The numbers don't lie, and Westworld has become a smashing success across the board, even with the return of The Walking Dead on AMC, another huge drama that draws in millions of fans. Westworld remains steady with millions of nightly views, even drawing over 12 million total viewers of the premiere episode - which is more than any episode of Game of Thrones did during its first season.
For the uninitiated, Westworld is an epic sci-fi/western on HBO that brings us into a futuristic world where guests can enter a life size, fully immersive western-themed amusement park that is populated by entirely-too-lifelike androids. While in the park the guests are treated to enjoying all aspects of this open-world style game. They can pursue scripted quests, explore the world sandbox style and truly experience how far they can push the rules, or themselves in the process.
The emphasis through the entire show is the idea of crafting a compelling narrative of interactive. So it’s no surprise that the creators of the show have implicitly cited games like BioShock, Red Dead Redemption, and Skyrim as key influences to the creation of Westworld. All of these games carry a similar aspect: storytelling, and its not surprising to think that great games like great TV and movies all rely on their ability to tell a compelling story.
It Seems As Though Westworld Is a Success, At Least That's What Hideo Kojima Thinks
It seems that Kojima was among the millions of viewers that were watching Westworld. The renowned game designer is probably best known for being driving force behind the Metal Gear series as well as several other games. Kojima is looked to as one of the most famous game directors, and that is partially due to his love of storytelling as a medium.
Here's what he had to say after watching episode 2 of Westworld.
In Westworld, Anthony Hopkins takes on the role of Dr. Robert Ford - the creative director behind the entire theme park and in episode 2, Ford says this:
They come back because of the subtleties, the details. They come back because they discover something they imagined well-known they haven’t noticed before, something they fall in love with. They are not looking for the story that tells them who they are. They already know who they are. They are here because they wanted a glimpse of who they could be.
This sentiment truly captures the essence of what Westworld is about, it's about becoming what you wish you were or wish you could be. So it's not surprising that Kojima finds Westworld engaging, because it focuses on the narrative.
Now you may remember Kojima's most recent game, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain drew inspiration and direction from both a linear gameplay as well as an open world feel. It's interesting to hear Kojima speak about his exact theory of game design.
What Could Hideo Kojima Be Talking About For 'Death Stranding'?
Well, it's possible that he's talking specifically about his focus on crafting a meaningful narrative, but odds are better put on this being a new hint as to what we can expect with his most recent announced game, Death Stranding.
Death Stranding is the highly anticipated quasi-action game being developed by Kojima Productions after he finally was able to remove himself from Konami's control. There is very little known about Death Stranding outside of the veiled allusions through several interviews and conversations over the last year. One of which being that Kojima would be introducing a new form of narrative mechanics.
That's probably a question in your mind, as it was in mine when he said it, but I let it go until Kojima made the twitter post from above comparing the Westworld speech to his own game design.
It makes me think that the open-world feel that Kojima has confirmed for Death Stranding will be on a much grander scale than anything we've seen yet.
When you put all the pieces together, it sure seems like we're in store for something incredibly intriguing:
- The life and death trailer starring Norman Reedus
- The open-world environment
- The inclusion of concepts about relativity and quantum mechanics
The narrative mechanics that Kojima alluded to earlier this year are likely to be how the story is told, in a way, like the story is unfolding in Westworld.
Through bits and pieces, as the characters become aware of what is actually happening - that is when the narrative progresses and we all learn what is truth and what is fiction. And that balance of the narrative is something near and dear to Kojima's heart.
What do you think? Is Kojima just a fan of Westworld, or will we see a similarity when Death Stranding releases?