It’s high time Kojima should work on a horror game.
With the shackles of Konami fully off of Hideo Kojima’s back and his first major independent project under Kojima Productions behind him, Kojima is surely already toiling away on coming up with his next game. Down time between huge projects is a very rare thing these days, and with the work ethic we know Kojima and his team has, it safe to say a new game is already underway at one stage or another.
Whatever that next project will be, at this point, will likely stay shrouded the depths of secrecy for at least a little while longer, but surely with the unfinished tale of whatever Silent Hills was going to be likely still scratching around in the back of Kojima’s mind, the odds are good that his next game will be of the Survival Horror variety. He clearly has a soft spot for the genre, and has shown his acumen for pulling it off. Assumptions and logical hunches aren’t all we have though, last November the revered game designer tweeted some musings about what he is seemingly up to:
“As to make the scariest horror game, I’ll watch the scary movies in order to awaken my horror soul. THE EYE is the Thai horror movie I rent when making P.T. but was too scary to finish watching. The package is scary so I rented the disc only. Will I be able to finish watching?”
Outside of a couple of translation side effects that mess with the grammar, it’s fairly obvious what Kojima-san is saying here. It doesn’t take a forensics expert to see that he is at least considering working on a horror game, if he’s not already doing so. Along with the text of the tweet he also included two pictures of what appears to be a physical copy of the movie The Eye but not the American version with Jessica Alba, no, this is the original 2002 Hong-Kong and Singaporean horror film directed by the Pang brothers. A quick reverse google search of the images turns up nothing, so that points to the idea that these images were possibly taken by Kojima himself, which must mean he’s serious about watching this movie. The link between Kojima and The Eye is one that we’ve seen before.
With P.T. being heavily inspired by The Eye’s tone and feel, at least in terms of its visual representation, and much of the latter half of the Playable Teaser being populated by spinning eyeballs all over the place, it seems this is a link he’s likely trying to stick with, so we can probably expect a similar tone with this next horror game, assuming that’s what we’re going to get.
And for fans of P.T. like myself, that’s a very exciting proposition. P.T. was not only an incredibly scary and fun experience that succeeded at frightening and disturbing it’s players more than most full-fledged actual horror games, but it set gaming on fire after its release with its claustrophobic setting and outrageously unsettling imagery, which took some cues from asain horror films as well as some twisted ideas deep in the untapped recesses of Kojima’s own mind.
With horror games starting to feel somewhat derivative of each other with the Amnesia and Outlast tropes getting recycled for the last several years, there seems to be a strong case supporting the idea that gaming really needs a full horror game from Kojima-san for several reasons.
Most obviously is just the fact that P.T. clearly wasn’t meant to stand alone forever. It was just a taste of what was supposed to be a new Silent Hill game. As a series that has lost its way even worse than James Sunderland lost himself in the fog of Silent Hill’s streets, Hideo Kojima was the perfect choice to bring something of value to the franchise while bringing it back to it’s atmospheric and intangible roots. Since the falling out between Kojima-san and his employer of over 20 years, Konami, went down the way it did, Silent Hills was sadly never realized to it’s potential. Fans of the series are still to this day, left with the Playstation Vita dungeon crawler as the most recent cannon entry to the series.
With many more recent discoveries about P.T. being made that seem to point to much more detail in the world than the player even having access to during the teaser, it’s now beyond obvious that there were certainly extensive plans for this adventure. However, whatever those twists and turns were supposed to be, clearly aren’t going to happen now. So to have Hideo exume whatever those ideas were, to whatever extent that he can without triggering a lawsuit from Konami, would be a nightmare come true for horror fans everywhere. It might even serve as some form of closure for Kojima himself, as I’m sure he still probably feels some type of way about the abrupt career shift and how it all went down.
But while Kojima-san may or may not need this horror game to exist for himself, the horror scene in gaming certainly needs it the most. We are all thankful that the genre was revitalized with the slew of excellent first person horror games over the last decade or so, but that format has largely been brought to its logical conclusion several times over now.
With games like Alien Isolation and SOMA serving as nice examples of the pinnacle of this style of horror game, and not much since then really topping them, the genre once again seems primed to benefit from another dose of energy and new ideas. Hideo Kojima could be the one to reanimate the horror genre, much like what he was originally attempting to do with the Silent Hill series. With his connections to hollywood and other circles of excellent actors around the world, as well as Guillermo del Toro, it’s tough to imagine anybody else more well-positioned to take the horror community by storm and deliver a ghostly knock-out punch to everyone who enjoys it. An added bonus is that, those who weren’t in love with what Death Stranding was trying to do would probably see this new game as a reset or sorts for Kojima as it is a totally different type of game, so he wouldn’t be alienating anybody.
So between the tweet, his obvious love for P.T., and the obvious love of P.T. that horror fans have, there is little else that needs to be said to make the case that Hideo absolutely should pursue this path for his next game. It would not only sell well right off the bat but it would do so much good for the horror scene with it’s own unique ideas but also by inspiring many more experiences to come after it.
That seems to be how the horror genre survives; Every once in a blue moon, one big earth-shattering game comes along and shifts the tide, and other games follow up with their own shades of that until the next tectonic transformation presents itself. Not only could Kojima make that next evolution for the horror genre, if he really pulls all of his connections and experience together, it could be one of the best things to happen to the genre, and to gaming, since Resident Evil and Silent Hill revolutionized it their way 20 years ago.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.