Death Stranding's "hidden theme" has been revealed, and we're just confused

Death Stranding Norman Reedus and baby
(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

Hideo Kojima has revealed Death Stranding's hidden theme in an absolutely bananas interview.

Game-Genome is a series that's been running on NHK World Japan for a while now, and earlier this year, it featured Hideo Kojima as a special guest in one episode. The tweet below captures one of the more bizarre moments from the episode, where musician and actor Gen Hoshino breaks down some of the hidden inspirations behind Death Stranding to Kojima.

Hoshino reckons Death Stranding is a tribute to the high points of video game history. The driving elements are a tribute to racing games, the shooting sections with Cliff are a reference to shootouts from Metal Gear Solid games, and the fight against Higgs is taken from 2D fighting games. That's what Hoshino makes of Death Stranding, at least.

"You discovered the hidden theme of Death Stranding!" Kojima remarks to Hoshino at the end of the clip. Apparently the hidden theme of Death Stranding was making extensive, and very abstract, tributes to some of the most recognizable imagery in the history of video games. Either that or Kojima's just being nice to Hoshino's extensive theorizing. 

If this is the hidden meaning of Death Stranding, what does Death Stranding 2 have in store for us? Perhaps it'll visit more touchstones of video games, like the dating sim genre or sports games. After all, who wouldn't want to play a dating sim starring the likes of Norman Reedus and Elle Fanning?

Check out our upcoming PS5 games guide for a look over all the other games coming to the new-gen console in the future. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.