Death Stranding is a metaphor for Trump’s America, according to Hideo Kojima
Hideo Kojima has expanded on the themes and current events that inspired Death Stranding, which is due to launch exclusively for PS4 this November.
Speaking in an interview with Game Informer (via VG247), the head of Kojima Productions was incredibly frank about what inspired his new outing: “It’s about America.”
“I made that map deliberately not correctly America. Maybe it looks like Japan from that angle. I want people to not think ‘America,’ but ‘where you are.’ Because it depends on who is seeing it. And of course, it’s in the future, and everyone’s connected by internet, but everyone is fragmented. That’s kind of a metaphor as well.”
Hideo Kojima’s catalogue is no stranger to political themes, with Metal Gear Solid being an almost incomprehensible thread of political intrigue, military tactics and a direct reflection on how technology would come to shape our world. In a way, it was almost prophetic, if incredibly silly at the same time.
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Death Stranding appears to take a rather similar approach, with its plot following Norman’s Reedus’ character Sam ‘Porter’ Bridges as he travels a fractured United States delivering packages and hoping his deeds will help piece the decaying country back together.
Throughout the game, players will connect to UCA services (United Cities of America) connecting different locations through an intertwining network that will eventually bring them together. This is where the notion of ‘strand’ comes from in the title.
“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,” explains Kojima, touching on Trump’s administration and potentially Brexit, and how these events have only left society more divided than ever before. Death Stranding takes this idea to its extreme, throwing in paranormal elements for good measure.
The narrative of Death Stranding is simple at its core, but all of the unusual concepts surrounding it give Kojima Production’s debut outing a strange twist that hardcore fans will likely spend months delving into. In terms of gameplay, it feels like a fascinating mixture of Metal Gear Solid and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Players are let loose in a huge world filled with possibilities, and beyond the main campaign, you can make it your own.