Death strands; in other words, it reaches new shores and has profound influence on the world around it. Hideo Kojima seems extremely dedicated to getting across the philosophy and nuance of death both in terms of gameplay and story for his new title: the debut for Kojima Productions called Death Stranding. IGN recently interviewed the man and learned so much more to add to the disturbing trailer gamers just received at the 2017 Game Awards.
Kojima spoke of various philosophical and cultural influences for his game. The way game overs, and consequently death, have been handled in gaming has evolved over decades, and Kojima seeks to evolve it further.
“Games started over 40 years ago with arcades. When the player dies, it’s game over. You continue, and time goes back to before you die. You can die as many times as you want, but you always go back to a little bit before you die. That was a mechanic made specifically for putting in coins, and it hasn’t changed since then. One of the themes of this game is life and death. So I want people to realize that when they die in the game, that isn’t the end.” — Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding creator
Apparently, when protagonist Sam goes into the body of water after the explosion in the recent trailer, he ends up in a kind of purgatorial state. Players will be able to control Sam in this area after every death and use the “continue screen” section of the game, as Kojima calls it, to collect items and further prepare for the game. Kojima says that Sam possesses some unique abilities that allow him to explore the world in the way he does. Players will traverse the waters amidst the chaos out of Sam’s own body all while a type of counter ticks down to zero (it’s unclear whether Kojima meant this “counter” as literal, metaphorical, or both). Kojima mentioned that when one finishes playing the first-person purgatorial section of the game, the player returns Sam to his body and resumes with the living experience of the game.
“So as you saw in the trailer, you saw the crater, and when you come back, it’s still there. Most games would’ve taken you back to before the crater was made. So depending on the player, you might have a lot of craters all over the place — depends on each player.” — Hideo Kojima
Another element of the game is Timefall, rain that seems to be able to manipulate time in odd ways. It reportedly makes flowers grow and wilt in an instant, and humans age and deteriorate in a moment as well. Kojima wanted to talk more but was afraid of spilling too many plot details. Suffice to say, the out-of-this-world substance known as Timefall will be crucial to the plot, as will the infants and androids making up the connecting forces of this strange new world.
“Everything makes sense. Everything will come together.” — Hideo Kojima
The IGN exposé linked below goes into even greater detail about Kojima’s ideas regarding fan reactions and how to create a unique action game. Knowing this new information, are you more excited for Kojima’s original game and narrative? Death Stranding seems like it has a long time to come still, but Kojima says the project is on track. Let us know what you would like to see happen in Death Stranding in the comments below!