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SYFY WIRE Hideo Kojima

Gaming: George Miller’s high praise for Kojima & Death Stranding; Hellishly funny Darksiders trailer; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Norman Reedus and Hideo Kojima

When the director of one of the best movies of 2015 calls your video game "extraordinary" and compares it with the work of the world’s greatest filmmakers, it kind of gets us amped up for the game itself — and that’s just the kind of praise that Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has for iconic Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.

Kojima’s already known for cramming the Metal Gear games with hours upon hours of cinematic cutscenes, and the preview trailers we’ve seen for his upcoming Death Stranding make it look like he won’t be shedding his knack for merging the two types of entertainment anytime soon. But that’s cool with Miller, who recently told IGN, after checking out Death Stranding, that Kojima possesses the “same skill” as Miller's own cinematic heroes.

“The skill that I see in great filmmakers, I now see in Kojima-san’s work… it’s all there, all in the service of giving an audience an intense experience,” said Miller, adding that people aren’t always ready for the kind of truly out-there stuff that creators like Kojima conjure up. “If we’re just doing the same old safe work all the time, that’s almost a certain way to fail anyway…The risk is that people just don’t accept it.” 

That’s a pretty huge compliment, considering Kojima apparently didn’t have to toss Miller a Death Stranding cameo — unlike the laundry list of other celebrities, from Norman Reedus to Mads Mikkelsen to Guillermo del Toro to Conan O’Brien — who’ll be making appearances both big and small in Kojima’s new post-apocalyptic journey. 

But as the director of a movie that mixes sci-optimism and dystopian brutality as deftly as Fury Road, at least Miller knows a thing or two about the post-apocalypse. The rest of us will finally have the chance to see what’s got him so dialed in to Kojima’s first post-Metal Gear game this Nov. 8, when Death Stranding finally arrives for PlayStation 4.

Darksiders has always had a devilishly keen sense of self-aware humor, but the new cinematic preview for the upcoming Darksiders Genesis, which pits our hero against a fiery, slow-witted demon, has us feeling some definite Thor: Ragnarok vibes.

The prequel game’s new trailer, which at long last introduces Strife as the fourth horseman of the apocalypse, puts us pretty much in the same situation as Thor found himself at the start of Ragnarok, as he grabs the conversation with the evil Surtur by the horns, so to speak. Check out the fun similarity in the clip below:

Genesis reportedly will take Darksiders back to its top-down dungeon-crawling roots, combining hack-and-slash action elements with RPG character progression and what’s sure to be a bonkers new story that explains how Strife fits in with his fellow horsemen: War, Death, and Fury. Get ready to get up close with the (ahem) dark side of the afterlife this Dec. 5, when Darksiders Genesis heats up Google Stadia and PC, ahead of the game’s console release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on Feb. 14  — yep, that’s Valentine’s Day — next year.

If you’re the kind of Skyrim fan who’s still shouting Fus-Ro-Dah! at everything from those burger toppings you didn’t ask for to that slow car blocking you in traffic, The Elder Scrolls Online’s recent return of the dragons to Tamriel has given you something to sink your fangs into — even eight long years after Skyrim first made its fiery debut. And with the arrival of Dragonhold, the last chapter in the game’s unfolding addition of the ancient winged ones to the multiplayer mix, the dragons seem to literally be everywhere. 

Bethesda dropped an all-new trailer for Dragonhold to get fans heated for the new expansion’s release, and no one on Nirn is safe in this final chapter in the “Season of the Dragon” —  the third and final installment in the game’s summer-long rollout of dragon-themed content for The Elder Scrolls Online.

While we get a glimpse or two of Skyrim’s snow-covered barrows, Dragonhold promises to take players on a dragon hunt that spans all of Tamriel — even as the Dragonguard fighting force, who first debuted in 2012 as a massive expansion to the original Skyrim, get set to make a comeback. In keeping with Bethesda’s recent focus on the desert province of Elsweyr, the story will take you to Elsweyr’s southernmost reaches, where you’ll be tasked with helping revive the Dragonguard order and defeat Kaalgrontiid — the biggest, baddest dragon of them all.

Already available to PC players, the Dragonhold expansion swoops onto PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Nov. 5.