It turns out that the Death Stranding 2 that we now know, is not necessarily the Death Stranding 2 that we were once going to get. The world has already been through a lot in the years since Hideo Kojima launched Death Stranding on the PS4 in 2019, what with a global pandemic to contend with and all that, and fans have already noted the distinct correlation between the theme’s of Kojima’s 2019 Game of the Year winning title, and the events that the world experiences mere months after the game launched. It seems that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just impact our health, and our ability to navigate the world, because, as it turns out, it also impact the stories that Kojima himself wanted to tell.
This Thursday saw the reveal of Death Stranding 2, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2019 hit, and as well as sharing it with the world via a debut trailer, players also got a tiny bit of insight into the project and the ways with which the project was informed or altered based upon what the world experienced. Kojima likes himself a bit of theatre, and Geoff Keighley, host of The Game Awards, gave him the platform for his theatrics – giving some cherished airtime on The Game Awards stage, to discuss Death Stranding 2 in detail following its reveal, and in doing so we learned a bit about how Kojima reworked the story based on the impacts of the pandemic.
Speaking to Keighley, Kojima said, following the game’s premiere, “I had the story written before the pandemic, but after experiencing the pandemic, I rewrote the whole thing from scratch,” and in a moment of acknowledgment of the coincidences of his 2019 game and what would later follow, Kojima continued by saying “I also didn’t want to predict any more future, so I rewrote it.”
Of course, much like The Simpsons, this is not the first time that Kojima has rightly predicted the future, with Metal Gear Solid 2 being an incredible early look into how misinformation can virally spread. Of course, as well as a rewrite, Kojima has also done a lot of work to leave a range of nuggets of plot in the trailer for the eagle-eyed fans to devour, saying “I put a lot of things inside [the trailer] so I want you guys to talk about it and find details in it.”