“I don’t think you need to define a genre that way,” says Kojima.
Since the day Death Stranding was announced, Hideo Kojima has insisted that it isn’t a game that belongs to any genres currently in existence, that it’s a completely new type of action game unlike anything else we’ve played before. Just recently in fact, he said that he would consider making sequels in order to establish this new genre even further.
But of course, that doesn’t mean the game doesn’t have similarities with other stuff we’ve seen whatsoever. It’s set in an open world setting, it employs stealth mechanics, and its social elements bear more than just a passing resemblance to the multiplayer mechanics of Dark Souls. So what exactly does Kojima mean when he says this is a new genre?
Recently, while speaking in an interview with Gamereactor (translated over at Reddit), he gave clarifications about that. According to Kojima, “Social Strand System” isn’t so much a new genre in and of itself, but rather a way to describe Death Stranding as a new kind of experience more accurately.
When asked about his previous comments that have described what he calls “strand game” as a new genre, Kojima said: “It might be a bit misunderstood then. I don’t actually play that many other games. I’m simply too busy. But I don’t want to create any new genre. Everyone says it’s an ‘open world’, [or] it’s a ‘stealth game’, and [asks] ‘what’s so different?’ There I allow myself to answer, ‘no, that’s not the case.’ I don’t think you need to define a genre that way. That’s exactly why I allowed myself to create this temporary genre by the name ‘social strand’, because it’s more fair to the game than just answering the two questions above.”
“I dare say that what we have to do here is quite new, but as you might have seen during the demonstration I presented at the Tokyo Game Show, it’s important to play it to understand it and get the feel of it and how the different components combine into something a little different,” he continued. “Therefore, I try to say to everyone, ‘just try it’. My employees did not understand the concept at first and were therefore slightly opposed to it. Now it’s very different, and now they say things like, ‘just going around the world is fun’, because everything is up to the player.
“As an example, you can decide for yourself how to climb a mountain. They say, ‘this is exactly how an open world should feel’. It is not because we give you an open world, and then tell you what to do. That’s not how it works. I want you to choose your own path throughout the game. Many say, ‘the game is like this other game’. But again, as I said, I don’t actually get to play so many other games – this is really just a world I would like to create.”
Death Stranding is out on November 8, exclusively for the PS4. Recently, it came to light that the game was made in a period of just 3 years, by a team of just 80 people, which is quite incredible, all things considered.