Death Stranding is not just an amazing-looking game, and especially on PC, but has probably the best photo mode in videogame history. This of course will be no surprise to fans of Metal Gear Solid, who've been running around with cameras since the original Playstation game. The Steam community hub for Death Stranding is thus absolutely rammed with players' finest shots, and so the game's PC publisher 505 Games recently decided to rope-in Kojima Productions' art director, Yoji Shinkawa, to pick his favourites and comment on why.
Here's the original blogpost, and Shinkawa's picks follow. Fair warning that if you haven't played the game, you'll see one or two things that could be considered spoilers.
Yoji Shinkawa: "This is stunning. I want to print this out and pin it in the studio!"
"You can feel Sam's solitude in this shot."
"This is Art! The usage of black is really cool."
"Oh wow! Thanks for making the Mules look so cool! They look like they can do the job!"
"It's a great snapshot! Like a glimpse of Sam’s everyday life!"
"The angle is cool and the contrast is wonderful."
"Beautiful. It is art!"
"I like the colors. It's very interesting."
"This picture cut out is amazing. All the works by this person were great!"
"The mono-tone is so relaxing. It could make a great poster."
Death Stranding is a videogame that is aging spectacularly well; it still looks better than most things we'll see this year, and a lot of that is down to the aesthetic. One of the principles of Kojima's designs is giving players tools, and the freedom to use them in any way they see fit. Death Stranding's atmosphere fits a photo mode uniquely well because, for the most part, this is a lonesome and reflective journey, filled with landscapes of awesome scale and beauty. It's one of those games you'll never get out of your head, and these shots help illuminate a little bit of why: you'll see things, again and again, that simply take the breath away. What a journey.