Kojima: 'Death Stranding' Aims to Be a New Sort of Game of War


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Kojima: 'Death Stranding' Aims to Be a New Sort of Game of War

Hideo Kojima on War, Video Games and 'Death Stranding'

"We don't need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level"

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is featured in the trailer for Hideo Kojima's new game,'Death Stranding.'
Hideo Kojima
Dunkirk gave birth to a new kind of war movie.

By refusing to rely on computer graphics, opting instead to create life-size sets and employ a large cast of extras, Christopher Nolan recreated the war movie construct. And because of that the movie is performing remarkably well, achieving the top spot at the U.S. box office in its first week and keeping that position for its second week, while grossing over $102 million in that same period.

Its approach to technology in movie making and refusal to rely on defeating one's enemies as a portrayal of war, reminds me in many ways of my work on Metal Gear and where I hope to see my next game go.

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The film is a sober depiction of the Battle of Dunkirk, which was a large-scale evacuation of the British and French army during the Second World War. It's an unconventional war movie in that sense too. You won't find the excitement of defeating the German army (in fact, you won't see the face of a single German soldier), instead, the focus is on escaping from the enemy.

Dunkirk has very little dialogue. Many soldiers go unnamed, and no attention is given to their pasts. It manages to capture the audience through the action of escaping, and the suspense born therein, a focus similarly found in Keaton and Chaplin movies.

The story is structured in three parts: land, sea and air. Land: Soldiers on the beach waiting for rescue (and French soldiers pretending to be in the British army to escape). Sea: a civilian boat captain that crosses the ocean to aid in the Dunkirk rescue. And air: Air force pilots that hold off the German army as it tries to interfere with the rescue. This three-part ensemble pulls the audience into the heart of the war zone.

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.