Best Death Stranding Trailers Ranked By How Little We Understood Them

Enjoy a heavy dose of "huh?"
Best Death Stranding Trailers Ranked By How Little We Understood Them
Image Source: Kojima Productions

A recent State of Play unveiled yet another trailer for Death Stranding 2. As cryptic and unusual trailers are a staple of the series, that got us thinking about how it compared to previous trailers. We did some investigative work to figure out where the game’s main trailers stack up as far as being entirely confusing and strange.

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8. 2019 Release Date Trailer (DS1)

The trailer that revealed the release date kind of felt like the end of some of the weirdness, and instead, it leveled with viewers. Rather than offer a bunch of story bits that feel like a jumbled-up jigsaw puzzle, you get an actual stream of story information. You also get a sense of the threats in that it shows the BTs and actual combat with yellow-suit thugs.

It even explains more about the creepy baby, a fixture of the previous trailers. While sure, this trailer does open with a bizarre Mads Mikkelsen scene, the fact that you get to see actual in-game UI makes this trailer the most informative of any created.

7. Launch Trailer (DS1)

Finally, after a lot of purposefully obtuse messaging, it was made clear what Death Stranding is about. This trailer gave more of the exploration and gameplay aspects to reveal the whole point of the game. You get to see Sam climbing and swimming to do his duties, giving an idea of the terrain.

In terms of the game setting up Sam and the world, this is most certainly the most informative trailer released. It’s funny seeing it now, having beaten the first game, as it gives way too much away. It’s only thanks to the fragmented nature of the trailer that it keeps from being spoiler-y. The jumpy story bits are what keeps this from being ranked eight.

6. E3 2018 Trailer (DS1)

In keeping with many of these trailers just being full cutscenes from the game, this one includes the introduction of Fragile and her completely garbage umbrella. Otherwise, this trailer offers some actual gameplay and reveals more about the threat of the BTs, including the BB’s usefulness.

Providing a very nice look at the game’s stealth sequence would normally rank this trailer a bit lower, but it’s impossible to make sense of the BT handprints. On top of that, teleportation and eating that weird pink blob at the end was too unusual.

5. State of Play 2024 Trailer (DS2)

As this is still a Death Stranding trailer, it’s plenty odd and feels a lot like nonsense. We finally get a better look at Sam Bridges than we got in the first Death Stranding 2 trailer, and it is obvious he will once again be the lead character. The trailer even nicely lays out the goal this time around, which is pretty similar to the first game’s, but that is understandable.

However, a new game means new things that are just completely bizarre. For instance, the talking puppet that moves at an uncomfortable frame rate. As Sam takes it along, it will certainly be this game’s Mimir. Presumably, as it isn’t human, it won’t be able to attract BTs, so there’s that benefit. The biggest mystery is how Higgs survived the first game and why he looks like a weird robot.

4. The Game Awards 2022 Trailer (DS2)

This trailer was a decent surprise, as Death Stranding hadn’t felt like it needed a sequel. However, this trailer has some definite weirdness, as it gives practically nothing away in true DS fashion. Fragile has an actual baby? Apparently, a new vehicle in the game is just a motorized unicycle. Can’t wait to see that thing handle rocks or a slight incline.

The time gap is also ambiguous, which makes a big difference when Sam shows up looking quite a bit older than he did when the first game concluded. Though Fragile mentions it is “time to start a new journey,” the ship that rises from the black goo seems too ominous.

3. The Game Awards 2016 Trailer (DS1)

A lot going on in this trailer gives a false sense of what the game is about. As the second big trailer for the game, this one offered up almost nothing in further context. You have director Guillermo del Toro in what looks like World War II, walking through sewer tunnels. Considering the only trailer before this is our choice for number one, there would be no way to guess anything about the actual game accurately.

The best part is that it cuts to Mads Mikkelsen giving orders to four soldiers he is weirdly tethered to, which is so additionally bizarre. This one and the launch trailer look like they came from two different games.

2. The Game Awards 2017 Trailer (DS1)

The above trailer might have raised a million more questions and answered precisely none of them, but this trailer is far worse. Not only do you get to witness an early cutscene, but it doesn’t make any sense. The first thing you see is an overturned truck, which looks incredibly goofy. The guy trapped under it is being assisted until his shoulder…thing(?) starts flapping, and he gives a very informative “they’re here.”

The stuck dude proceeds to visibly age about 30 years as some sort of presence settles around them, leaving unusual handprints despite being invisible. Every second of this trailer offers a new “huh?” as it’s like watching a fever dream actually happening. The cherry on top is the guy being lifted into the air and stabbing himself frantically when he couldn’t reach his gun because that’s normal.

1. E3 2016 Reveal Trailer (DS1)

There’s no other true answer for the most confusing trailer than a naked (and handcuffed) guy on a beach of black sand. The camera trailing up his body is really weird, but that’s instantly topped by the baby with what looks like a charging cable umbilical cord. Hey, wait, is the naked guy Norman Reedus? Bizarre.

There isn’t any second of this trailer that doesn’t make you ask, “This is going to be a game I can play?” Especially as the baby turns invisible and starts leaving creepy black hand prints. The shot of a weird cross-shaped scar where Norman Reedus should have a belly button is terrific because it caps off a whole trailer of head-scratching confusion.

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Author
Cameron Waldrop
Cameron is a freelance writer for Twinfinite and regularly covers battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends. He started writing for Twinfinite in late 2019 and has reviewed many great games. While he loves a good shooter, his heart will always belong to JRPGs.