Hideo Kojima has been making video games for more than thirty years, but his creative well is far from running dry. In fact, the veteran game designer only becomes more innovative with the passage of time continuously finding new ways to express himself through the medium. His most prized creation was the Metal Gear Solid franchise, which he stuck with from 1987 until 2015 when he and publisher Konami had a vicious falling out, resulting in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain releasing in an unfinished state.
As devastating as this was for Kojima and the industry, he quickly dusted himself off and set to work on his next project, that being the soon to be released Death Stranding. Despite the bevy of trailers, much of the title remains a mystery, and fans of the enigmatic creator wouldn't have it any other way.
Even if the game will be a different genre, one which Kojima says he is inventing, comparisons to Metal Gear will be unavoidable. Surely, there will be some DNA from the series within Death Stranding. With this in mind, the following ten entries will discuss five things Death Stranding should keep from Metal Gear, and five things it should get rid of.
10 Needs To Keep: The Weirdness
Kojima detractors bemoan the stranger parts of Metal Gear. The series takes metaphysical science as truth and uses strong symbolism to get its messages across, like Venom Snake's horn shaped piece of shrapnel lodged in his head. Kojima has referenced filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Lynch as influences on his work, and it shows. Death Stranding should also embrace the weirdness, and remember that it is a story and not an imitation of real life.
9 Need To Go: Risque Depictions Of Women
This one's subjective, but there are several characters in Metal Gear who can be described as "too much". The most obvious example is Quiet from the Phantom Pain, who is scantily clad because she gets nutrients through photosynthesis.
Sniper Wolf and Eva arguably fall into this trap as well, but at least the latter was using her wiles as a way to get closer to Snake as a part of her mission. There's nothing wrong with a character showing a little skin, but it can be unnecessary.
8 Needs To Keep: One Take Cinematics
Cutscenes in the series have always been impressive, even if they are too long for some people's tastes. The Phantom Pain took the series' cinematics to whole new heights by having each one executed in one take. It seems like a simple thing, but conveying all the necessary information to the viewer without cutting to a different angle takes complex planning.
7 Needs To Go: Endless Exposition
The Phantom Pain already remedied this somewhat, and Death Stranding would do well to continue this trend. Instead of all the details being told to the player directly, there were audio tapes that could be listened to while exploring the open world or even through a phone app. Death Stranding will surely have some rich lore elements, but it should find creative ways of explaining it.
6 Need To Keep: The Intensity
Video Games are just about the exact opposite of exercising, but Metal Gear can make someone break into a sweat like they were running a marathon. Whether it's the heart-pounding stealth or the visceral cinematics, the series is filled with tension. Given the ruined state of the USA scene in the trailers, Death Stranding already appears to be a dark story. One can probably expect to find intense gameplay moments running away from BTs, and also in high stakes cinematics
5 Needs To Go: Lack Of Post Game Content
Each Metal Gear game is a tight single player story that calls for multiple playthroughs. The worlds are highly interactive, with each area presenting numerous gameplay possibilities. Unfortunately, there is little to do outside of the story. Peace Walker and The Phantom Pain were heading in the right direction with bonus missions. Kojima's new game should give players even more to do after the main story is done.
4 Needs To Keep: Game Play Variety
Metal Gear games tend to keep the same core gameplay throughout, but puts players into new situations that force them to use these mechanics in new ways. Shining examples of this are the bomb disposal parts in MGS2, escaping the dark cave in MGS3, and following the resistance member in MGS4.
The controls for Sam Bridges should remain similar on the journey, but new challenges must make the player think to find innovative methods of implementing these actions.
3 Needs To Go: Illogical Plot Points
This may seem contradictory to other entries, but there is a difference between being weird and downright nonsensical. At their best, the series' strange turns add to the story. At their worst, they strive to connect characters and events that didn't need to be related. Because this is the first game, this problem has little chance of showing up, but Kojima should be cautious if any sequels are produced.
2 Needs To Keep: The Humor
Kojima's games tend to have dark, heavy moods. This doesn't mean that there aren't moments of levity, however. If something is dark all the time, then it loses some impact. Sam Bridges shouldn't be breaking into "who's on first", but there should be moments of respite. Besides, there are always laughs to be had in an open world.
1 Needs To Go: Father/Son Characters Who Look And Sound Exactly The Same
It's well understood that Snake is a clone of Big Boss, but their identical look and voice break the immersion. This problem was alleviated as time went on and the two were differentiated, first by their physical appearance, and then with their voice. If there are clones separated generations in Death Stranding, hopefully, they stand out from each other a little more.