Death Stranding will not divide players between winners and losers, Kojima says

In an essay published on Glixel, Kojima talks about how the idea of a game that isn’t about fighting and defeating your enemies lead to the original Metal Gear in 1987. Different aspects of his anti-war and anti-nuclear messages were explored in the various Metal Gear games, with MGSV offering players the possibility to choose a nuke free world. Now, with Death Stranding, Kojima wants to create a new experience that is not about fighting enemies with ‘sticks’ (weapons) but about ‘ropes’ (connections). “We don’t need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level.”

“Through my interaction with users following the releases of Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid and MGS2, I learned something interesting. Why is our world this way? If war and nuclear weapons are atrocities, why do they continue to exist? Younger generations didn’t know the answer.”

“I decided to portray the era that was the cause of this dilemma in MGS3 (2004). The game is set in 1964 amidst the U.S. and Soviet Cold War. Some young people aren’t even aware that a political state known as the Soviet Union once existed. I felt it was my duty to teach them about this past.”

“What caused the U.S. and the Soviet Union, allies in WWII, to become enemies and build nuclear arsenals against one another? Enemies formed from man-made ideologies. Good and evil. There is no such thing as absolute justice or corruption. I wanted to show and have players experience the fates and thoughts of characters who are controlled by the changing status of good and evil across eras. That is why I made Big Boss, the “evil” enemy of the “right and just” Solid Snake in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, the hero of the story. I wanted players to experience what it is like to be called evil, just as Christopher Nolan did shortly after in Dark Knight (2008), in which Batman, the symbol of justice, takes upon the mantle of villain for the sake of Gotham City.”

“MGS: Peace Walker (2010) is set in Costa Rica 1974. Here I wanted players to think about what armed forces and nuclear armament mean in a country that has no military. If nuclear weapons have the power to destroy the world, then why is having them a deterrent? In the end of the story, the hero Snake, chooses to keep nuclear weapons at his Mother Base for this very reason.”

“In MGSV: Ground Zeroes (2014), the Mother Base built in Peace Walker is destroyed by an enemy force, imbuing the player with a sense of loss and a desire for revenge. A relentless enemy leaves the player with nowhere to run, and they are drawn into inescapable conflict.”

“The continuation, MGSV: The Phantom Pain, is the execution of that revenge. Players gather a fighting force and resources to build up an army and secure nuclear weapons as protection. As the player progresses through the game they feel their desire for revenge, and their sense of “justice,” that has been a common thread through the series, begin to waver. Additionally, the online game mode offers players the choice to disarm their nuclear arsenal, with the goal of completely ridding the game world of nuclear weapons. As far as I know, this goal hasn’t been achieved yet, but if we can’t disarm ourselves in the real world, at least the fictional game world offers mankind, the creators of nuclear weapons, the unparalleled “experience” of making the conscious choice to create a nuclear free world. Through this experience, players will come to understand what it really means to take a stand against war and nuclear weapons. Players feel the need to acquire nuclear weapons, but then players across the globe choose to disarm themselves. This experience and its process is the chief aim of Metal Gear.”

Ever since the announcement of Death Stranding, Kojima has mentioned the story ‘the rope’ by Kobo Abe as a source of inspiration, in which two of humankind’s oldest tools, the stick (meant to keep evil away) and the rope (meant to bring that which is good closer), play a role. Kojima relates this to how videogames work as well.

“Fifty-five years have passed since the creation of the early video game Spacewar!, but video games are still primarily players with sticks fighting each other. They cannot break the curse of using sticks to keep evil away, or defeating enemies. I want to change this. It’s time for humankind to take the rope in hand. We are ready for a game not based on competition, but on the rope that will bring good to the player and make connections. We don’t need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level. My current project, Death Stranding, aims to fulfill this goal.”

“It’s been roughly 120 years since the advent of movies, and 59 for video games. We are still awash in a flood of games where defeating enemies is the focus. It’s time for video games to achieve their Dunkirk, their The Great Escape. We need a game that maintains the essence and fun unique to the medium, but also offers a completely new type of experience. What’s more, the interactive nature of video games means that this new experience will be deeper than movies or other media could hope to offer. At the very least, this is what I believe, and I won’t run from the challenge.”

How exactly connections will play a role in the game is stil unclear. There are the strands that seem to connect different characters with each other, and even vehicles and animals, and it looks like there will be some connection between life and death. But how the whole thing will come together is still a big mystery.

You can read the full essay by following the link in the source section below.

Source: Glixel

  • Lex Radu

    I said this ever since “Hacksaw Ridge”

    Death Stranding will be about saving Humanity, and you will have the option to attack, but on the battlefield, you will have to save the only people.

    • “You will have to save the only people”… save the only people what?

      • Lex Radu

        Just that, the only poeple, the only things that are…people!

  • Mr.Sixes

    So…When are we gonna see it!

    • Maybe at PSX 2017. Otherwise you can expect the game at E3 2018.

      • If not PSX 2017 FUUUUUDGE*

      • NegaScott128

        Perhaps TGA 2017. After all, that’s where the last trailer came from.

      • Mr.Sixes

        alright because I’m like “If gameplay isn’t there I’m definelly skipping”

  • ObsessedGeorge

    I’m very intrigued by his words. Man, dis gon be good.

  • MrVux007

    “It’s time for video games to achieve their Dunkirk, their The Great Escape. ”

    Yes Sir!
    https://media.giphy.com/media/2t9sDPrlvFpdK/giphy.gif

    • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

      Euhm Mgs ?

      • Right? MGS on PS1 already proved this to me. All the MGS games have. Especially 3, if you can watch the ending and not feel heartbroken you’re a monster. And The Last Of Us? Shhhhhit….

      • MrVux007

        Euhm what about it? This is Kojima’s point of view, not necessarily our own, to ‘him’ MGS didn’t achieve that.
        And i kinda agree with that, tho i wouldn’t have used Dunkirk as an example but The Great Escape part i do agree.

        His standards, my standards and your standards when it come to movies/games are not the same.

    • Eugene Voldo

      I think this phrase is actually belittle video games as a one of the form of entertainment media. Video games had been already achieved that, but Kojima still believe that there’s something that Hollywood does better. If I remember correctly, Del Toro said that Shadow of Colossus was the game he loved to death and he thought it tells a better and far more convincing story than anything Hollywood will ever try to tell you.

      • MrVux007

        “Video games had been already achieved that, but Kojima still believe that there’s something that Hollywood does better.”

        There are things that Hollywood does better but those things will vanish quite soon as video games are surpassing movies with each year passed, but that wasn’t the point. This was mainly, as you mentioned, a Kojima’s point of view, to him MGS series didn’t achieve that. Same goes for Del Toro…but i must ask you to share a link to the interview when he states the very same words as you wrote “it tells a better and far more convincing story than anything Hollywood will ever try to tell you.” cuz i have no memory of him stating that only that he considers ICO and Shadow Colossus masterpieces.

        • Eugene Voldo

          Hmmm, memory playing tricks on me. I was convinced that he said it in the same interview, but apparently not. My bad! Should have double checked before posting it.

          Still I’m not sure what Hollywood does better? You can cay it tells a better story, but at the same time it will be wrong, because it’s far easier to tell a story in 1 or 2 hours than creating a 10-20 hours or ever more worth of experiences.

          • MrVux007

            “because it’s far easier to tell a story in 1 or 2 hours than creating a 10-20 hours or ever more worth of experiences.”

            I’m neither in the movie business nor in game development business so i can’t make a comment like that. But what i can tell you that comparing the narrative quality of movies and video games was always a tricky thing.

            One look at the internet and you will see plenty of those discussions, to some those 2-4 hours of movies are far more captivating and in better narrative and cinematic quality than video games.
            Some find video games like Red Dead Redemption to be cheezy in narrative while they find movies like Twilight to NOT be cringy and consider them quite beautiful cinematic experience ( i know, that sounds so wrong but that is besides the point).

            But i would like to take a step back, and change something. IMO Movies AND Tv-shows do things better than video games , when it comes to narrative and cinematic quality. Examples, The Lord of The Rings, The Godfather, The Game, The Dollars Trilogy, Breaking Bad,Game of Thrones.

            Now compare those movies to their video-counterparts(video games in same genre like those games….action,adventure,wild-west,detective,drama) and you will find very few games that does the job well in comparison (when looking at general consensus).

            We could discuss this, but you and i both know that would be a long discussion that would likely go nowhere,since we know that movies are already falling behind video games in mostly everything.
            It’s only matter a time before the last remaining things movies do better (like narrative and cinematic quality) will be overtaken by video games that had a HUGE jump in quality in last 20 years, while movies will slowly declining since the golden era of Hollywood.

            Heck i think it says a lot that i spend 3/4 of my time (time that i use to either watch movies or tv) i spend it watching TV-shows or re-watching movie classics.

          • Full Options

            Yeah, comparing game’s story telling with movie’s feels like comparing a movie and a book for example. There is no real point in doing that even if they both share some features because the medias are still way too different.
            Among many other things, games introduce an extra and cool layer of adrenaline triggered by interactivity where fate of the story rely on the game pad in your hands. How a movie could be any close to deliver such level of interaction ?

            Besides, when we decide to watch movies we already chose the blue pill and stay static, watch / listen a story with coke and pop-corn, whereas with games it would be coke and CHIPS, see ? xD
            So… No we can not compare those two distinct experiences yet on a stomach point of view.

          • MrVux007

            “So… No we can not compare those two distinct experience yet on a stomach point of view.”
            Amen to that brotha.

          • Full Options

            Amen Reverend Vux.. xD

      • Johnno

        I believe what he means is in the sense of overturning the convention. Dunkirk and Great Escape are ‘war’ movies but are not about fighting. Kojima intends to make an ‘action’ game but instead of combat it will emphasize connections to the ‘enemy’ also probably where ‘death’ is not a ‘game over’ but a gameplay mechanic or means of progression.

  • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

    Yeah right and mgsv will have taboo subjects , will have venom like Walter White and tons of other things , right?
    Look how well that turned out . And I loved mgsv

    • He’s still marketing the game. Trying to generate that hype yo.

    • Well, those statements still are kind of true.

      • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

        Mgsv did show big boss’ descent
        But in the background
        Same for pw
        But he wasnt like walter

    • Robin030

      but this time we don’t have konami as part of the equation.

      • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

        Doesn’t change anything

        • Robin030

          only time will tell…

  • Robin030

    i like where this is going

  • Lex Radu

    Happy Birthday, Legend!

  • SholidOnline

    I hope this game invents a new category and attaches me for life. No doubts that could happen.

  • Hail Kojima

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