Control is a refreshingly odd third-person shooter, and who better to celebrate the intersection of cinematic action and esoteric oddities with than Hideo Kojima? The director of Death Stranding has a secret voice role in the new game from Remedy Entertainment, and it's so much better than the winking background appearance you might expect from more, well, normal video games. You can listen (and watch, you'll see what I mean) to his role in the video above.
Hideo Kojima takes on the role of visionary academic Dr. Yoshimi Tokui, who talks you through a "guided imagery experience". As main character Jesse Faden rests in a sensory deprivation chamber, a recording of Dr. Tokui narrates something that starts as a fairly standard guided meditation but later turns into a desperate struggle between birds, trees, and forklifts. This explains what Kojima was up to when he visited Remedy's studios early this year.
With @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN @Kojima_Hideo. He is an inspiration. #DeathStranding dares to push the boundaries. It’s wonderful to be able to compare notes. Happy and honored to call him a friend. @remedygames @ControlRemedy pic.twitter.com/ctpnP25MNKJanuary 17, 2019
"You whisper to the trees," Kojima says as Tokui. "You tell them that they deserve love, that everyone deserves love. The trees agree. They will now go on to form healthy, respectful relationships with other trees. Or shrubs. Whatever they prefer. Now let's leave these trees to their love. Voyeurism is impolite."
Kojima speaks in Japanese (with a little "old man scientist" rasp thrown in to show his voice actor chops) and is translated into English by an unnamed assistant, played by Kojima Productions marketing manager Aki Saito. Both of them appear in the "special thanks" section of Control's credits, along with several other games industry figures such as Cyberpunk 2077 PR manager Radek Adam Grabowski. No word yet on what role, if any, Grabowski plays in Control.
Kojima showing up in Control is great stuff for fans of both games who recognize him, but now I'm even more excited to see if creative director Sam Lake shows up as a character in Death Stranding to complete the cultural games exchange. Lake is the original face of Max Payne, literally, so I can only begin to imagine how much fun Kojima would have with scanning a digital version of him into his game like he did with Geoff Keighley.
Find even more to look forward to in our list of new games 2019.