Hideo Kojima has a knack for creating game narratives that often don't entirely make sense but that build fascinating and intriguing worlds for players to inhabit. For his new game, Death Stranding, he has created something so unique that even he admits he doesn't fully understand it.
Death Stranding comes out later this year and it looks to possess the token weirdness that Kojima has become known for. Already, the trailers and gameplay videos have revealed a strange game that look unlike anything anyone has seen. Kojima has said he wants everyone to experience the weird game, so much so that Death Stranding has a very easy mode.
Kojima recently said this in the Financial Times about Death Stranding:
"Even now, I don’t understand the game... Its world view, gameplay, they are all new. My mission is to create a genre that does not currently exist, and which takes everyone by surprise. There is, naturally, a risk in that…”
The quote might raise some eyebrows at first. When a designer says they don't even understand their own upcoming game, it can imply that the final result might not live up to player expectations. But with Kojima, players expect something bizarre. This quote seems to imply that the famous game developer has set out to make something completely new, which should excite folks. Keanu Reeves recently pleaded for Kojima to "save us," and it looks like the developer plans to do that with something radically different.
According to the interview, Kojima thinks of his teams as artisans. He talks about game development as a craft and refers to the current generation of people as "the gamer generation." He postulates that gamers have a better ability to understand strange stories than his generation and that he wants to push against that and create something they will find compelling. He talks about how video games require the building of a world which requires a large team working behind the scenes to make everything come together.
"We are making things that are interactive. A banana has to be edible after you peel the skin. Cars have to be drivable. For games to be interactive and to deliver the enjoyment, there has to be a reality where there are lots of people backstage making it all happen."
Considering all of this, when Kojima says he doesn't understand his own game, it seems what he means is that many different people have a hand in making the strange game work and that means that parts if will surprise even him. Hopefully folks looking forward to Kojima's upcoming project can help him put the pieces together a little more when they see 80 minutes of Death Stranding gameplay later this month.
Death Stranding releases November 8, 2019 for PS4.