Before the release of Death Stranding, we had the opportunity to meet Hideo Kojima as part of his "Strand Tour". Through an interview of about twenty minutes, we returned to certain elements of the game, on the one hand, but also the philosophy of the title and its design …
How did the collaboration with Frenchman Lea Seydoux come about? What does a creative person spend in their spare time? What is the future of the potential Death Stranding franchise? Here are some of the questions you were asked during this interview with your Metal Gear dad, who issued his first independent license here, after a painful divorce from Konami, who edited his creations in nearly 30 years.
"Anything new will inevitably attract some negative reviews"
Unrivaled, atypical scenario, bold but divisive concept, Death does not leave indifferent and we started this conversation by mentioning a famous tear that provokes a game with the publicseparates those who are positively intrigued by the project and those who advocate the concept of the title, which revises the "FEDEX Tasks" principle. Convinced that he had probably thought about this situation before, Hideo Kojima explains to him that what he knew thirty years ago resides there …
I think a lot of people forgot that, but the same problem was with the concept of stealth play, in which it shoots all around you, but where you have no weapons and need to avoid conflicts. There were many negative returns at that time (note: Metal Gear released in 1987). However, after 10 to 20 years of existence, it has become a genre, which is experienced very positively. Anything new is inevitably attracting some negative criticism. Indeed, if it is 100% negative, I don’t want to create others. Any player who experienced something new did so with little fear. I think that's a completely natural answer.
He then draws parallels with other creations, especially in cinemas, which at one point were perceived as useless, boring, and are now seen by other publics:
Look back to 2001: The Space Odyssey, which I loved. When she came out, people said she was bored, everyone fell asleep, people didn't understand anything. Blade Runner, it was the same. But look at what we mean today: they are classics, legendary movies. It's always the same when there's something new. The difference is that today we have social networks, and people who have not experienced the work can also give negative opinions about it.
An "author" game that is difficult to present to the public but also to the team …
One by one, we address the issue of trailers, once focused on entire sequences, which were usually presented "all in one block" and now replaced by mash-ups that reveal multiple small sequences from the entire title. Without screening, without testing in the living room, before going out, Death is a case of "separate" in the industry:
It's hard to explain, but if you only play for 10 or 15 minutes, you won't understand. You have to play it to the end to feel it. Therefore communication and promotion is very difficult in this game.
We wanted to know about these famous trailers that aired during major gaming events between 2016 and 2019 how their integration into the story thoughtbecause they are systematically nested within the story, as cutscenes, almost unchanged, three years later …
At E3 2016, I had very few people on the team, so I couldn't create a trailer that was too big. I had a lot of pictures on my mind and I thought, "What would be the most impactful picture I could create with this little team?" So I thought, "Beach, crabs and Norman, naked … (laughs) … and some whales!" The team can't look in my mind, so we had to recreate that image, its tones, colors, define what we want for the Death Stranding Trailer and the concept and atmosphere of the game is clearly perceived by the team.
A few months after the project began, Kojima had already planned to integrate this sequence
It is, therefore, quite a vertical creation, in the sense that Hideo Kojima materializes, with some staff, images, concepts, which then serve as a guide to the entire studio, which then works to develop these same ideas. We wanted to know if the inspirations of "Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "Dark Souls" that we could see as we were finishing the game came from where his team members came from creative. And the answer was pretty amazing …
You know, I don't play other games, but I've played a lot in the past. I'm really busy and I don't have games that I really want to focus on. If I have time, I go to see movies, enjoy the presence of my children, and read books. I know popular games: I play a little and see my team play, but I have nothing to start from scratch and finish. Inside was probably the last game I finished. It has been said that the staff sometimes says "it, looks like Zelda", "looks like Dark Souls" so obviously, I have feedback from them, but I personally don't watch other games in detail because if I ever do that, I can't create something new.
Collaboration with Lea Seydoux
Finally, we have partnered with Lea Seydoux, a French actress who plays the role of Fragile here.
We wanted to know why and how this collaboration came about:
You know, there are a lot of Hollywood movies in Japan, but also a lot of French films. I often buy French films, and I come across some films in which she starred. I really wanted to have him in my game. I contacted her, and she decided to say yes.
Norman and Mads, it was very easy to get along with them: I met them, I gained their trust and then we signed a contract. I tried to do the same thing with Leo, but there was a SAG-AFTRA strike (note: a movement started by actors and video game translators between 2016 and 2017), so I made a contract proposal and the strike prevented me from responding or responding. disputing. The strike lasted for a year and I couldn't meet her all this time. Leah is obviously very busy so I had to do a 3D scan with her in London. She then came to San Diego, to a studio used by Ridley Scott, to do an entire recording performance. Then we did the dubbing.
It was very difficult to adjust our schedules, but I had a lot of fun working with her. And after the shoot we went out to dinner, ate sushi and laughed a lot. He's someone nice.
"A sequel will be needed if people appreciate Death by Death"
We end the interview with a little teasing, ever since we ask if the studio already has ideas about possible apartments, is a topic Hideo Kojima has already dealt with.
He therefore summarizes his philosophy relating to the "strand game" which he attempts to begin here with the Stranding of Death:
I can't really talk about it … But I want to do something really big. Same with Metal Gear. When I did the sequel to Metal Gear, I did some things in a completely different way. Maybe someone else will create games like this (Strand Game) and make a genre, but I think "yes," a sequel will be required if people like Death Stranding.
Death Stranding is available from November 8th on PS4 and will be released in 2020 on PC