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Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds review: The method behind the madness of the gaming auteur

Often referred to as the world’s first gaming auteur, labelling Hideo Kojima ‘unconventional’ would be an understatement

Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds review: The method behind the madness of the gaming auteur

Last Updated: 02.34 AM, Feb 28, 2024


Story: The documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look into one of the most enigmatic game developers of all time – Hideo Kojima.


Review: The stigma surrounding gaming is something that continues to divide opinion. Regardless of one’s opinion of the industry, it generates an eye-watering $180 billion yearly, which is more than the film and music industries combined. One might argue that revenue does not always equate to artistic integrity, especially considering video games have been accused of ‘corrupting young minds’ despite various studies proving otherwise. But the larger question remains; do video games possess artistic value? Contradictory to popular belief, the simple answer would be, yes. Games such as The Last of Us, may have even exceeded the artistic value of films, television shows, and music. And if there is one man who deserves credit for this revolution within the gaming industry it is the legendary Japanese game developer Hideo Kojima.


For the unversed, Kojima is the brains behind the iconic Metal Gear Solid franchise published by Konami. The Metal Gear Solid franchise revolutionised stealth and tactical games forever. Kojima didn’t just settle for stellar gameplay mechanics in Metal Gear Solid, he incorporated a story within these games that is quite simply astounding. However, if one were to watch the documentary Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds in the hopes of insight into Kojima’s unceremonious split from Konami and the incomplete 51st chapter of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, then one would be utterly disappointed. A documentary on the making of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain would have been thoroughly captivating, considering the game is arguably one of the greatest ever made, despite its incomplete 51st chapter. However, Konami is never mentioned in the documentary and the Metal Gear Solid franchise is fleetingly mentioned once. Instead, the documentary focuses on his latest franchise, Death Stranding, developed by Sony and Kojima Productions.

Death Stranding is Kojima’s most ambitious project, and it is arguably the most unique game ever conceptualised – in terms of gameplay and storytelling. The team behind the project is staggering, with legendary horror filmmaker Guillermo del Toro playing a character in the game. The main cast is led by The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, with pivotal characters played by Hollywood stars such as Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Margaret Qualley, and voice acting legend Troy Baker. The sci-fi game itself is like a fever dream, and Kojima has crafted a story that is unlike anything else that has come before it. Even the gameplay is the antithesis of a conventional video game. The documentary offers a fascinating account of how Kojima and his team brought this game to life. Through fascinating interviews with Kojima, his team, some of the lead voice actors (del Toro, Reedus, Mikkelsen, Seydoux, and Baker), and Hollywood legend George Miller, the documentary deconstructs Death Stranding and gives more insight into its complex creator, Kojima. The auteur speaks candidly about what films and literature inspired him to create such extraordinary stories.


With Sony greenlighting a sequel to Death Stranding, titled Death Stranding 2: On the Beach, Kojima will aim to push more boundaries in terms of gameplay, graphical capabilities, and storytelling. It is a shame that he might never helm a Metal Gear Solid game again, but fans of the gaming auteur can take comfort in the fact that the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is being remade from the ground up on the Unreal Engine 5 for modern consoles this year, and the fact that the second Death Stranding game is expected next year.

Verdict: Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds offers insight into the brilliant mind of the world’s first gaming auteur, Hideo Kojima. While the documentary does not delve into his most iconic franchise, Metal Gear Solid, it offers incisive and compelling aspects behind Kojima’s creative process involving his latest franchise Death Stranding.


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