Gaming News & Opinions

Hideo Kojima Thinks Americans Are Too Dense to Understand Death Stranding

  • Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima quizzed over the critical reception to the game.
  • Hideo Kojima attributes stronger criticism in the US to Americans lacking the ‘artistic sensibility’ to understand Death Stranding.
  • Review scores from the US press aren’t noticeably lower than other regions.

Hideo Kojima puts the perceived stronger criticism of Death Stranding from US reviewers down to Americans lacking the ‘artistic sensibility’ to understand the game.

Death Stranding Requires ‘Artistic Sensibility’

In an interview with Italian outlet TGCOM24, Kojima was asked whether he was satisfied with the critical reception to Death Stranding. And, in true Kojima style responded with the following;

I must say that the game received rave reviews, especially in Europe and Japan. Here in the United States, however, we have had stronger criticisms. Perhaps it is a difficult game to understand for a certain type of critic and audience. Americans are great fans of first-person shooters, and Death Stranding is not.

He goes on to stress the uniqueness of Death Stranding, and how this acts as a barrier for some to appreciate it in all its elegance;

I always try to create new things, and disputes and discussions are fine, but it has to be said that the Italians or the French have a different artistic sensibility that allows them to appreciate this brand of very original products, not only in video games but also in cinema.

It’s worth considering that Kojima’s point may have been lost in translation somewhat. But, the suggestion leaves little to the imagination. Americans lack the sophistication to understand Death Stranding.

The Reality of US Review Scores

Scouring the reviews from the gaming press across the world, it’s evident that scores emanating from the US don’t deviate too far from those of other regions. And, in some cases, are higher.

An enterprising soul over on Resetera, going by the name YawZah, pieced together a series of data visualizations relating to the critical reception to Death Stranding. While the average US score falls below that of Europe and South America, they are higher than Oceania and Asia.

Source: YawZah/Resetera

To boot, the 7.0 User Score on Metacritic, although subject to a good old review bomb at launch, is compiled from players across the globe and not merely gormless FPS-loving yanks.

Source: Metacritic

There’s more at play here, it seems. We’d put our money on IGN’s scathing 6.8 review and posit that it continues to sting for Kojima. Rather than pondering the game’s possible shortfalls, nothing quite beats a bit of cultural bias.

Whether you enjoy the game or not, Death Stranding is unquestionably a feat of modern gaming that deserves praise for attempting to push the medium forward. To say it’s beyond the comprehension of the average American is somewhat of a stretch Mr. Kojima.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:16 PM

Thomas Bardwell

UK-based writer covering the video game industry. Email me | Bug me on Twitter