Last night as part of Tribeca Talks at the Tribeca Film Festival, host Geoff Keighley spoke to Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus in a panel dedicated to Death Stranding, Kojima’s hotly anticipated latest project. Kojima talked about the idea of connectedness, Reedus’s importance in shaping the game’s protagonist Sam, and about an area in Death Stranding where the player takes control of the camera.
Speaking through a translator, Kojima shared details on what kind of game Death Stranding will be with the panel’s audience. “It’s an open world game, but it’s really something new. There are so many things happening in the real world, in America, in Europe. Everything is actually connected by the internet, but in a way we’re not connected in the real world these days.”
Further elaborating on the theme of connection, Kojima explains that he’s “putting that as a metaphor in the game. The player will have to reconnect the world in the game. You’ve very alone. There’s solitude, but you’re trying to connect. [For] the story and the gameplay, the key word is ‘connection.'”
Kojima told the audience that he “threw in a really new idea” that will be unique and innovative in Death Stranding.
You’re connecting the game, and everyone is playing it together. You’ll be connected. Everyone will be connected together as well.
Does this mean a wild new approach to multiplayer for Death Stranding? Kojima played coy on how connectivity will be implemented in the game. “I can’t say anything because Sony will be very unhappy. I don’t want to be disconnected from Sony.”
Reedus, most recognizable for playing Daryl on The Walking Dead, spoke to the audience about how Death Stranding is different from every game he’s seen before.
It’s a different way of thinking. I have a teenage son. I’ve played some games where you just kill everybody. It’s not like that. There’s violent elements to it, but it’s just a different thing.
The pair talked about their collaborative relationship working on the title, and shared their respect for one another as artists. On Reedus, Kojima stated that he’s “going to put every aspect of Norman in there. There’s a lot of long cutscenes. You’ll see Norman as Sam in the game, and see his acting. You’ll enjoy that.”
Back to that area where the player becomes the camera. Kojima explains, “You won’t be controlling Norman or Sam. You’ll just be controlling a camera. You’ll see Sam or Norman, and you can kind of move the camera to see around. When you look at him he might do something like wink at you. You’ll be a Norman fan.” Pretty weird, but fans of Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series will be familiar with his meta approach to storytelling.
Reedus told the audience that Kojima would make a “great film director” and called him an “honest artist.”
Kojima and Reedus went on to talk about the process of working on such an ambitious project and the process of capturing a complete 3D scan of Reedus, including all his tattoos.
The panel session at Tribeca Talks did not include a new trailer or any gameplay footage, but Kojima teased that there will be more Death Stranding information in a month or two. It’s a reasonable to assume that there may be a Death Stranding announcement in June, even though Sony is will not be at E3 this year.