Death Stranding — Hideo Kojima Aiming for the Opposite of Super Mario’s Feeling of Freedom

Hideo Kojima talked more about his upcoming PS4 game Death Stranding and how he works with actors when creating his awesome cutscenes.

on June 12, 2018 7:03 PM

During a panel part of the E3 Coliseum live coverage, Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima provided more information about the upcoming game and his work with cutscenes and actors..

Below you can read a summary of what he shared.

  • Kojima-san is aiming for the opposite of the sensations of catharsis given by Super Mario‘s freedom of movement and abilities. The character can trip on stones, he has to be careful about his balance when walking, and he can be washed away by a river. All of these elements exist because of Super Mario. 
  • He disagrees with the way some developers work with cutscenes, having them directed by a different person from gameplay, and at times even a different studio. Ideally, he likes to have only one camera from the beginning to the end of the game, transitioning smoothly between gameplay and cutscenes. It’s very difficult to execute, like trying to shoot an action scene in a single cut.
  • Creating cutscenes doesn’t feel to Kojima-san like he’s making a movie. He still feels like he’s working on a game. Everything he creates is digital, so being there with the actors during performance capture, and seeing their unique reactions and when they come up with their own ideas beyond the script is a lot of fun for him.
  • He is a perfectionist, but if an actor provides him with an idea that will improve the performance, he will adopt it. By using certain actors and actresses, he expects an impact from them. If it was just a matter of scanning them, they wouldn’t even need to be there. They’re creating the game together. When he started working with Norman Reedus, he wanted to show aspects of him that people hadn’t seen, but those ideas have evolved since thanks to Reedus’ own input, and that’s what makes it interesting. The same goes for Mads Mikkelsen. Reedus and Mikkelsen provided many ideas, and this was very fun for Kojima-san. Building a relationship of trust with the cast is becoming increasingly crucial for games.
  • His nature would lead him to ask actors to do things over and over until they get it right, but it wouldn’t be interesting and fun to do it like that. He wants to absorb what directors like Ben Affleck and Clint Eastwood do in order to get the best out of their actors, having been actors themselves.
  • Designing Norman Reedus’ suit was very difficult. The aim was to design something different from the equipment of a hero, and more similar to that of a blue collar. At the beginning it was more science-fiction-like, but it didn’t fit right. They tried several solutions, and Yoji Shinkawa suggested something looking more normal.

If you want to see more about Death Stranding, you can enjoy some great screenshots from this morning and the gameplay from yesterday evening. We can also watch the previous video presented at The Game Awards in 2017, the amazing key art shared by Hideo Kojima himself,  some tech work done on the engine, the first trailer that introduced the game to the world, and the second trailer from 2016.

At the moment the game is coming for PS4. No other platforms have been announced.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.