2017 Is the Year of Hideo Kojima

Welcome to a more cinematic, surreal universe.

2017 is off to a shaky start already, and it’s not even January 20. But there are certainly things to be thankful for. Like, for example, the fact that video game developer and auteur Hideo Kojima is going to kill it this year.

For those that haven’t been following along at home, here’s the gist of things: Hideo Kojima is the guy behind the immensely popular Metal Gear video game franchise. The latest release, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, was reportedly made under terrible conditions with Konami, the publisher, being responsible. Ultimately, Kojima left Konami after the game released, and it’s clear there’s … well, to put it kindly, bad blood between the company and the developer. But leaving just might be the best thing that’s happened.

After leaving Konami at the end of 2015, Kojima eventually reformed his company, Kojima Productions, as an independent entity outside of Konami. Now free to do whatever people are willing to invest in, Kojima and company have gone on to reveal Death Stranding, a game featuring the likenesses of Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro, and Mads Mikkelsen. Details on the game are scarce, but things are … well.

If the teasers are to be believed, the whole thing has to do with some kind of mpreg Norman Reedus? And Guillermo del Toro’s character — for which he provides the likeness alone — also has a baby, which is maybe the same baby? Add in Mikkelsen and his weird AF zombie soldiers and shadowy tendrils and whatever’s going on there. That’s just what we’ve seen so far.

And it’s not like this is all that surprising. The Metal Gear series was wacky all along, and that was with the yoke of Konami on. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, for example, is famous for including a scene where some ice cubes actually melt over time, a vampire, and references to the likes of Escape from New York. That’s all in the same game. And there’s more than five of those if you count the original Metal Gear games and related spin-offs.

There’s no telling when Death Stranding is actually going to drop, of course. It’s unlikely to hit in 2017 unless Kojima’s suddenly gotten much better about hitting strict deadlines. In fact, I’ll personally be shocked if we see the game in 2018. But gird your loins, because that just means we’ve got at least a year of strange, surreal teasers; art; and likely enough demos coming our way. If nothing else, there’ll be little tidbits like the sale of the official KojiPro mascot statue hitting from time to time.

Hideo Kojima is finally free, and it’s going to be a wild ride.

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