It’s been derided as a walking simulator by some, and Hideo Kojima’s most recent game Death Stranding sure is a love it or hate it affair.
This is reflected in the game’s Metacritic scores, which run the gamut from perfect 100s to the lowly 30s, with user reviews painting a similar picture of Kojima’s latest game – it surely is one of the most polarizing video games to have hit shelves in years.
Others have criticized Death Stranding for its shameless product placements, such as the Monster energy drinks that the game’s protagonist (played by The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus) can consume during the game.
And now Kojima has hit back at some of his critics, in particular those in the US, saying maybe they cannot appreciate Death Stranding because it’s different to the kind of game they are used to playing.
“Maybe this is a game that is difficult to understand for a certain type of critic or audience. Americans are big fans of first-person shooters and Death Stranding is not, it is flying higher”, said Kojima in an interview with Italian news outlet TgCom24 (via VG247).
“I always try to create new things and disputes and discussions are fine, but it must be said that the Italians or the French have a different artistic sensibility that allows them to appreciate this kind of very original products”, added Kojima.
The irony of this is that many European websites have given Death Stranding lower scores than US websites as VG247 points out, but then again Kojima was talking to an Italian news channel so let’s leave it at that…
The game thus far seems to be doing quite well – if it was a movie, critics would be saying it had a strong “opening weekend”. It’s shot to the top of the charts in Japan with sales slightly short of 200,000, and its launch sales have actually surpassed that of any other new IP (that is not a sequel or a game belonging to an established franchise) this generation. It even landed on second place in the UK charts, lending some credence to Kojima’s comments about European gamers being more fond of games like Death Stranding…
Death Stranding is flying high for the time being then, but it remains to be seen whether the PS4 exclusive can sustain the momentum and end up becoming a true hit for Sony this generation.