While you might not think it’s actually true, considering his other roles, according to the man himself, Mads Mikkelsen’s character in Death Stranding may not actually be a villain after all. This is even in spite of how evil he looked in the E3 2016 trailer of Death Stranding, but is it true?
Instead of labelling him as a villain, Mikkelsen has said, players will instead have to form their own opinions of him. This is similar to Kojima’s writing when it comes to other characters in his most well-known game series, Metal Gear Solid, where a large amount of the morality in the game is mainly grey, with there being very few reprehensible people (except for Huey who can die in a fire.)
Even Skull Face in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, despite being a horrible villain that was aiming to launch a virus that would kill anyone that spoke a certain language, had his own reasons for doing so (mainly due to living in Hungary and having his culture and language constantly oppressed by the countries that ruled Hungary, ranging from Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union, and experiencing the loss of everything he cared about). While the imagery for Death Stranding is disturbing, such as the skeleton-soldiers that Mads Mikkelsen’s character appears to be controlling through wires, his character may not be one-dimensional at all.
There are likely going to still be several years of work between Death Stranding as we know it now and when the game actually comes out, but until the game actually comes out, we won’t be seeing exactly how Mads Mikkelsen’s character will actually conduct himself until the game actually comes out. Heck, we barely know anything about the actual game now, and it’ll likely be a good while longer before we even know anything about that.