Alright I've had some drinks (It's a tuesday, leave me alone) but this is something I've wanted to talk about for a while. I tried a few weeks ago, to write a blog, but after an hour of writing, deleting, re-writing, then just getting frustrated and what I knew would be the inevitable responses; I shelved it for another day. Which turned out to be today, apparently? Cool.
With the recent Death Stranding shit being released I once again can't help but feel like Kojima is not just painfully pretentious, but commands the loyalty of a mouth-frothing band of internet loyalists who strike down any form of dissent. I played all those metal gear solid games and while One and Two could conceivably be called genius, three was fan-servicey, and four was a convoluted quick time event. Yeah, I'm being dismissive and flippant, but am I wrong, though?
I think what bugs me the most is that Kojima comes across as a pseudo-intellectual rather than an actual fuckin' intellectual. There seems to be three tiers to his games; The first is a hyper-aware hyper-meta social commentary that's painstakingly defended by longwinded forum posts from die-hard fans. The second is a series of groundbreaking gameplay systems he introduces that run parallel to some weird mechanic where you look at skeezy magazines while hiding in a bin. And the third is just that he's making all this shit up as he goes along and people engage with his work the same way people engage with the Fast & Furious franchise; with loyalty and enjoyment, but also an understanding that this shit is completely insane without any pretense of it being high art. And despite reading plenty of blisteringly articulate reasoning as to why Quiet is one of the best female characters because of her weaponized sexuality, as though Kojima were some modern-day Edouard Manet, I can't help but feel like Kojima didn't intend any of that shit and is just going along with it because it sounds smart in hindsight; The writing of his games seems to walk a fine line between being extremely problematic and extremely self-aware. The problem is the reasoning behind that writing often does not give much confidence as to which side of the line the game was designed to fall. As such I can't help but feel like Kojima, in an effort to be progressive, merely normalizes some truly warped attitudes and perspectives.
So I guess my question is, do people really value this? When that Death Stranding trailer was released was the hype from people who are intellectually excited to see what Kojima has got planned for us next, or was it more a Hobbs And Shaw level of "Oh this is going to be so fucking dumb but I'm super into it" kind of hype?
Because honestly I can't tell any more.