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Death Stranding has been building up its hype ever since it was first announced, but that’s not too different from most video games these days. However, those involved – Hideo Kojima, Norman Reedus etc. – have brought considerable attention to the game ever since their involvement was first revealed.
On top of that, anything that Kojima was announced as working on post-Metal Gear Solid and post-Konami was bound to gain considerable attention. But, that’s not the only way Death Stranding’s marketing cycle has been different from most other video games; typical games follow the same pattern of cinematic trailer, developer interviews, in-game trailer and then release.
Throughout that time, not only are the characters shown off, but so are the games’ world, monsters, mechanics and hints of the overall plot. That’s not been the case here, though the hype has still been growing and growing. Since its unveiling back in 2016, the game has gotten four separate trailers, with three of those mainly showing off the cast that Hideo Kojima has managed to get; namely, naked Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen.
The fourth helped show off some monsters, as well as some more minor aspects of the game world. At this point, many people aren’t even sure what genre the game properly falls into, never mind what the story may be. Outside of Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen’s seemingly antagonistic relationship – as shown by one of the trailers – it’s unclear as to whose side each character is on.
Because of that, we’re left with very little information about what the game is actually about; what we do know essentially boils down to Mads Mikkelsen wanting a baby currently being protected by Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus and monsters somehow factor into this equation. Outside of that, there’s very little to actually go on. With that in mind, it’s worth asking the question of whether or not the hype is actually justified.
Now, don’t get me wrong here; many Hideo Kojima releases deserve a certain amount of hype, especially now that it’s his first release since the Konami/Metal Gear Solid V debacle and he now has more creative freedom. However, it seems that Kojima has been turned into an almost mythical developer who can’t do anything wrong.
Then there’s the addition of the main cast that we’ve already mentioned, and we’ve gotten more and more hype for a game that we know little about, aside from the main developer and three cast members. That being said, though, Kojima has teased a handful of details outside of that, but many of them come across as extremely cryptic; while Kojima and a handful of other people know what he’s referring to, very few people outside of Kojima Productions are in-the-know, so to speak.
While we can’t exactly blame Kojima for all the hype that’s been generated around Death Stranding – he’s been busy creating a studio and developing its first game, after all – he hasn’t exactly helped in easing the reaction to it.
We’ve seen games become extremely over-hyped before, often to disastrous effects (say hi to No Man’s Sky!). While players would expect nothing less than a stunning game from Hideo Kojima and his new studio, it’s clear that the hype may need to be tempered slightly, or we risk turning Death Stranding into a game that’s too perfect before we’ve even seen a demo for it. Because of that, it may not end up being the game that many of us are expecting.