There has been a long-standing meme floating about the intricate series of tubes we know was the internet that Hideo Kojima has been living his life as a film director in a video game designer’s career.
Yes, yes, we all know that those Metal Gear games are classics worthy of their place in gaming history, but the more that we see from his upcoming project – Death Stranding – the more we worry that this might be the one that takes us far off the deep end.
Let’s get one thing clear right out of the gate: Death Stranding looks absolutely amazing. We must, however, emphasize that we mean that from a purely visual standpoint. Everything that we’ve seen so far has been a hearty combination of incredible attention to atmospheric detail, crisp renderings, and more than enough “WTF” moments to shake your head at.
The issue that keeps cropping up, however, is just what the hell are we going to be filling our time doing in the world of Death Stranding?
So far, the only real gameplay videos show us off as… delivering packages from one location to the next? Alright. Well, at least the deliveries will be featured in some top-notch environments, but Kojima and Co. have been utterly mum on if there’s anything else going down. For the sake of sanity, let’s assume there is.
We know that the concept of time is a major factor in Death Stranding with current trailers showing a manifestation through plants blooming and dying all within seconds.
And given Kojima’s proclivity toward creating weird, convoluted, and spanning narratives – we can’t believe we’re actually saying this but – we hope that the same weird, convoluted, and spanning elements find their way into the gameplay.
The trailers thus far have shown a very disjointed picture of the product – although it seems to be intentional. With dimension-warping and time-hopping there will undoubtedly be breaks and difficulties in creating a cohesive linear narrative. But there’s nothing saying that’s the only way that a story – or time – flows.
With invisible creatures that walk on their hands – like some realistically rendered Bongo Bongo – and weird oil devil dogs with golden masks, we’re willing to pay anyone who can just break down what the actual hell is even happening in this world.
That’s all without even mentioning the weird c-sections, babies in tube-like carriers, and scar evidence of cranial surgery.
Our best guesses at this point leave us nowhere – and with only more questions than answers. This could, in effect, be Kojima’s greatest hope: that our curiosity for uncovering the truth of this world propels us through the rather hum-drum engagement factors. At least for some portions.
If the gameplay systems manage to shake themselves up as often as the narrative is suggesting it will – Sony may not just have an exclusive on their hands, but an instant classic.
And Kojima can finally enact that sweet, sweet revenge on Konami by showing them how stupid they were to treat a designer of his calibre the way they did.