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The Lyrical Strangeness of Kojima: Death Stranding 2 On The Beach

Now, Kojima should be perfect for me. I mean, I love movies as much as I love video games. Give me Sunset Boulevard, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, or Synecdoch...

S. Dent

Feb 01, 2024

The Lyrical Strangeness of Kojima: Death Stranding 2 On The Beach

Now, Kojima should be perfect for me. I mean, I love movies as much as I love video games. Give me Sunset Boulevard, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, or Synecdoche, New York, and I'm a happy camper. And Kojima, that man has a deep affection for movies. It's not about seeking acceptance or prestige; he genuinely loves the medium. He's like Diego Calva tearing up at the montage in Babylon's final scene. That passion should connect us, right?

Well, here's the thing: when I play Kojima's games, that connection just doesn't quite click. Sure, we both enjoy Barbarella, but that doesn't make his games more immersive for me. Maybe I need to revisit his earlier works (my backlog is a monstrous beast), but from what I've experienced, I fail to see what all the fuss is about. Nevertheless, I'm determined to finish Death Stranding before the sequel because Death Stranding 2 looks so darn compelling. I may not understand it, but I want to be a part of it. It's not just the Kojima name that sells me; it's what that name represents.

Yes, the gaming industry has a problem with auteur worship. We tend to attribute the work of many talented individuals to the hands of a few, like Kojima or Druckmann. And let's not forget the Game Awards, where Kojima gets all the time he wants while the winners barely get a chance to speak. It's a problem, no doubt. But amidst all that, Kojima's work should not be dismissed.

The trailer for Death Stranding 2 embraces the lyrical strangeness of storytelling. It defies the conventions of a linear plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It's not your typical narrative. Plenty of games do linear storytelling well, and a few even venture into nonlinear territory. But Death Stranding seems to be on a different wavelength altogether. It's about events, emotions, and vibes. It asks, "Do you feel it?" rather than "Do you understand what's going on?"

That means wild ideas that may never fit together. And you know what? We don't need to make sense of every nook and cranny of the story, because maybe Kojima doesn't either. Perhaps this is simply how he feels, whatever that may mean. Reminds me of Wes Anderson, another idiosyncratic artist, who explores this idea in his latest film, "Asteroid City." There's a story within a movie about a play within a play, and one character (playing an actor playing a character) says, "I don't understand the play." The director (of the play within the show within the movie) replies, "Just keep telling the story."

When we're telling a story that reflects our own emotions—whether they're fears, grief, or hope—they don't need to adhere to traditional plot structures. We don't need to start in medias res with a driving action and work towards a third-act denouement in the hero's journey. You don't have to fully comprehend it; you just have to keep telling the story.

Now, none of this is to say that Kojima's work is above criticism. There's a tendency to dismiss any critique of Kojima as a failure to "get it." Heck, I've even done that to myself in the opening paragraph. It feels like Kojima has reached a point where his die-hard fans won't tolerate any criticism because to critique Kojima is to fail to understand him.

But mark my words, once Death Stranding 2 is out, it will receive a mixed bag of worthy criticism. However, in this early stage, when all we have is the untamed wildness of these ideas, I can't help but support it. In a world where games are becoming safer and audiences are gravitating towards safe blandness, Kojima introducing a stop-motion puppet that sits on your shoulder feels like exactly what we need.

So, buckle up, fellow gamers, because Death Stranding 2: On The Beach is going to take us on a journey like no other. It's a journey where questions may outnumber answers, but that'sthe beauty of it. It's a journey where we might not fully understand everything, but that's okay. Kojima's work challenges us to embrace the unknown, to revel in the bizarre, and to let our imaginations run wild. And in a world of predictable narratives and cookie-cutter experiences, that's a breath of fresh air.

So, get ready to embark on an adventure that will make you scratch your head, question everything, and perhaps even laugh in bewilderment. Because with Kojima at the helm, you can be sure that Death Stranding 2: On The Beach will be a one-of-a-kind experience that pushes the boundaries of what we thought a game could be.

In the end, it's not about completely comprehending every intricacy or deciphering every hidden meaning. It's about embracing the journey, immersing ourselves in the emotions, and allowing Kojima's unique vision to wash over us like waves on the shore. So, grab your controller, suspend your expectations, and get ready to lose yourself in the lyrical strangeness of Death Stranding 2: On The Beach. It's a game that defies conventions, challenges our perceptions, and reminds us that sometimes, the most compelling stories are the ones that leave us with more questions than answers.

Welcome to the world of Kojima, where puppet companions, mysterious babies, and lightning-shooting guitars exist. It's a world where the lines between reality and fiction blur, where events and emotions take center stage. So, let's set sail on this extraordinary adventure, knowing that we may not understand it all, but we'll be part of something truly special.

Get ready for Death Stranding 2: On The Beach, an experience that will make you laugh, make you ponder, and make you question everything you thought you knew about gaming. It's time to embrace the wild, the strange, and the utterly mind-bending. Because in Kojima's universe, anything is possible, and that's precisely why we can't wait to jump in.

So, dear readers, fasten your seatbelts, grab your strand, and prepare for a journey that will defy your expectations and leave you in awe. Death Stranding 2: On The Beach is coming, and it's going to be a wild ride. Let's dive headfirst into the enigmatic world of Kojima, where storytelling knows no bounds and imagination reigns supreme. Get ready for a game that will challenge, inspire, and mystify you in ways you never thought possible. Welcome to the strangest beach you'll ever set foot on.

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