an auteur creative?
The answer to all of these questions is yes.
The very real gameplay segment opens with Norman Reedus napping in a valley cradling his - ehem - BB. He jolts awake, takes six steps, and promptly pees all over the place. The fluid level of his bladder is displayed on the HUD. The Gamescom crowd applauds as Reedus' pee stream reaches impressive distances. A holographic mushroom grows in the spot where Reedus pees. Kojima later clarifies that if multiple players pee in the same location, "you will have something good later on." I suspect this causes a Bowsette mushroom to grow instead. This is real.
At the behest of a distant voice, Reedus then heads up a nearby mountain. Rather than climbing the rocks like you might expect to do in most action-adventure games - assuming this is an action-adventure game and not the result of some sort of reverse Mandela Effect - Reedus produces a giant ladder from his backpack and uses it to scale the cliff face. A container bearing the Kojima Productions logo awaits at the top, and inside is Geoff Keighley. Reminder: this is real.
Keighley, who produces numerous gaming events and shows, is apparently an NPC in Death Stranding - or at least his likeness is. It's unclear what his part is, perhaps he's some sort of quest giver, but we do know his name is The Ludens Fan. Seconds after talking to Keighley, Reedus walks right off the cliff he scaled mere moments ago. He lands hard, and this jostles (and presumably concusses) the baby attached to his chest. He calms it down through a motion-controlled baby soothing minigame, but I don't think gentle cooing is going to fix a concussion, Reedus. Still, it's nice to see Kojima pay homage to the classics, namely Yoshi's Island, another game where taking damage makes your baby companion cry.
I have no idea what in the blue hell Death Stranding is about, what genre it falls into, or indeed if it's even real. At this point, I've all but given up on finding out. Whatever it is, it's going to be something to see.
We also got to know some new Death Stranding characters like Mama and Deadman (opens in new tab).