Death Stranding’s reviews are nowhere near as divisive as they’ve been painted to be, but the game did come under intense scrutiny from some American publications, namely IGN and Giant Bomb. While the criticism hasn’t come exclusively from US-based media – British magazine EDGE outright refused to review it, for example – creator Hideo Kojima has noticed a trend.
“I must say that the game received rave reviews, especially in Europe and Japan,” he told Italian site Tgcom24. “In the United States, however, we have had stronger criticisms. Perhaps it is a difficult game to understand for a certain type of critic and audience. Americans are great fans of first-person shooters and Death Stranding isn't one, it flies higher.”
Kojima continued that he doesn’t take the criticism personally, and he’s thankful that the title has got people talking: “I always try to create new things and disputes and discussions are fine, but it must be said that the Italians or the French have a different artistic sensibility that allows them to appreciate this kind of very original product, not only in video games but also in cinema.”
It’s perhaps worth stressing that Kojima was talking in Japanese in this interview, which was then translated to Italian before being converted to English. As such, some of the phrases may come across to differently to the way the auteur intended. Personally, we don’t think this is a regional thing: many people love the PlayStation 4 console exclusive, but it’s clearly not a game for absolutely everyone.