Hideo Kojima is a rather enigmatic figure in the video game industry. The games he has worked on have always been classed as pretty weird. And the newest Kojima Productions game, Death Stranding, is no exception. The game all about death and connections with others, starring Norman Reedus, was probably the strangest one yet. And even though fans seem to genuinely like it, and there’s some hype over a sequel, Death Stranding 2 might not happen.
The Metal Gear Solid creator spoke about how he and the rest of the team designed Death Stranding, and how its design choices would affect Death Stranding 2. Speaking about the design process, Kojima was pretty frank. “It was so frightening. I still go into the ocean, and I dive from time to time, but I get really frightened about these big waves and big ocean animals,” he explained. And, the Chiral Network and social strand system came from his childhood. He was a latchkey kid and that alienated him from his peers. “I had so many friends at school, but was lonely. I didn’t tell anyone. I thought I was sick,” Kojima said.
The horrifying visage of BTs and the themes of loss and powerlessness from within the game was enough to spook Kojima himself, and definitely plenty of players too, so it makes sense that the creator wouldn’t want to spoil the message and the theme by overusing it. The core elements of the story surrounding death and grief are further reinforced by a horrifying future racked by loneliness. As protagonist Sam Porter Bridges struggles to reconnect America through the ominous Chiral network, things get weird and strangely enticing. It’s a terrifying story for an incredible game. There’s plenty of other random moments that helped sell fans on the experience of Death Stranding as well, like getting punched in the face by Norman Reedus, yes it’s more entertaining than it sounds.
Death Stranding 2 would likely follow a new character though, as the story would need to change perspective and setting to make sense within the wider lore. Kojima said that a sequel, if one were to happen, “would start from zero”. What that means is unknown though, as no plans for a sequel have been announced.
Death Stranding has been nominated for nine awards at The Game Awards, and is out now for PlayStation 4. A version of the game is coming to PC in Summer 2020.