Hideo Kojima wants Death Stranding to be a game about “creating connections” rather than dividing its players into winners and losers. In an article on Rolling Stone, he cites films like Dunkirk and The Great Escape as inspirations for a different type of war game.
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Kojima says that The Great Escape helped create his first game, Metal Gear, back in 1987. Due to hardware limitations, he realised he couldn’t make the game of all-out war that his superiors were encouraging, and instead “devised a game based on avoiding conflict and sneaking past enemies.”
Kojima says that since the very first videogames, “competition was the common key component. Conflict is a means to victory. A detailed explanation isn't required. All Mario needs to do to rescue the princess is defeat his foes.”
But it’s this sense of competition, especially in war, that Kojima wants to leave behind. He says Dunkirk and The Great Escape are both films about survival, escape, and protecting human life, and that’s why they influence Death Stranding so heavily.
Kojima concludes his article by saying, “We are ready for a game not based on competition, but that will bring good to the player and make connections. We don't need a game about dividing players between winners and losers, but about creating connections at a different level.”
“We are still awash in a flood of games where defeating enemies is the focus. It's time for video games to achieve their Dunkirk, their The Great Escape. We need a game that maintains the essence and fun unique to the medium, but also offers a completely new type of experience.”