Director Hideo Kojima also addresses the game being viewed as a “walking simulator.”
Kojima Productions showed a fairly good amount of Death Stranding at Tokyo Game Show 2019. We saw protagonist Sam Bridges traveling the world, hijacking vehicles and battling giant BTs. The next presentation was more somber, focusing on Sam’s Private Room where he relaxes, takes a shower and makes weird faces (which can be shared with others for “likes”).
Still, there’s plenty we haven’t seen and the overall response from the Internet has ranged from interest to apathy, with some “Wait and see” in between. Director Hideo Kojima had a bit to say about the overall perception of the game and how it will take time before people really evaluate the experience. Speaking to Game Informer, Kojima was asked about the various tasks Sam has to manage and what approach the development team was taking to make them not feel like work.
Kojima addressed this and then went into the open world aspect of the game. “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!'”
As per Kojima, this isn’t much different from he first started releasing stealth games. “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.”
Whatever the consensus may be, Kojima also believes that sequels will be needed to further establish this new genre. Meanwhile, Death Stranding will be out on November 8th for the PlayStation 4.