YouTube creator iFake has meticulously edited the face of Hideo Kojima - director of the recent Death Stranding - onto every character in the game's teaser trailer (here's a complete Death Stranding character guide for reference) to hilarious results. A bizarre video game unlike many of the popular titles today, Death Stranding, has been out for a few days now and features great actors forming its ensemble of awkwardly named characters. The likes of Mads Mikkelsen, Norman Reedus, Léa Seydoux, and even Guillermo del Toro have lent their voices and/or likeness to their respective characters, creating captivating and emotionally deep characters with the newest motion-capture technology. And now thanks to the deepfake trend, Kojima's part of that too.
Death Stranding is bloated with star power, but even the best actors can have a tough time transitioning to a medium as new and abstract as motion-capped game development. Readers familiar with the Metal Gear Solid series will be no stranger to the somewhat odd way dialogue is delivered in a Kojima game, with weird pauses, cheesy dialogue and over-the-top dramatic speeches showcasing his love for theatrics. Death Stranding is no different, and the actors themselves do a wonderful job living up to the demands of the script. Most of the credits for Death Stranding read like a college short film, as he wrote the story, directed, produced, and designed everything for it.
The credits might have been the inspiration for the video iFake delivered, which pokes fun at Hideo Kojima's do-it-all type of approach to video games. They even went as far to re-create the teaser trailer with Kojima's face superimposed over all of the character's faces. This also conjures up memories of movies like The Nutty Professor or A Series of Unfortunate Events, where Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey play a multitude of characters. In a game as serious and dramatic as Death Stranding, something as funny looking as Hideo Kojima's face forced onto Guillermo del Toro's body is jarringly hilarious. It may take some time to conjure up such an image in the mind, but taking a look at the trailer itself will surely draw a chuckle out of every gamer.
With his departure from Konami a few years back, Hideo Kojima reformed his own game studio, and had a lot of crazy ideas to execute. After a timely partnership with Sony PlayStation and nearly four years of development and a slow rollout of mysterious marketing materials, Death Stranding released last Friday, November 8th to a myriad of polarizing reviews and gamers anxious to just learn what the game is even about. Players were surprised to find a game that is slow and strategic, focusing on traversing the terrain while balancing a tower of packages and supplies on the protagonist's back. Many found the gameplay boring and tiresome, while others pointed to the interesting characters and social mechanics as the main backbone of the game. Regardless of where people stand on the game, no one can doubt that it is unique, a welcome change from the increasingly violent and mindless iterations of established tropes and genres of the current day. Kojima sought to a build a game that was about connecting people, helping others, and improving the world, rather than tearing it apart.
So while Death Stranding doesn't feature a ton of humor throughout its lengthy playtime, it is good sometimes to laugh at the ridiculous image of Kojima's face plastered onto different characters over and over, somewhat mocking the opening credit sequence. Then again, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain featured a chicken hat that players could wear to reduce the difficulty, so its not unlike Kojima to poke fun at himself either, and it's a pretty good bet that he enjoyed the video as well. Death Stranding is available now on PlayStation 4, with a sad lacking of Hideo Kojima faces, but a strong dosage of uniqueness.
Death Stranding is available now on PlayStation 4 and debuts on PC in summer 2020.