Death Stranding is more than just a game, and actor Troy Baker believes that if director Hideo Kojima achieves what he’s set out to, it’ll be a statement. Speaking at Manchester Comic-Con, the Higgs star teased that the auteur is trying to move the industry forward with his upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive project.
“It’ll definitely be a statement,” he exclaimed, as part of a wider interview which will be published on Push Square later this week. “If you know anything about Kojima, he doesn’t make ‘games’. He’s an amazing world builder. He’s trying to move the medium forward, not just trying to move copies.”
In fact, Baker was so complimentary of the Metal Gear man that he stated it’ll be his name that sells the game – and not the star-studded cast list associated with it. “This will be a game that names sell, and it won’t be Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, and it sure as sh*t won’t be Troy Baker,” he continued. “The name that’s going to sell this game is going to be Kojima.”
We continue to be intrigued.
And I continue to roll my eyes at the hyperbole being spewed about the game. As always, I await the reviews to see if it'll be any good or if it equates to a Kojima-fueled acid trip that no one else can understand what the heck is going on.
And I continue to just sigh.
Cliff Blesinski thought he could sell games on his name. Look how that fared.
The name of the guy behind it means jack all, and if the game ends up being s***, congrats, your name, the thing you sold your game on, is now tarnished.
Also, how can you sell a new IP, a new idea or even a new concept and do that by just saying "Yeah this guy made it".
That ain't selling me. That says "I dont know what this is, I cant clearly convey it in marketing, buy it because me".
Sounds about just stating the obvious?
@Knuckles-Fajita Kojima is a far bigger name and much more respected. Cliffy B was just an ass who got lucky once.
Honestly the reaction from the doubting Thomas's is why we rarely get new AAA IP's as well the gaming community never been taking seriously.
Here's a game that seems like it's dealing with complex issues such as grief, parenthood, regret, loneliness, connections, sucide, religion and quantum mechanics. All wrapped into an open world experience.
But it gets shot down by a fair few just because they want to know everything about it long before it's released and the game dares to be highbrow (an auteur making something highbrow? Who'd have thought it) which usually indie devs get it in the neck for because some people seem to take offence at a game telling a story that is above the "shoot bad guys, move on" trope.
Innocent question, but has anyone ever just bought a game because of the cast? Except Fifa of course. Certainly hasnt bothered me of Troy, Nolan et al are in the game, so long as the game is good. They are just an added bonus 🙂
But yes he is right that people will buy this because its a Kojima production!
@AdamNovice Hey, I hope this game works out great, but Kojima’s recent track record is rather poor. MGS1 was original and groundbreaking - but since then it has been derivative sequels and “she’s naked because she breathes through her skin”.
I’m fairly confident the game will have good graphics, long drawn-out existential cut-scenes and by what we’ve seen, lots of exploration and traversal. If that is what you want from a game, more power to you. But to make a game like that and assume that people should buy it because of kojima’s name is silly, and hubris on his part.
Just that attitude is enough to make me want to avoid it, honestly.
@Mega-Gazz Kojima isn't banking on the game to sell through his name alone. His name does carries weight like it does with certain movie directors so why not use it? He's using Norman Reedus more then himself if we're honest so I don't where you get that impression from. Plus the Metal Gear sequels been "derivative" is entirely wrong. Each sequel was significantly different from the last. MGS2 had a new protagonist, more stealth options and advanced AIs. MGS3 had survival mechanics over a decade before it was in vogue. MGS4 was probably the most divisive one cos it was trying to wrap up the story and MGS5 was open world. Say what you like about Kojima and his team but they rest on their laurels.
@AdamNovice Here's the thing, over the past four years we haven't learned what this game is beyond "Kojima!".
Only recently did we find out what this actually is. No, I dont want to know everything about it, but you have to tell me about the game.
I mean the first gameplay we ever saw was....well frankly nothing? It was walking and....something happened and we still dont have context.
This interview, and many others from celebrities about this game just say "Its amazing omg Kojima is a genius" and...sure, he has had his great hits, but....can ya sell the game and not his resume?
This is a really hard thing to explain, and sorry if this view annoys you, but I really cant get into a game without at least having context, especially on a new IP. If I don't get what I'll be actually doing when playing this game, I probably wont want to play it.
It's this weird direction for marketing and sure it works...sometimes for some people, but its really easy to lose people.
They spent 4 years building it up, we see it, its got walking, its open world, its got these themes....and Kojima is awesome.
Can you see why that's not gelling with me?
Metal Gear Solid 5 remains the most interesting game I've played this generation. Such a breath of fresh air. The Quiet fight, open world stealth, reinforcements actually coming from other camps instead of spawning in the vicinity, the horror mission. Honestly MGS5 has so many cool stuff in there.
And as always: shun the non-believers. Whenever Naughty Dog is making a new game, or Nintendo is making a new Zelda everyone is hyped, and rightfully so. With Kojima it's kind of the same. It's worth looking forward to just because you're getting something left of center.
Artistry in video games should be way more appreciated. When Radiohead announces an album, I'm completely hyped. Do I know how it will sound? No, but I know that they have made great stuff and always try to reinvent themselves.
That's way more exciting than any "I kind of know what I'm doing" game. So many people here are looking for safe experiences.
Also, we will know more about how the gameplay will be when this game releases. We'll get reviews, streams, et cetera. I don't know why so many people "need to know RIGHT NOW". It's so obsessive. Calm down, relax a little.
@Knuckles-Fajita I can see why it may not gel with you. But it's so annoying seeing people get so dismissive of it every time there's a bloody article about it. For me it's refreshing to have a AAA game where we don't know much in an era where marketing tells us too much.
@Rob_230 I don't think it's possible to buy a game that doesn't have Troy or Nolan in it
@Thrillho Haha true that 😃
As much as I'm not trying to pour cold water on anybody's hype for anything, and really do hope that Death Stranding turns out to be a masterpiece for all its fans...
...it should be noted that Troy Baker is the master of overstatement and hyperbole. Anybody who watches Retro Replay knows what I'm talking about; he gets excited about the things that he likes as though still a ten-year-old. And that's kinda fine when you're watching him talk about old films or whatnot, but it means I'm gonna take his pre-release excitement with a hopper of roadside grit-laced salt.
@Kidfried I was with you until you admitted to liking Radiohead.
But in all seriousness, your point about people needing to know everything RIGHT NOW couldn't be more accurate. We live in an immediate world, and people's attitudes in examples of such just drive me up the gosh-darn wall.
And MGSV is a masterpiece. Well said on that, too.
I'm with @AdamNovice here. The game could very well release and be utter rubbish, but I've enjoyed the mystery of it all. So many AAA games these days you know exactly what they're going to be the second they're announced; with this one, I still feel like I'm in the dark to some degree.
This project is extremely refreshing. Even if it's terrible, I like to think it's going to try something different, and that definitely deserves to be applauded.
I didn't realise skeletor was in this game
I agree with Sammy.
It's very different from 'this year: Ass Creed Stone Age (whatever)' . 🤦♂️
@ralphdibny I'm pretty sure it's the "New adventures of He-Man" Skeletor.
@get2sammyb but there is a difference between faith and blind faith. Here’s to hoping the game turns out amazing (clink!), but actually putting money down or deciding it is - well deciding it is anything based on what we know right now is naive.
Then again, there is no accounting for taste... I mean - and I mean this in the most respectful way - you thought journey was worth more than 3 seconds of your time ..... So by all means jump on the hype train.
@Mega-Gazz But it's not blind faith, is it? You're not legally obliged to buy it. If you're not convinced, then don't pre-order it and wait for more information.
Everything will be blown wide open when the game hits stores.
@AdamNovice ha ha ha I had to look that up, I've never seen it but I thought you might have been talking about movie skeletor, nothing beats moneysupermarket skeletor though!
@Mega-Gazz I've seen more then enough to know that this is a game I want to play day one. It may well turn out that you just scavenger equipment from point A to point B and rinse repeat and that's enough for me because I want to know the story and how everything fits together. So I don't agree it's "blind faith" I would agree if all they said was the game's called Death Stranding and that's it but they haven't.
@ralphdibny Me neither, though I did have the He-Man figure from that show...for some reason.
@get2sammyb It kinda is blind faith, since we know basically nothing as @Knuckles-Fajita pointed out above.
As for me, I’ll wait for deep sales, since I do that for just about every game (even Sekeiro, which hurts...) in order to afford my gaming habit .
My reaction isn’t about me, so much as being about the deification of Kojima, which I think is unwarranted...but like I said above to each their own.
I didn’t know there was so many gamers that approached every game they play with complete unbiased objectiveness. You’d think some players didn’t have a favorite developer, franchise, character, or genre that they got excited about even when the details are thin.
Star Wars fans are allowed to be excited about Jedi: Fallen Order. CDPR fans are allowed to be excited about Cyberpunk. GRR Martin fans and FromSoft fans are allowed to be excited about Elden Ring. Etc, etc, etc. Not sure why Kojima fans are expected to be these cynical and obdurate skeptics regarding his new IP. Sometimes people are just excited about a favorite creators new ideas. Is that so wrong?
@Th3solution A a huge GoT fan and a FromSoft fan, Elden Ring is ofc piqued my interest. But honestly all we know is that we’ve gone from Seikero’s prosthetic forearm to a whole-arm prosthetic... or so it seems, that could be wrong too. But FromSoft has a history of releasing long segments of gameplay fairly early, and I’ll wait for that and for the streamers to form an opinion.
Borderlands 3 is another great example - despite being a total known quantity, they’ve let hundreds of streamers play it and released loads of gameplay footage. No story spoilers or anything, but they’ve been clear about what they’re selling.
@Mega-Gazz I suppose I’m in the minority in that I usually prefer not to watch hours of streaming footage for an upcoming title. Some short snippets of gameplay in a review video usually suffices.
The hype is sometimes part of the enjoyment!
That said, I haven’t preordered Death Stranding. But I do have a measure of excitement about it and I feel confident that it will be innovative and creative. Whether that translates into a great game or not, we’ll see. Pundits criticize Sony for relying on “third person narrative driven open world action-stealth” games too much. When a game dares to be a little edgy or push the boundaries then people complain about that. I really think the game doesn’t quite fit a mold so it would do it a disservice to explain it in full and pump out gameplay out of context. Now if the game ends up being a traditional “third person narrative driven action-stealth” game, then maybe we can all be disappointed. Er... well, some people will actually like that I guess, but I feel like it will be different. Time will tell.
And honestly, I feel like we have seen just as little of TLoU2 and yet we’re not hearing the same criticism about it — That the rumors keep saying the game is going to be “so huge” but then fans saying, “prove it to us with oodles of gameplay! How can I believe this game isn’t going to be a piece or rubbish without 6 hours of a streamer narrating the first third of the game and explaining all the gameplay mechanics?” It’s because people have faith in Naughty Dog. Well,... we shall see if Kojima deserves the same faith.
Yeah I agree with this, kojima name that will sells the game, I believe he had never made a bad game yet.
Games are art, just like movies that can sells because the name of it director, so will games. Unfortunately, for most western pubslihers, games are seen only as a software that make its publishers all of the money.
I don’t understand why there’s so many negative comments, kojima never made a bad games from all the way back to psone era (according to metacritic ans sales number of course, not feeling), and now suddenly he will make bad game just because he make a sony exclusives? Oh..
And did you know that if you buy this game, the next day you will meet your soul mate, win the lottery and we will have peace in the middle east? Also aliens will come to Earth and share all their technology, giving us cures for all diseases and limitless clean energy!
Kojima is our king and can do no wrong.
Oh boy. How to unpack how I feel about Kojima as a video game developer? I am so conflicted about this guy.
I have to preface this by saying Metal Gear Solid remains my favorite video game franchise to this day, even though I was slightly disappointed with MGS5 overall.
I know some people really get bothered by Kojima's vague marketing - that's fair. Others welcome it as refreshing to not be given every detail ahead of time. Me, I am not really bothered one way or another, and I don't prefer one approach over the other.
What does bother me is Kojima. Watching him, reading his interviews over the last 15 years, he seems like a nice guy. Certainly, he is a good story teller in a lot of ways - he tackles deep subjects few others do, even if the execution isn't always stellar. This is the main reason Metal Gear Solid is my favorite series.
That said, Kojima irks me just a bit. He plays a little too close to the edge of being outright pretentious, and his story-telling usually isn't polished or focused enough to justify the tough topics he tries to tackle. MGS's story became ridiculously convoluted as the series progressed - we have people being possessed by transplanted arms, nanomachines, whatever "psychosuggestion" actually is - all next to complex themes and topics like the military industrial complex and nuclear deterrence. And these weird additions weren't an attempt to be zany or fun, no, these games take themselves VERY seriously. The story just became so nonsensical, they needed these outlandish things mainly to retcon certain plot points. In my opinion, this is because Kojima bites off more than he can chew. His eyes are bigger than his stomach, as he endlessly tries to tackle politics, the human condition, genetics, etc.
Also, I started to seriously question Kojima's judgement after playing MGS5. And yeah, I know Konami meddled, but most of the problems I had with that game were creative decisions made unilaterally by Kojima and had nothing to do with Konami. For example, the decision to have Keifer Sutherland play the role of Big Boss instead of David Hayter remains a head scratcher to this day. Some speculate that Kojima has kind of a fanboyish relationship to American cinema and TV, and he casted Sutherland based purely on a desire to work with him. At the expense of the actual quality of the game. I know it's a little out there but I'm kind of inclined to agree with this theory. Also, not including the poor ending caused by Konami, the actual plot beats throughout the game from start to finish were disjointed and lacked direction.
Basically, after being a lifelong fan of MGS, I'm starting to see through Kojima's BS. He wants you to think his stories and characters are as deep as the ocean. But when you jump in, you realize they have the depth of a kiddie pool. I still admire him in a way, for trying - most games don't even do that. I just don't think he is as good as he thinks he is. Like maybe he is a guy that has bought into his own cult of personality.
I have a theory about why Kojima gets so much attention as an "auteur". It's because the video game industry as a whole doesn't have anyone else who could be considered one. Unlike the film industry, game directors don't get much exposure or gratification in the mainstream.
Certainly there are well-known directors that are known for putting out good games consistently. But they aren't quite auteurs, they are just good at what they do. An auteur challenges the art form and pushes it forward, as pretentious as that sounds. They usually use risky and experimental forms of story telling. Peter Molyneux and David Cage are the only others I can think of in the ballpark, but I don't think either of them qualify either. I think part of the reason for this is the video game industry doesn't encourage experimentation or risky concepts due to the high cost of making them, so the "eccentric, talented game maker" slot is occupied by Kojima, and Kojima alone, at the moment.
Honestly, outside Kojima, who could be considered the game director equivalent of, say, Quentin Tarantino or Stanley Kubrick? Kojima is the only one who comes close. I mean to say I'm sure they exist somewhere (probably some obscure indie developer), but they don't get fame or acknowledgement like in the film industry, and I sure don't know who the heck they are.
I personally have stopped caring for Kojima's brand of story telling. And I am wary of anyone who is considered an auteur of any medium. But Kojima is the only guy in the entirety of the game industry who fits the bill somewhat and gets exposure - so he naturally gets the attention, deserved or not.
I'm pretty sure Death Stranding is one of those games that's very hard to get hyped for, but when you do get hyped it's all said and done. Nothing to do about it.
You either love Death Stranding to the point you can't wait to get your hands on it, or you're so skeptical that you almost believe it will suck a$$. I don't see any room in between.
I'm obviously on the loving side and to be honest, I can sort of see why so many people doubt the game's success. This has been the case with Kojima I think ever since MGS2. He releases something, people call it garbage and then 10 years later, everyone suddenly open their eyes and see "Wow, this was pretty damn awesome and so ahead of its time"
All I can say to the skeptical group of people, whom I see more often as we get closer to the release is, "You will come to understand it in time."
Thought the Quiet fight sucked, to be point blank blunt with you. Very few tactical options there, especially compared to The End sniper battle from MGS3 or the Crying Wolf sniper battle from MGS4.
Also the whole character of Quiet was just... bad. Her story, her arc, her character design (Oh lord). Bad on multiple levels.
I will agree that horror mission, as you called it, hit me in the feels and was pretty great. "Staff Member Has Died"
Kojima is more divisive then even back in the day. And there is one reason for that, in my humble opinion - MGS5. He made some big missteps with it, any way you slice it (and some big successes too, don't get me wrong). I don't think anyone would consider any of his games garbage, but it's like... we're starting to see through the cracks.
He mixed complex/philosophical story-telling with solid, inventive gameplay. But while it was groundbreaking to have these deep stories and themes in the 90s and early 2000s, we aren't as dazzled by it anymore.
MGS5 had the solid gameplay. But the story was borderline nonsensical. No, scratch that, remove 'borderline' from that sentence. Vocal cord parasites, something about taking away language and an evil plan to render everyone mute, because language is culture or something. A mostly naked sniper who happens to be naked because she breathes through her skin (certainly not for merchandising purposes), a 100+ year old Native American who is also a nuclear physicist. And child soldiers, to make things even more tonally inconsistent.
This is what Kojima is known for. He plays with all the beginnings of these cool ideas, but he can never make it cohesive or "bring it home", so to speak. He always stumbles and kind of makes a parody of himself with his ambitious ideas. I said it elsewhere that I admire him for trying, but his track record is not good in the story department after MGS1.
@UnlimitedSevens I appreciate your well thought out comments, although I respectfully disagree. I can agree on some of the strangeness of the narrative in Kojima’s work, but overall I find his blend of the fun and ridiculous with the serious and somber to be refreshing. It’s actually a thing Japanese games do better than Western developed games (for example, see Danganronpa, Persona, Yakuza, etc. for examples of dark storylines that have random quirkiness mixed throughout). I thoroughly enjoyed MGSV, and it’s probably my second favorite MGS game to 3, but I fully admit that the game is divisive - mostly for the reasons you state.
As far as other gamemakers that are “auteur” types, I do think there are others —
Yoko Taro, Fumito Ueda, Ken Levine all come to mind.
Well I can't disagree with much of you just said about MGS5, I also think it's pretty weak when compared to other Kojima games. It certainly stands on a lower platform.
But I don't agree with Kojima not "bringing it home". I actually think the opposite, MGS2 is a prime example of that. Yes yes I know, there's a Vampire in the game, but the overall message of the story is quite big. I'm sure being the MGS-fan you are, you already know how deep and thought-provoking MGS2 is or else... why would MGS be your favorite franchise?
The thing is, I think we should put more faith in Kojima regarding Death Stranding. This is a fresh start and is drastically different than anything he ever tried. Much bigger and much deeper, it seems. I mean, you've seen the guy's desk in his office? there's a big pile of books on his left and you KNOW for sure that he's not one to buy books and just throw them away.
With 30+ years of experience in the industry, all these innovative ideas, it's really hard for me to see Death Stranding as a failure, even hypothetically. It sure is a mystery and that's part of the point.
In any case, I think what Troy Baker means here is that Kojima's name will sell the game, SO it doesn't need much advertising like other big PS exclusives, e.g. God of War with the gigantic billboards and paintings on buildings. It's probably going to have quite a quiet launch.
I just hope everybody will get to enjoy it as much as I will. It's not blind faith, I've already enjoyed the ride so far, I know I will enjoy the rest of it.
The amount of pointless people who come on here just to tell us they have no interest in this game and dont care!.... great!, see that door?, use it!
Kojima is a great games maker and not just that he has a great eye for the surreal and unexpected.
The people on here bitching about him couldn't make a game of Pong! Let alone a masterpiece like MGS4.
I know it must be tough when you have no talent and all you seem to hear about is how very talented Kojima is, but tough, deal with it.
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