The fallout with Konami was a blow that didn't knock out the fifty-year-old developer. Kojima has done something really impressive – in four years, he assembled a new development studio from scratch, and has just finished working on a AAA project. The new game practically yells from the rooftop that Kojima was finally unleashed and is taking no prisoners.
Death Stranding is an extremely strange and alluring project – we've already seen quite a dramatic trailer, we've seen gameplays, and we don't really have much of a clue with regard to what the game will really be about. Writing that this is the most mysterious high-budget production of our time is not an exaggeration. And since Hideo is creating it, everything we've learned so far might be another hoax.
Kojima himself is over the moon, because although he still hasn't managed to get to Hollywood, he'd found a way to bring Hollywood into his own world. The cast of Death Stranding includes famous actors like Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, as well as the famous director Guillermo del Toro. Years later, he managed to fulfill his original dream – and he did it on his own terms.
His complicated history has become an industry phenomenon, and the director himself (that's probably what we should call him), became an unquestionable authority. And at the time where there was real vacuum – Peter Molyneux passed away, Chris Roberts seemingly lost it, John Carmack gave in, and Kojima built a monument that will now be difficult to overshadow. It's not just about the work ethics, turbulent history in Konami, the megalomania, apparently mandatory in the industry, and autocreation. Video games need someone to come forward when mainstream aim their ill-conceived news at them. Kojima – whether we accept his vision of the world or not – creates ambiguous, in-depth, and oftentimes simply artsy games. And this image moves the goalposts.
With great power comes great responsibility – to once again bring up the late Stan Lee. Not only is Hideo getting ready for the release of his most hermetic game – he's also looking at the biggest test of video-games stardom he'd ever experienced. Will he certify his reputation of a virtuoso of gaming and validate his own authority? Well, that's a challenge, if I've ever seen one. Save the date, November 8.
Michael Grygorcewicz | Gamepressure.com