A Death Stranding Sequel Could Look Entirely Different, According to Kojima

By Heidi Nicholas,
Hideo Kojima briefly commented on the possibility of a Death Stranding sequel when interviewed by Vulture, saying he'd "start from zero". Death Stranding has had decidedly mixed reviews since it released. However, those who do love it really do seem to love it, and it seems Kojima isn't averse to making another.

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It seems Kojima and Norman Reedus, the game's protagonist, really bonded whilst making Death Stranding. Reedus was also meant to star in the cancelled Silent Hill project which Kojima was working on. Kojima appears to remain enthusiastic about working with Reedus again, but it's his comment on the form of the sequel which is really interesting. He says he "would start from zero". In the leadup to Death Stranding's release, it was often talked about as "nothing that's ever been seen before". Kojima seemed to be aiming for something really unique. If his comments about the possible sequel are anything to go by, the second Death Stranding could again be something unexpected and completely different. It's unclear just to what extent he'd start over. If he was working with Reedus, it would have to mean that the story at least featured Sam. But perhaps it'd be a completely different part of his life, or perhaps the story would be changed entirely; it's hard to guess with Kojima.

The interview also reveals a little more about Kojima's inspiration behind the game. He talks about his experiences of loneliness when he was younger, and that it wasn't until he saw "Taxi Driver", Scorsese's 1976 film. “Travis [Bickle] was the same as me in a way", Kojima said. "I’m Japanese; I thought every American guy never even felt solitude. So this was new to me. When I saw Taxi Driver, I was surprised but I empathized. I felt relieved.” This was one of the reasons behind the implementation of online connections in the game; "so that people will feel it’s alright, it’s okay. You’re relieved that you’re not alone. You see other people’s footprints and think it’s not just me here.” Whilst other players aren't seen in the game, their presence can be felt through their contributions; roads, paths, warnings, and signs. A little like the invisible BTs, there are ways to sense them even when they're not visible.

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But Kojima didn't want players to be too comfortable. “I wanted to start very slowly, so that the world looks beautiful, but you kind of feel odd...There’s something broken here.” He added that he "wanted the player to become Sam, but gradually...He doesn’t know how to control himself at the beginning.” It seems that other portions of the game were inspired a little by Kojima's own life experiences. The interview reveals how, out of protectiveness for his mother, he didn't tell her at first when he started developing Death Stranding in his own studio, but wanted to wait until he'd "become a little successful” because he “didn’t want her to worry.” But she passed before Death Stranding came to fruition, and Kojima said: “The ghosts in the game — maybe my parents are one of them, seeing me in this world...I wanted to have that kind of metaphor, that within you, you’re connected to the people that passed away.”

Check out our Best PS4 Stealth Games Available in 2019 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!