It’s no secret that Death Stranding shares many of the typical hallmarks often associated with the perplexing works of gaming auteur Hideo Kojima. As a result, the genre Death Stranding inherits has gradually become a matter of hot debate. Sure enough, systemic themes and concepts are present that reflect familiar, industry tropes.
In truth, many of the integrated design systems are synonymous with the current day. That said, the vague obscurity of it all, coupled with confusion over how this obtuse cocktail of systems will infuse when the game hits stores, has raised many questions.
Though that may be correct, the brainchild of Death Stranding has other ideas. Better still, in true signature fashion, the answer is not what you may be inclined to think.
Recently, the legendary Hideo Kojima jumped on Twitter to issue some clarification on the subject, thus, outlining his unique impressions of the game and what genre it adopts. Or rather, which hybrid sub-niche Death Stranding conceptualizes altogether.
If one had to pigeonhole DS as belonging to a specific genre, then action would surely clinch it, as the most appropriate and suitable label. Besides, nowhere is this demonstrated to more significant effect than in the Death Standing release teaser. At least in my eyes, anyhow.
According to Hideo, “DS is not a stealth game,” nor is it an “FPS shooting game either.”
Commenting further, Kojima said, “By incorporating with the concept of connection (strand), it’s a totally brand-new genre called action game/strand game (social strand system).”
Interestingly, though, there are stark examples of both genres at play, just as this snippet appears to portray. With that in mind, the lead protagonist, Sam Porter Bridges, played by iconic The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, is continually shifting between stealth and shooting sections, as he navigates the ominously dystopian world of Death Stranding.
A dark and dreary dreamworld cooked up by the vivid imagination of a creative auteur.
Although the action scenes are evident all around, Hideo seems intent on the lesser distinguished “strand” side of DS, seemingly shifting his attention span to a deeper meaning, as he so often does.
Indeed, this notion of “connection” perhaps eludes to a flexible and interchangeable experience, whereby any regular norms need not apply. So then, it’s best to think outside the box, especially whenever Hideo is concerned. Of course, Kojima has always shied away from convention. And, it’s fair to say, that the esteemed developer sees his craft as more of an art form than a day job.
Suffice to say, the industry revolutionary has always done things his way, adapting trends and coining terms in the process. Of course, it’s not the first time that this abstract notion of cohesion has materialized.
Kojima’s most beloved franchise, Metal Gear Solid, is known as a trailblazer of its era. Not least so, for having meshed third-person shooting with a strong focus on cinematic direction and narrative. In short, a blend that would become known as Tactical Espionage Action. Unheard of, at least at the time of release.
Not only that, but Metal Gear Solid, The HD Collection, allowed Hideo to showcase his innovative talents to the consumer. By giving players the option to save and switch data between systems seamlessly. He even gave this tool a name: Transfarring. Ah, only Hideo could pull that off and get away with it!
All in all, the jury’s out on just what DS is, definitively. But Hideo would like you to believe Death Stranding is a sort of trailblazing concept unseen of in video games. And, from what I’ve seen so far, I’m in agreeance with the great man. Plus, Kojima’s track record speaks volumes.
Regardless of what Death Stranding is, or turns out to be, quality content is rest assured. Not to mention top-end production values, an area in which Hideo seems obsessed with, often raising the bar with any game that gets his official stamp of approval and endorsement.
Thankfully, players now have a release date set in stone. Once thought of as a next-gen game, the Sony exclusive is confirmed to be hitting stores on November 8, 2019. So then, sooner than expected. The hype surrounding Death Stranding has elevated to such stratospheric levels that those following its progression must be content to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
For me, DS looks like another timeless classic in the making. Moreover, I can’t wait to put the game through its paces. On that note, stereotypical genre or not, Death Stranding could change the way we perceive video games forever.
We want to know. What are your thoughts on Death Stranding? Is it purely an action game? Or, is their more here at play? Maybe, DS flirts with different genres? As always, your views matter to us. So please, voice them, via the chat below.