At last week's San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Hideo Kojima was joined on-stage by film director Nicolas Winding Refn, who's starring in Death Stranding as the elusive Heartman. Today, Kojima's dropped further details about the character but - as you might have learned to expect by now - the accompanying trailer asks more questions than it answers.
Heartman's heart stops every 21 minutes, and he must be revived via an AED (automated external defibrillator) each time he 'dies'. Talking to Norman Reedus' character Sam Bridges, Heartman explains that he can do pretty much all he needs to within those 21-minute segments, and has a chunky library of books, music, and TV shows – all 20-minutes long, of course – to occupy himself whilst he continually waits to die and spend his three-minute-long afterlife "researching the truth of the Death Stranding", intimating Heartman sees his true meaning in death rather than life.
HEARTMAN cutscene that I introduced at SDCC is out now. HEARTMAN is a member of BRIDGES. His heart stops every 21 mins,spends his time in the world of the dead for 3 mins and comes back by AED. 60 times/day. Thanks to my best friend & filmmaker Nicolas W Refn for his appearance! https://t.co/pcjg8dE4cIJuly 27, 2019
"HEARTMAN cutscene that I introduced at SDCC is out now," Kojima said in an explanatory tweet. "HEARTMAN is a member of BRIDGES. His heart stops every 21 mins, spends his time in the world of the dead for 3 mins and comes back by AED. 60 times/day. Thanks to my best friend & filmmaker Nicolas W Refn for his appearance!"
How does this impact the character of Sam or everything else? Who knows – I have no idea, either. But Death Stranding will release on PlayStation 4 on November 8, 2019, so we don't have too much longer to wait.
Kojima has been drip-feeding a number of interesting tidbits about Death Stranding lately, including a new trailer, details on what the Death Stranding pre-order will get you, cover art, and the revelation that Keanu Reeves was originally recommended for the Reedus role. We've also seen enigmatic tweets about the fact that 'tomorrow is in your hands' according to the main man Hideo Kojima himself – all of which makes Leon wonder if making Death Stranding is "turning Hideo Kojima into a tired, lonely insect".