Hideo Kojima Says Death Stranding "Worst-Case Scenario" World, References Trump And Brexit

"It's like 1984," says Death Stranding director.

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Death Stranding confronts dark subject matter, but it appears to be an optimistic game about building connections with other people. Game director Hideo Kojima says that darkness was why he insisted on building in a purely positive game mechanic, and also plays out in how characters relate to you in the story.

Kojima told Game Informer that the "Like" system, which allows players to give each other kudos, was meant to be a purely positive mechanic without any competition or currency attached. You can't ever have too much of it, and there's no option to dislike or thumbs-down someone. He said this was a conscious choice to help counteract how bleak the world was otherwise.

"Because the world setting is the dark and lowest world you can think of," he said. "Your solitude, you're alone--the storyline itself is a worst-case scenario. So why don't I put in a system where it's really more positive than negative?"

He also talked more about the story of the game and building connections between cities. Some people you encounter will be unwilling to help build connections because they don't want to repeat past mistakes. Kojima suggests that world events similar to the election of President Trump and Brexit may exist in the past of this world, making NPCs uneasy with building connections to other cities.

"For Bridges' sake, you're connecting from east to west and they want you to join the UCA--the United Cities of America. When you connect, you can use UCA services, but at the same time, they're retrieving your information 24 hours a day. It's like 1984. Some people may not like that, and say 'I'm not going to connect to UCA, because we're going to repeat the same thing that we did.' Like Trump, or the EU, these things. It's a metaphor. However, if you get really close, they start to say, 'Okay, I'll connect.'"

Death Stranding is coming to PS4 on November 8. We recently saw an extended gameplay demo with much more detail on how Sam relaxes in between his courier missions.

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