Everything cool I noticed in the new Death Stranding 2 trailer after sinking 150 hours into the first Death Stranding

Proving that Hideo Kojima doesn't know the meaning of the word "trailer," we saw a whopping nine new minutes of Death Stranding 2 during PlayStation's State of Play stream. The majority of the trailer is setup for Sam's next journey and weird details we'll be pouring over for months—Mexico, a mobile base of operations, a marionette companion, Troy Baker Joker—but my eyes were glued to all the little looks at gameplay.

If you've played as much Death Stranding 1 as me, a lot will instantly stand out. Did you notice the time-of-day change? All those new guns? The dynamic weather? All have major implications for DS2's evolution of Kojima's strange, contemplative hiking game, and they have me very excited.

First, what's familiar

  • Sam's suit: Same slots for cargo, chiral canister, Odradek, and BB pod with something in there
  • Old favorites: We see some familiar equipment when Fragile takes Sam to the armory, including assault rifles, the sticky gun, and Sam's trusty rope
  • Structures: Chiral bridges and rain shelters are back
  • Floating carts: Sam's levitating carts were a porter's best friend in the first Death Stranding, and appear to work exactly the same in DS2

Weapons and combat seem like a much bigger deal

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

Several moments in the new trailer suggest Death Stranding 2 will have more combat than the original. For one, there sure are a lot of guns this time around. When Fragile shows Sam his personal armory it's already decked-out with assault rifles, a silenced pistol, revolver, and the maser gun from the DS1 Director's Cut, as well what looks like a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, and heavy machinegun.

Why does Sam need all the extra firepower? On top of the BTs creeping around the sky and the larger BT boss fight we briefly see, the big new threat seems to be armed robots controlled by Higgs. Interestingly, we see Sam happen across a squad of robots suspended in the air similar to BTs, not wandering around a camp like the MULEs of DS1. He starts the fight with them, which suggests to me that the player might be rewarded for seeking out camps of robots and taking them down (or that it was just easier than sneaking past them).

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

The cutscene where Higgs captures Sam also caught my attention. Sam's holding a rifle, and Higgs comments that he's traded in his rope for a "stick." Combat was generally discouraged in the first game because 1) it was janky and 2) accidentally killing someone could blow up the world. Maybe there are no human enemies in DS2, and there's no need for "non-lethal" rifles against robots?

Which brings me to…


(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

I audibly gasped when Sam took off his backpack. One of the biggest problems with DS1's combat and stealth is how tedious it was if you were hauling a bunch of stuff. If you just wanted to make a quick trip into dangerous territory without putting your cargo in danger, you had to go through layers of menus and make a mess of boxes on the ground. This DS2 tweak makes so much sense—Sam takes off his entire pack before picking a fight with robots, both keeping his cargo safe and shedding mass that'd weigh him down. It's another indication that Death Stranding 2 is more of an action game.

By the way, what was up with Sam's backpack after he set it down? The pack sorta stands up on its own after Sam puts it on the ground. I can't tell if it's some sort of balloon inflating to keep the pack upright, or maybe some mini mechanized feet. Either way: cool.

Death Stranding 2 has a night cycle

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

In DS1, it was day time all the time. That's changing in Death Stranding 2, and I can't wait to see what it means for deliveries. We see Sam running down a well-lit highway at night, but the open landscape to his left and right look very dark. Does Sam need vision goggles just to get around without tripping every two seconds? Another possible battery-sucking resource for players to manage. What about BT encounters at night?

Dynamic weather hazards look amazing

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

We see Sam running away from what looks like a flash flood raging through a dry riverbed. Later, a rockslide triggered by a possible earthquake. It wasn't enough that the rain makes you old, now we have to worry about violent acts of nature?

Yes, please. Sign me up. DS1's map was a blast to hike across, but the hazards were mostly stationary and the same across every region (except snow). If you knew the map and set the right path, nothing could surprise you. I hope these are just two examples of how DS2's Mexico can shift under Sam's feet and force players to react to unanticipated obstacles.

What does the puppet do?

deaths stranding 2 on the beach

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

Sam's nonchalance in bringing the weird half-framerate puppet along on his journey would suggest that he serves no purpose in gameplay, but we're not believing that for a second, right? This is a Kojima game: everything does something, even if that thing is obscure and highly situational.

Can puppet friend sense dangers Sam can't? Maybe he can be deployed to pick up resources for Sam, or even distract robo guards while he sneaks by?

Vehicles got a serious redesign

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

There are exactly two vehicles in the new Death Stranding 2 trailer, and they're both new takes on old designs. The cargo truck now has an exterior, carriage-style front seat. Why? Looks cool, I guess. The electric trike's seat has also changed, but this one makes a lot of sense. Sam now sits in the middle with his back perpendicular to the bike, allowing his cargo to balance upright instead of impossibly hanging over his back like in DS1. The downside? It doesn't look as much like a motorcycle anymore, which might offend Norman Reedus.

I'm not ruling out that these are just two variants of older designs that are still in the game. Maybe this version of the trike has better handling at the cost of speed?

But I really hope we get to ride this monocycle

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

Yeah yeah, bikes and trucks. Where is that sweet monocycle Fragile drove in the first Death Stranding 2 trailer? I wanna get my hands on one of those, and then maybe never drive anything else again in DS2.

Bonus round: Will Sam get a sword?

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

I mean, it's possible right? If Death Stranding 2 will have more combat, why not introduce new melee weapons. I bet Higg's absurd guitar axe will be just for him, though.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.