Death Stranding is one of the more polarizing major releases of the past few years. While some applaud the game’s creator Hideo Kojima for taking risks and staying true to such a unique vision, others criticize the title for being an overly-developed walking simulator with uninspiring gameplay. One thing to bring both sides together, however, is the game’s music, which served to set the stage and bring a number of Kojima’s favorite performers to the forefront. This is nothing new for the former Konami dev, who often places music at the forefront of his creations.
During a trip to Iceland some years ago, Kojima became enamored with the band Low Roar. The band’s inclusion in Death Stranding is nothing strange–the game’s environment looks very Icelandic with its vast expanses and moss-covered mountains. “I thought Low Roar’s music would match this harsh but beautiful and pure environmental setting,” Kojima said in an interview.
Sadly, over the weekend, Ryan Karazija, the band’s founder and lead singer, passed away after a brief illness due to complications from pneumonia. Kojima was profoundly impacted by the shocking news, and the past few days have seen the developer’s Twitter feed filled with tributes to the performer.
See Kojima’s initial post regarding the tragedy below.
Low Roar posted a brief notice on Facebook addressing the unfortunate news.
“His beautiful music and lyrics, sung in his haunting voice have touched the lives of so many people all over the world, and will continue to do so,” the post reads. He was a kind and beautiful soul and our worlds are shattered by the loss of him. May we honor his memory through his art and hold him forever in his songs. The sixth Low Roar record was already underway and will be completed and released when it is ready. Please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time.”
Kojima Productions also offered a brief statement on Twitter. “With respect to Ryan Karazija’s creations, we are grateful that we met and honored to have worked with him. May he rest in peace,” it reads.
Death Stranding was released for the PlayStation 4 in November 2019 and for the PC in July 2020. A director’s cut version was released for the PlayStation 5 in September 2021, followed by a PC release in March 2022. The game won a number of awards following its release, including Best Game Direction, Best Score/Music, and Best Performance (Mads Mikkelsen) at The Game Awards 2019.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Hideo Kojima offered insight into his career and his aspirations for the future. “For the first person, everything is hard. But I want to be the first. I want to keep being the first,” he said.
According to Norman Reedus, a sequel to Death Stranding is in development.