In a recent interview with Russian news agency TASS, Hideo Kojima discussed exactly what the new genre that Death Stranding is part of is. He went into some detail about both the game and how players will interact with it on their own, and how they’ll interact with other players in the unique multiplayer found within.
While Hideo Kojima hasn’t come out and named this new genre, it has everything to do with connections. These connections are between the player and the game, the protagonist and other characters in the game world, and between players. Throughout the game players will make connections no matter what they’re doing, and it will have a direct impact on their experience. It seems as though the biggest connection Hideo Kojima hopes will be made is between the player and the game however, because he’s created a game about connections in a world that is already very well connected.
Every day we use our computers, phones, and other devices to make connections with others, so Hideo Kojima hopes that people will make those same connections with Death Stranding. Maybe he even hopes that through his game people will make more meaningful connections with each other. Instead of simply liking posts of Facebook and Twitter, players could help each other out, and make a real difference in someone else’s experience with Death Stranding.
Kojima explains that the protagonist in Death Stranding. Sam, has an unfortunate history that makes it very hard for him to make connections with other people. That’s probably why he’s been chosen to take packages from one remote location to another, in the hopes that the connections made with said packages will reunite what’s left of humanity. It sounds like the world of Death Stranding can change between negative and positive, and that will be constantly shifting throughout a player’s time with it. This aspect of the game makes it sound almost like an MMO with a persistent game world and scheduled events, but we’ll have to wait until Death Stranding launches to see.
The cast of characters in Death Stranding are all people with whom we’ll see Sam form a relationship. It’s possible that these connections themselves will be a big part of the game as well.
When describing the multiplayer of Death Stranding, Kojima talks about the presence of other players in one another’s game worlds. He explains that we’ll be able to see what state their game world is in by the interactions they leave in ours. We’ll be able to see footprints that they’ve left along the way, as well as ladders up against high cliffs, or over huge crevasses. I wonder if players will be able to make even more of an impact, drawing in enemies for another player by doing something specific for example. Without knowing the intricacies of the story, and the game itself, I can’t make any assumptions about these activities, but I believe there will be a lot of potential for both helping and hindering other players in Death Stranding.
Kojima’s final few points about Death Stranding revolve around story in this interview. He says that the story is spaced out, and players will need to play a third of the title, at least, in order to understand what is going on. However, he adds that there is so much more to the game than this, and really the game is about making connections. I find it interesting that he keeps coming back to this word, and how he’s so clearly trying to get the point across without spoiling the game for anyone.
When Death Stranding launches on the 8th of November, it will still take a few days for people to understand what this new genre is, and how it works. The one thing that I think will be needed to do this is teamwork, because I don’t see a game about connections being mastered by a single person on their own, with no help at all.