Hideo Kojima recently had an interview with Gameinformer after TGS 2019 concluded. In the interview, Gameinfomer asked questions regarding the show this year as well as Death Stranding. Kojima addresses the walking simulator remarks in one of the questions in the interview. Here’s the full excerpt from Gameinformer:
Sam has a lot to manage – his health, his equipment, etc. A lot of people turn to games to escape these kinds of responsibilities. How do you approach taking mundane maintenance tasks and putting them into a game so they don’t feel like work?
Previously, in design, you had to create the rule because you couldn’t do the realism, right? In our everyday lives, there are so many mechanisms we have to work through, as you say, and we have to take the balance of what we do, how we maintain ourselves, and how we live. So I wanted to free the game design concept that we had to live by because we didn’t have the technology to do so in the past. We always created a rule, like the life bar is like this, and one hit takes away this much health. I wanted to add the real essence in Death Stranding.
For instance, in any game, you could carry as many items as you want – even in Metal Gear, it was unlimited. Of course, you can’t do it in real life, right? You have to select one bottle when you climb a mountain. That’s why I put it in; a lot of games have aborted that kind of rule. This time, if you’re in the river, you can drift away – and that’s in real life as well. So that’s the gimmick and mechanism I kind of recreated, where other games – and even my games before – had to deform in a way.
But the other thing about it is that you can go anywhere in the world. It’s open-world. In the past, even if games are “open-world,” there are limitations where you can’t go further. Like, they created valleys where you can’t go. But in this game, you can go anywhere. You set routes, and you want to know what goes on beyond. In this game, I think you will not understand if I just say this, but once you start playing the game, just walking in that world is really fun. What I realized is, when I monitor playtests – even the staff’s – they don’t get it at first. But when they really start playing, just walking is really fun in the space.
And now everyone will say, “Oh, it’s a walking simulator!”
It’s the same as when I first brought out a stealth game. If 100 people play it and 100 people say it’s fun, it means the genre or the game already exists. But this is a new genre – same as stealth the first time, there will be people who don’t get it. It will take time for the real evaluations to come in.
Its true that it takes time for games to fully be evaluated through reviews and the general perception. However, Monster Energy drinks and urinating will only get you so far.
GameSpot also had an interesting interview with Kojima where he talks about Death Stranding not being enough to give the Strand genre (???) the permanence he wants it to have. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:
“I’m not really sure,” he said when asked if Death Stranding would become a series. “The most difficult part is, when you create something new, you have to create a sequel and then a third version or it [will] not remain as a genre.
To further explore the “genre,” Kojima is thinking about sequels and other projects like a “1.5” or “2” for Death Stranding. He relates this to TV dramas and shows.
What do you think about the “Strand” genre that Kojima claims to exist? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter. Death Stranding releases on November 8th for PS4.