The creepy-cool Death Stranding is a direct culmination of Silent Hill reboot P.T.'s cancellation by Konami. Hideo Kojima's foray into the horror genre, P.T. included some of his favorite people: Director Guillermo Del Toro and actor Norman Reedus. Reedus appeared in Death Stranding's first trailer with Guillermo Del Toro appearing in the second alongside Kojima's favorite actor, Mads Mikkelsen. After his fallout with Konami, Hideo Kojima seems to have gotten the gang back together. Honestly? This reunion is getting a little weird.
Look, guys, I know you're excited. But can't you be a little less sensual about it?
In all seriousness, while Death Stranding is certainly busting out the weirdness, long-time fans of Hideo Kojima and his games have been preparing for this moment our entire lives. While there are no doubt countless creative minds at work on every title from Kojima Productions, every title is clearly this man's brainchild and he wears his inspirations on his sleeve.
Though Hideo Kojima makes games, he's a larger fan of film and television. He previously wrote a series of blog posts about film's influence on Metal Gear Solid and even a casual player of the franchise would see its Escape From New York roots. According to the man himself:
I've said over the years in interviews throughout the world, "Just like the human body is 70% water, I'm 70% film". While this is a figure of speech, there is some truth to it.
His affinity for the structure of film and television became most apparent in Metal Gear Solid V when every mission began with a title card and opening credits. (Which also, coincidentally, gave him a reason to repeatedly include his name within the game when Konami was trying to scrub him from existence.)
Even the choreography of Metal Gear Solid V's opening scenes are noted for being more reminiscent of a film than a video game. The cutscenes make use of varied camera angles, including a sequence where the camera sways, swivels, and bobs as if held by a third party — a cameraman rather than a programmed rail, even when video games have no need for such a thing. His intention is to evoke the silver screen, not a PC monitor. The camera is made to appear as if actors are being filmed rather than a game programmer setting everything in its place. While these are obviously still games with tutorials and all of that sort of thing, Kojima models his games after what he knows: cinema.
Metal Gear Solid V also put a higher emphasis on face-scanning and motion capture than any previous title. Take the sniper Quiet, for example. Her appearance isn't just based on model Stefanie Joosten. Quiet is, effectively, played by Stefanie Joosten.
Metal Gear Solid V is the title which pulled in noted actor Kiefer Sutherland to play Snake, too. When Hideo Kojima envisioned the new Snake, he went to film and television, not gaming.
Given his history, it comes as no surprise Death Stranding is a star-studded affair. With full creative freedom and the benefits of modern mo-cap, we're seeing Hideo Kojima pulling in the individuals he's wanted to work with all along. This is the direction he's been going for years. Hideo Kojima wants to exist where games and film intersect. And if you were Hideo Kojima, wouldn't you hire your favorite actors and directors to participate in your project? Konami may have canceled P.T. but the dream goes on thanks to Sony and Death Stranding.
It's not all fun and games, though. It's a good thing Norman Reedus was there to save Hideo Kojima from an assassination attempt.
No wonder Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus have such a powerful bromance. Their love is the only thing keeping Kojima alive. We salute you, Norman. Please, keep that strange, brilliant man in one piece for us. We know you can do it.