Audio Logs is a show all about the magic of making games. It features the people that design and develop the experiences that we love, telling the stories of how they’re made. Making games is a long and difficult process where passionate people work tirelessly to overcome challenges, all so that we can be moved by unique games. We rarely see just how much care, thought, and attention goes into every element of the games we play, but Audio Logs aims to deliver some insight into that by giving creators a platform to tell their stories. This, we hope, will, in turn, let fans to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the games they hold dear.
In Audio Logs Season One, we delved into the creation of God of War, Dead Cells, Cuphead, Devil May Cry V, the Shadow of the Colossus remake, and Overwatch character Baptiste, as well as looking back at the career of Goichi “Suda51” Suda. Season 2 will be equally as exciting, and we’re starting with a big one!
The first episode of Audio Logs Season 2 is all about Death Stranding, a unique game and one of the most interesting of 2019. Discussing it are none other than legendary game developers Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa, who break down a pivotal scene from early on in the game. The duo lay out how it was created and reveal the thinking behind its direction, as well as detail how individual elements were designed and depicted.
The scene in question was first shown at The Game Awards in 2017 and, in Kojima and Shinkawa’s own words, encapsulates much of the overall Death Stranding experience. It shows Norman Reedus’s character, Sam Porter Bridges, encountering a BT and having to deal with the fallout of the event. This scene is densely packed with information about the science-fiction world that Death Stranding is set in, but it’s all intentionally placed to give players key information and hint at mysteries that will unfold over the course of the game.
Kojima and Shinkawa unpack the scene, pointing out the smaller details that may not be immediately apparent, explaining why they are important and relevant, and telling the stories of how they were created. For fans of Death Stranding–or Kojima Productions’ previous work–there’s plenty of fascinating insight into things such as why Sam is so frequently shown lying down, the reason the suits look the way they do, and different versions of the Odradek. Kojima also delves into some of the inspirations behind the game, telling stories such as how a bug led to one of the creepiest creatures in Death Stranding, and exploring the message he wants to send through the game.
This episode of Audio Logs is available to watch above, and you can also see it on YouTube, where Season 1 is available to watch. Be sure to subscribe to GameSpot on YouTube to see more episodes as they’re released every Sunday. You won’t want to miss it as the coming episodes will be focused on Control, Persona 5 Royal, Gears 5, and a few more surprises.
In GameSpot’s Death Stranding review, Kallie Plagge said it is a “hard game to absorb,” adding that its quirkier aspects “belie an otherwise very simple message” which becomes more apparent in its mundane moments. Moments such as “when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts are “positive without ignoring pain.” She continues: “In fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It’s a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it’s also one we really need right now.”
Death Stranding was also highlighted as one of GameSpot’s favorite games of the year. “With our present being rife with political turmoil and a general feeling of angst towards our future, there’s a comfort that can be found in a routine and the positivity from others who come from different backgrounds,” said Alessandro Fillari. “Sam’s routine as a delivery man in a post-apocalyptic setting reveals its larger message of hope and perseverance in the face of depressing circumstances, which is a touching message that resonates deeply.”