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Kojima: Death Stranding chooses realism over 'rules'

We're getting closer and closer to Death Stranding's release, which means we're at that glorious point in the marketing cycle where producer Hideo Kojima gives interviews to the press. He recently spoke to Game Informer about Death Stranding, and had some very interesting things to say on the topic of the game's realism.

So how real is Death Stranding? One could argue that tank babies and sentient oil blobs aren't exactly something you'd find here on our version of planet Earth. But it seems Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions wanted to ensure realism played a big part, even if it doesn't align with what we've come to expect from video games.

"Previously, in design, you had to create the rule because you couldn't do the realism, right?" Kojima told Game Informer. "In our everyday lives, there are so many mechanisms we have to work through, as you say, and we have to take the balance of what we do, how we maintain ourselves, and how we live. So I wanted to free the game design concept that we had to live by because we didn't have the technology to do so in the past."

Long story short: video games used certain "rules" as workarounds in the past because the tech of the time couldn't handle more realism. Today's tech, however, can.

"For instance, in any game, you could carry as many items as you want — even in Metal Gear, it was unlimited." Kojima continued. "Of course, you can't do it in real life, right? You have to select one bottle when you climb a mountain."

From the sounds of it, this realism can swing in both directions. On one hand, Death Stranding's main character, Sam, will have some serious inventory management work to do.

On the other hand, though, he'll be more free to explore.

It seems Kojima was intent on not walling players off from certain parts of the world, noting that some developers use "valleys where you can't go" to limit exploration. That's something you shouldn't experience in Death Stranding, which provides Sam with a telescoping ladder and all of the other climbing tools he needs. So while having a limited inventory may seem like a pain, remember: you'll actually be able to visit that mountain in the distance, which many games promise but few deliver on.

How will the rest of the game stack up? That remains to be seen.

Death Stranding hits PlayStation 4 on Nov. 8, 2019.