The latest Death Stranding trailer gives us a preview of Heartman.
Man, this game just keeps getting weirder and weirder. We knew that Death Stranding’s plot would have a lot to do with the connection between life and death, but now we’re finding out that there is an ability to swap sides.
Heartman is played by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. You might know him from the movies Drive and Only God Forgives, both starring Ryan Gosling. Previous Death Stranding trailers introduced Refn as the “Heartman” character, but didn’t provide any backstory on where the name came from.
Well, now we know. The latest Death Stranding trailer showcases why Refn’s character is called Heartman: it’s because he starts and stops his heart in 21-minute intervals.
The trailer starts with a record playing of Piano Sonata No. 2 by Chopin, better known as the "Funeral March". Then we see Heartman laid on an ergonomic bed getting defibrillated by a defib pack mounted on his chest. He starts breathing again like he’s waking up from a long nap and then greets Sam (Norman Reedus’ character) as though nothing is amiss.
Heartman then goes on to explain that he’s “visited” the other side 218,550 and he only spends 21 minutes alive before going back under. All the CDs, DVDs, and media stored in his quaint library can be consumed in exactly 21 minutes, which is coincidentally the approximate length of a 30-minute TV episode minus the commercial breaks, intro, and outro.
And after that 21 minutes? He’s dead again. "My body may be present, but my soul is on the beach,” Heartman explains. “I'm already dead."
We get another clue in the trailer. Heartman describes Death Stranding as though it were some kind of event. It seems reasonable to conclude that whatever happened to cause the dead to return for the living has something to do with an event called the Death Stranding.
We’ll likely find out more as we approach Death Stranding’s release date of November 8th, only on the PlayStation 4.