3 Things George Miller Had To Say About Death Stranding

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3 Things George Miller Had To Say About Death Stranding

“The skill I see in great filmmakers, I now see in Kojima’s hands.”

Hideo Kojima is an enormous film buff — a large chunk of his games are really akin to an esoteric film — so it’s no surprise that George Miller, the Australian director of the Mad Max franchise, would be hugely into Death Stranding.

IGN has put together a banger of a video, somehow getting Miller to sit down not only long enough to see parts of Death Stranding, but also to offer his thoughts on it as a filmmaker.

Unsurprisingly, he’s hugely into it. Miller’s less concerned with the mechanics of the game than the themes and principles behind it, which isn’t a huge surprise. Directors are responsible for bringing a creative vision to life, much in the same way a lead designer would, so the fact that the game might be mechanically boring for some doesn’t really matter.

Perhaps the biggest compliment — and one Kojima would certainly be chuffed by — is where Miller likens Kojima to some of the great filmmakers.

“In the collaborative arts, there is usually one voice ultimately. It’s usually somebody who has the inspiration for the first idea, but has got the mechanism, the skill, the craft and make it a full work. The person who has that, has to do one very important thing, that is create the strategies with which everyone else can work. They have to be coherent, elegant, holistic strategies that unify the piece. the skill i see in great filmmakers, I see in Kojima-san’s work.”

I can’t help but wonder if Miller’s Death Stranding experience was mostly the cut-scenes. Either way, he loved it.

I was overwhelmed by what I saw. We’re in the hands here in a master in terms of visual representation, taking out of the imagination and making it real on a screen. But to some degree, that’s the necessary surface of the thing. I think thematically, the player is being invited into a experience that is very, very profound and very deep.

Something that really impressed Miller was the indirect and direct connection players have with each other. The idea that everyone has a shared history, a shared journey, was a huge plus point for the filmmaker.

“Something I’ve always thought was really interesting, everything in this room, everything on the roadways we travel, carry with them a tremendous amount of history. We walk in each others’ paths. And that’s what’s happening in this game. So even though you’re alone, you’re following paths of complete strangers, and yet somehow they have an effect on you. That’s a very, very powerful analogy to what happens in life. And it feels to me the player can have that experience made manifest before them in a very direct way, a very original way.”

All of it makes me wonder what that unreleased Mad Max game could have been. George Miller was receptive to Mad Max: Asylum back in the day. Maybe someone can take a leap with Fury Road the way Death Stranding tried to. That’d be nice.

Comments

  • I am truly blown away by the game. It reminds me that it is not the games dev job to necessarily make a game that satisfy players but for players to find things in their games that satisfy or interests them.

    I may not agree with all the choices him (and the team) made for this game, but the amount of things he hits out of the park, even if normally they wouldnt be my thing, is simply breathtaking and humbling.

    What is even more amazing is that a game like this can still defy the odds of the triple AAA scene and actually get made at all. If only more studios would take risks like this.

    • It’s not hard to take risks when you’ve got Sony money backing you…
      I’m not trying to say anything against Kojima or this game, but Sony threw money at something they knew would sell solely on the back of the Kojima name, even if it turned out to be crap (people would defend it anyway, claiming critics didn’t “get” it).
      Even the bigger studios can’t necessarily throw that kind of money around on something entirely new like this and expect it to sell regardless.

      I do also wish they would at least try, though.

      • Sony have a great track record though.

        After being a PC gamer for a long time, a lifelong gamer since I could walk, I became a Sony fan after buying a PS2 just for the insane amount of genuinely novel experiences I was missing out on. God Hand, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona, Metal Gear, Viewtiful Joe to name a few.

        PS3 had less interesting exclusives, but Demon Souls alone pretty much justified it.

  • Even the bigger studios can’t necessarily throw that kind of money around on something entirely new like this and expect it to sell regardless.

    Oh they could, they just choose not to. Call of Duty, I am looking at you. Places like Activision, Ubisoft, could be taking the exactly same risks as Sony, but for whatever reason (the stakeholders?), they choose not to, they havent done anything brave in years. Yet Sony constantly hits it out of the park: Spider-man, God of War, Last of Us, Horizon etc all very diverse and rarely missing.

    but yeah you are right… if only.

    • To be fair, I think Sony has played it incredibly smart.
      By producing top tier single player (must play) games without awful monetisation, they sell more systems and make more money from their online store.

      Remember, Sony takes a 30% cut of ALL games sold on their digital store. This is massive. Sony doesn’t need their AAA exclusives to have a long tail… they just need to keep people engaged within their ecosystem.

      It’s why I cannot for the life of me understand why Valve is so incredibly useless, only making junky F2P GaaS, when their whole store was built on the back of incredible single player games.

      • Valve is so incredibly useless, only making junky F2P GaaS

        Because Steam, due to its simple yet effective design, layout and ‘just working’ and the internets unhealthy obsession with it, means it makes so much damn money, they never need to make another game again technically.

        That’s why a lot is either in new tech (Vive, Steam Box, etc) or games that influence the Steam economy (DOTA2,etc).

        They aren’t really a game studio anymore, they are a business that sometimes might produce a game, which normally helps Steam as a whole make more money.

        Every AAA, indie, microtransaction and marketplace trade/sell on Steam gives valve a percentage of profit and have enough per day, and they are swimming in cash.

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