Death Stranding is back, including the first gameplay, and it’s every bit as beguiling and confusing as it’s always been. Hideo Kojima is utterly ambitious and eccentric in equal measure, and even when we see footage of Death Stranding in action, we’re still precious little wiser as to what it all means.

“From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all new, genre defining experience for the PlayStation 4,” says Sony. “Besieged by death's tide at every turn, Sam Bridges must brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carrying the stranded remnants of the future in his hands, Sam embarks on a journey to reunite the shattered world one step at a time. What is the mystery of the Death Stranding? What will Sam discover on the road ahead? A genre defining gameplay experience holds these answers and more.”

In the footage we see Norman Reedus playing the protagonist, Sam Bridges, trudging through some desolate landscapes with his supplies. The DECIMA engine is being given a real workout here, and it appears as if Death Stranding is going to offer true open-world traversal. At one point he’s got what looks like an entire human strapped to his back, while at other times he dragging along a trail of cases. Wherever he’s going, it looks like an absolute slog, and his reward for getting there is some giant, invisible beast.

Towards the back end, we see Reedus wearing a full protective suit, bumping into some stranded souls. It looks as if the sensor device on his back is picking up on the shadowy figures, before several grab hold of him and drag him down into the mud.

Kojima says the first half and the final sequence are more representative of Death Stranding’s gameplay, but all of the footage here is directly captured in-game.

Still no release date, still no idea what the heck is going on, but Kojima and Co continue to make progress.