During a recent interview, the renowned video game designer Hideo Kojima explains why he chose to make Death Stranding's players feel helpless at the beginning of the game. The enigmatic exploration video game is Kojima's first creation since he parted ways with Konami after working there for 29 years and designing some of the most popular video games of all time, including the Metal Gear franchise.
In 2015, Kojima launched his own game studio and agreed to a partnership with Sony. This made it possible for him to develop Death Stranding, which is considered the biggest release for PS4 this year. The game features actor Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead as the protagonist, Sam Bridges, and other movie stars like Léa Seydoux, Margaret Qualley and Lindsay Wagner. The title's release on November 8, 2019 was highly anticipated, and followed by both extremely positive and negative reviews, as several critics complained about its slow pace. After all, Kojima himself had previously stated that his game doesn't get really fun until players have completed almost half of it.
In a recent interview for Vulture, Kojima explains why he made such a decision for Death Stranding. He says that he wanted the player to take the role of the protagonist gradually and to feel like "a baby learning to walk" at the beginning of the game. In other words, he wanted the player to feel odd and unable to control himself during the early stages of Death Stranding. Interestingly, Kojima also notes that he wanted the player to experience "connection and relief" through the game.
In the interview, the renowned game designer also illustrates how the isolation he suffered as a child inspired him to create Death Stranding's multiplayer setup. Other gamers can leave footprints and signs to create a sense of connection, making the player feel like they're not alone in the game's apocalyptic world. Lastly, Kojima confesses that the ghosts in the game have been inspired by his deceased parents. His father died when he was 13, and his mother passed away during Death Stranding's creation phase.
The creator's statements make it clear that he wanted to create a unique game, something that players had never seen before. As he said in previous interviews, he started this adventure well aware that not everybody would have responded positively to Death Stranding. Regardless of the critics, Kojima carried on with his mission to create a video game that is not focused on violence, but on the connection between all human beings. This is even more important in 2019 when it can feel like our world is more divide than ever. For this reason, it's likely fair that Kojima is so proud of his game — to the point that he plans to expand his company to make movies as well.