Hideo Kojima says it’s hard to explain what Death Stranding is because it’s a new genre.
A major component of Death Stranding‘s gameplay, now that we know a lot more about how it works, is travelling across vast distances to deliver items and reconnect the world.
Although earlier footage showed some combat, it’s not as straightforward as in Hideo Kojima’s other projects. Because of this, the creator is aware that some would reductively call Death Stranding a walking simulator – a term that refers to narrative-based games where you unravel the story simply by moving around the world and absorbing everything it throws at you.
Death Stranding is not quite that, Kojima explained. “In this game, I think you will not understand if I just say this, but once you start playing the game, just walking in that world is really fun,” he told Game Informer.
“What I realized is, when I monitor playtests – even the staff’s – they don’t get it at first. But when they really start playing, just walking is really fun in the space.
“And now everyone will say, ‘Oh, it’s a walking simulator!'”
To Kojima, this is a similar situation to when he released the first Metal Gear game, back when the stealth genre wasn’t as established as it is today.
“It’s the same as when I first brought out a stealth game. If 100 people play it and 100 people say it’s fun, it means the genre or the game already exists,” he added.
“But this is a new genre – same as stealth the first time, there will be people who don’t get it. It will take time for the real evaluations to come in.”
The new system he’s referring to is the Strand system, which he hopes will spawn its own genre. It’s essentially a form of asynchronous multiplayer where players can have an effect on each other’s worlds without being there, such as leaving messages and equipment behind for others.
In the same interview, Kojima touched on how some of the game’s story elements and mechanics can be viewed as a metaphor for present-day politics.
Death Stranding is out November 8 on PS4.