The Japanese creator of the Metal Gear saga is back with a new title. This is his story:
He would never have become a director: it was too expensive. It didn’t even work economically at university: studies bored him. Of one thing he was certain: creating stories was his passion. So Hideo Kojima chose to try his hand at the world of video games, leaving a track and his style just like Hitchcock or Sergio Leone did in the cinema.
The creator of the Metal Gear saga is the Japanese icon of the gaming world that everyone is talking about: in these hours his last title for PlayStation 4, Death Stranding is finally available. Perhaps the most anticipated game of the year, above all because the timing gave it a release only in 2020. It is not an open world, but little is missing: it will be a long journey set in the United States in a post apocalyptic future, where the protagonist Sam – actor Norman Reedus, face of The Walking Dead, lent the face and body to the company – he will have to deliver packages to connect the country again. Is this how you imagine the future Kojima?
The origins: cinema with debate
Born in 1963 in Tokyo, Hideo Kojima grew up in a family where there was only one rule that one could not just break: nothing to sleep before finishing the film on television. The love for cinema immediately blossomed in the home of the Setagaya district, where the child has matured an early cinephile culture, day after day. At the age of ten, his parents even gave him permission to go to the cinema alone, provided he was willing to discuss and comment on direction and screenplay. Kojima watched films of all kinds, especially American ones, including those reserved for an adult audience. Cinema with debate was and remains for many a pleasure only for intellectuals: for Kojima it was like its university.
Hideo Kojima’s father died when the future game designer is only 13 years old. A devastating loss at that age, above all because one of the figures who had ignited in him the desire and the dream of becoming a film-maker was missing. But the passion for cinema did not fade and would soon be joined by that for the video games that the boy discovered like so many of his peers at the Famicom (NES), the video game fair in Japan where Nintendo began to make itself known with the first masterpieces.
Just university: the adventure begins in Konami
However, at the fourth year of university Hideo Kojima took the most important decision of his life: to leave the economy to devote himself body and soul to the world of video games. In 1986 he was hired by Konami, one of the few companies in the sector listed on the stock exchange (Nintendo at the time had no shares). Thanks to the cinematographic culture, the father of the Metal Gear saga began to think of new gameplay modes, where in addition to killing and clashing directly with enemies the player could have followed another, more furtive style. This is how the stealth genre, a lucky and highly copied game mode that we still encounter in titles like Far Cry, Tomb Raider and Uncharted, began to sprout.
The first masterpiece by Hideo Kojima
The first chapter of Metal Gear was released in 1987, a success that laid the foundations of the stealth genre. The sequel, Snakes Revange, would have been half a disappointment. The anecdote speaks of a journey by train with a member of the Konami team that would convince Hideo Kojima to take his toy back into his hands to continue the story: in 1990 he saw the light Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake. A geological era ago, considering that the video games available were still in two dimensions.
It’s not like the one we find on current consoles, but the three-dimensionality of Metal Gear Solid was the result of an effort that Hideo Kojima had asked his team, in charge of creating an engine (engine) 3D. Thanks to innovative graphics for the nineties, the designer could afford a more studied and cinematographic plot.
By now his name was known all over the world and the saga ready for the big jump on PlayStation 2: Konami believed and invested (a lot) on the series so much that Metal Gear Solid 2 even enjoyed an exceptional cameo like that of the composer Harry Gregson Williams. During the E3 in Los Angeles, just seconds after the official launch of the game, fans and the press were all huddled in an almost sacred expectation.
The divorce from Konami
The relationship between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the company that had financed all his projects, continues with the successes of Metal Gear up to the shock case of Silent Hill. Inspired by a true American city with a spooky atmosphere, the video game Hideo Kojima was about to make in collaboration with the future Oscar-winning director, Guillermo del Toro, and actor Norman Reedus, never came out due to a decision by the same company yet today unclear.
Death Stranding: a stellar cast
It is not known why the relationship between the creative and Konami has ended: Kojima Productions has immediately become an independent signature, involved by Sony in a prestigious collaboration for a title that, once again, has mixed the compelling story with gameplay and cinema . In recent years Normdan Reedus and Guillermo del Toro have worked with Hideo Kojima to give birth to a title like Death Stranding. The 7-minute, 54-second trailer is a first glimpse of an unprecedented work for many.
In addition to Norman Reedus, on Death Stranding the players will compete (and clash) with the other protagonists of the title, rediscovering in the characters some famous faces of the cinema. The same director Guillermo del Toro has lent his face and Hideo Kojima has managed to involve actors like Madds Mikkelsen (James Bond’s enemy in Casino Royale), Léa Seydoux (Golden Palm at Cannes for La vita di Adele) and Lindsay Wagner (protagonist of the TV series of the 70s The bionic woman).