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Death Stranding: Let's enjoy some wild, backpack based speculation

It seems the only thing Hideo Kojima enjoys more than making epic games and watching movies is taunting us with Death Stranding clues. His latest tweet ask us to look closely at the backpack of the game's hero, courier Sam Bridges. So of course, we've gone full Sherlock Holmes on it.  

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As Sam is a courier, we can be sure his precious cargo takes up the bulk of his luggage allowance, but those various slots on the outside of the pack are definitely something important too.  

Notice this little meter on the bottom, it just screams gameplay indicator. Is it a health meter, or something more complicated like balance? It could hint that Death Stranding will forgo a traditional HUD in favor of something that feels more immersive, a la Dead Space, and won't get in the way of all the cinematic moments.  

These are definitely slots for power-ups or grenades. I'd lead towards the former, because Death Stranding doesn't feel like we're going to be involved in a lot of Call of Duty-style warzones. Could they contain something that heals Sam, or helps fend of the strange spectral enemies?  

This device has a little arm coming out of it. At first it looked like a power cable, but where is Sam going to plug that in? His local wasteland Walmart? It's more likely to be the sensor for some sort of meter that can detect the presence of the enemies that rapidly aged the poor dude in the 2017 Game Awards trailer. 

Nice to know that the dreamcatcher trend - which was real big with teenage girls in the late nineties - is still big in our dystopian future. Obviously this web is a motif we've seen repeated again and again in Death Stranding trailers, and ties in with the clues that Hideo Kojima has shared about how important connections will be in the game.  

Note that this backpack is substantially more well equipped than the one we see Sam toting at the start of the 2018 Death Stranding trailer. Something he acquires later in the game? Or can we choose different equipment setups depending on different scenarios?

PlayStation isn't attending E3 this year, but we're still hoping that Kojima will drop a trailer with some new clues anyway. Until then, he'll just have to keep torturing us on Twitter. 

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Rachel Weber

Between Official PlayStation Magazine, GamesIndustry.biz and Rolling Stone I've picked up a wide range of experience, from how to handle the madness of E3 to making easy conversation with CEOs and executives of game companies over seafood buffets. At GamesRadar+ I'm proud of the impact I've had on the way we write news, and now - as managing editor in the US - the huge traffic successes we're seeing. Most of all I'm proud of my team, who have continued to kick ass through the uncertainty of 2020 and into 2021, and are what makes GamesRadar+ so special.