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5 Reasons Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding Is Poised To Wow Us

Attempting to conceal my excitement for Hideo Kojima’s upcoming Death Stranding is no simple task—I’ve been a fan of the esoteric Japanese game designer for over a decade. At this year’s E3 Sony Press Conference, Kojima made his first public appearance since parting ways with Konami, and was met with uproarious applause from gaming fans and journalists who were glad to see his return.  The mastermind then revealed the first project from his brand-new studio, Kojima Productions, titled Death Stranding. Here are five reasons we should all be excited for this new game!

1. Norman Reedus

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For years, Reedus has delighted audiences with his unbeatably badass performance as The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon. Before that, he made up one half of the notoriously awesome Boondock Saints film franchise (well, part one at least), and although Reedus might not look like your typical leading man, he’s bursting with the perfect level of quiet intensity for a Kojima production. The two were set to work together on a new game in the Silent Hill franchise (Silent Hills) that unfortunately died along with Kojima’s position at Konami

2. He Knows How To Creep Us Out

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Although all Kojima fans ever got to see of Silent Hills was its playable teaser—known as PT for short—it was immediately clear Kojima could really scare us with evocative, surrealistic visuals and ingenious sound and level design. Who knew walking through the same dark hallway over and over could be so terrifying? If Kojima can bring even an ounce of PT’s terror-inducing atmosphere to Death Stranding, we’re in for a frightful treat.

3. Characters Are Key

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The cast of characters dreamed up by Kojima and his longtime partner and friend, Yoji Shinkawa, are among gaming’s most beloved and memorable. His best known creation, “Snake” (now having seen a total of three different iterations: Big Boss, Solid, and Venom) is at the top of most Kojima fans’ lists. However, my personal favourite happens to be the gun-spinning, triple-crossing six shooter king himself, Revolver Ocelot. What could be cooler than a grown man who meows like a cat? Not much! Being a Kojima game, Death Stranding is bound to have some unforgettable characters.

4. He’s A Pioneer Of The 3D Action Genre

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With the 1998 release of Metal Gear Solid, Kojima wowed the entire industry by adapting the visual language of cinema to the video game format. Although cinematic cut scenes are now common place in triple A game development, no one uses these techniques as deliberately or as artfully as Kojima. A self-proclaimed movie lover, Kojima loves to use expressive camera movement in his games to help tell his stories, while still relying heavily on fun and engaging gameplay to immerse players. In a world where games are perhaps becoming too cinematic (take Quantic Dream’s Detroit, for example), we can rest assured that Death Stranding will remain a 3D action game at heart.

5. His Games Are Weird In The Best Possible Way

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Although Kojima’s franchises (particularly Metal Gear) might not be the most accessible, they certainly inspire intense fandom like no other game series. The stories are complex/nonsensical, the characters are soap opera-esque, the action is impossible, and the mechanics range from giggle-worthy to downright unbelievable. In the famous “Psycho Mantis” fight of Metal Gear Solid 1, the player has to unplug their controller and plug it into the second player port to thwart the villain’s mind-reading capabilities. Kojima’s a master of creatively breaking that pesky “fourth wall” and hopefully Death Stranding will be just as weird. That reveal trailer is pretty damn promising!

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