By Nick Romano
May 29, 2019 at 12:39 PM EDT

“Tomorrow is in your hands.” That was the cryptic tagline for Playstation’s live-streamed unveiling of the new Death Stranding trailer on Wednesday via Twitch. And that’s how it progressed: translucent handprints slowing punching holes through a pitch-black frame until the nearly nine-minute preview of the highly anticipated game starring The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus came to light.

And it looks bonkers… though not as bonkers a baby giving the thumbs up in the womb.

The Death Stranding trailer gives us the biggest info-dump to date on the mysterious project from Metal Gear Solid‘s prolific game-maker Hideo Kojima. Gameplay footage (including Reedus’ character in combat), a release date (this Nov. 8!), and the hefty cast (including new additions like director Nicolas Winding Refn).

The game is about connection. During a past preview event, Kojima said Death Stranding takes place “a little bit into the future, but it’s a metaphor for the current [time] or something that would tend to happen in a couple of years.” The trailer plays up the relevance of a people divided.

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“Together you can help us reconnect, you can make America whole,” a voice says.

“No, America’s finished,” Sam Bridges, played by Reedus, answers as footage of the post-apocalyptic wilderness flashes across the screen. “We don’t need a country, not anymore.”

In this world, a series of explosions resulted in the collapse of society and the emergence of “supernatural events” called the Death Stranding, with “spectral creatures plaguing the landscape and the planet on the verge of a mass extinction.” The story sets Sam on a journey across this harsh landscape to save mankind and reconnect the world.

There’s also Homo Demens, a militant separatist group that act as “terrorists” going around “killing people and leaving craters.” Fortunately, Sam has a motorcycle and skull-crunching combat skills.

“There’s so many things happening in the real world… everything is actually connected by internet, but we’re not connected in the real world these days,” Kojima previously said. “I’m putting that in a metaphor in the game. So the player will have to reconnect the world in the game. You have a very alone and solitude feeling, but you’re trying to connect.”

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Also shown are Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange, Hannibal) as Cliff, emerging from the black muck, as well as characters played by The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro (as Deadman), Spectre actress Lea Seydoux (Fragile), The Leftovers‘ Margaret Qualley (as Mama), Refn (as Heartman), Papi Chulo‘s Tommie Earl Jenkins (as Die-Hard Man), The Last of Us: Part II voice actor Troy Baker (as Higgs), and The Bionic Woman‘s Lindsay Wagner (as Amelie).

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Pre-orders are now available through Playstation and come with an assortment of extra goodies, including in-game items.

“People have built ‘Walls’ and become accustomed to living in isolation,” Kojima writes of the game in a note that accompanies the trailer release. “Death Stranding is a completely new type of action game, where the player’s goal is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society. All elements, including the story and gameplay, are bound together by the theme of ‘Strand,’ or connection. As Sam Porter Bridges, you will attempt to ‘Bridge’ these divisions, and in doing so, create new bonds or ‘Strands’ with other players around the globe. Through your experience playing the game, I hope you’ll come to understand the true importance of forging connections with others.”

Kojima also debuted new poster art of each of the main characters featured in the preview.

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