Fifty shades of gray,
Mads Mikkelsen has revealed a little insight into his character in Death Stranding. Talking to IGN Japan during Tokyo Comic Con last weekend, he avoided giving away specifics, but hinted that his character may not simply be a villain as many have assumed. That is, if Hideo Kojima’s past form is anything to go by.
“The characters are very dualistic in (Kojima’s) games: There is no such thing as a bad guy or a good guy in his games,” Mikkelsen said.
“It is all a challenge; you have to go through these characters to achieve certain things. And it’s also a learning curve, and they will be an obstacle for you sometimes, and sometimes they will be a help for you.”
Mikkelsen went on to suggest that the roles of Death Stranding’s characters may shift as the plot unfolds. “(Kojima’s) games are not as black and white as Hollywood is sometimes,” he said. “So there are more nuances of gray in his world. You’ll have to encounter these characters in different ways throughout the game.”
The story of Death Stranding, which is expected sometime before 2019, is shrouded in mystery. Since Mikkelsen’s biggest roles have been playing villains or conflicted characters, and with his somewhat ominous appearance in Death Stranding’s trailer from December 2016, it has been commonly assumed that he will portray the antagonist.
Speaking on what attracted him to the project, Mikkelsen told IGN Japan, “Well, him (Kojima), and the fact that he is the Einstein of the gaming world. Everybody knows him. My son heard about this offer and he went, ‘Woah, are you serious?!’ He’s just a legend in this world.”
He went on to explain some of the differences of working on a game compared with a movie, and continued to heap praise on director Kojima.
“It’s obviously very, very different work from being an actor in a film, where you have a curve, you have an arc, you have lines, you have a fellow actor, you have a scene. Here it’s a different world. We have to do some generic things that can be used in (Kojima’s) world and he can manipulate that. So for us it’s all this motion-capture and wearing a helmet, and doing specific moves – it’s got nothing to do with acting, in that sense.
“But it’s been really fun, and you can just tell that Hideo has an otherworldly approach to all of this. He has is a master genius in this part of the world. He’s very, very easy to work with – the whole thing is in his head, and he just asks us to do certain things, and he knows exactly what he wants to use them for. It’s very interesting.”
Beyond that, Mikkelsen offered no clues as to the gameplay itself or the game’s development, which are of course the subject of much secrecy.
“It’s an enormously labyrinthine game, and I would not be sufficiently educated in it to tell you how it’s working yet,” said Mikkelsen. “All I can say is that I’ve seen some stuff and I’ve never seen anything like it; the story is completely out of this world.”
Daniel Robson is Chief Editor of IGN Japan. Sometimes he’s a good guy and sometimes not so much.