Keiichi Toyama’s new company Bokeh Game Studios announced their upcoming project Slitterhead during The Game Awards at the start of this month. Few details about the action adventure game have been revealed seeing as the game is not yet in full production, but in an interview with IGN Japan, Toyama did give us more details including that Slitterhead will “explore life and death and the process of decay throughout everyday life”, something expected to be fairly shocking to players.
Toyama clarified he “can’t go into a lot of details yet”, but he did elaborate on the game’s trailer. The game is seemingly set in a rundown Asian city where the featureless concrete highrises all look the same, alleys are filled with rubbish and graffiti, and abandoned cars block the streets whose only bright spots are the neon signs. The city is a fictional location “inspired by 1980s and ’90s Hong Kong. However, it’s not the real Hong Kong. The game will explore an original setting that blends the nostalgic sights of that city with pure fiction.”
The trailer was also filled with seemingly normal city residents that hide a deadly secret. They can mutate into terrifying skeletal monstrosities of various sizes that prey on humans and tear them apart. These creatures are called Yakushi and they’re “a kind of monster that have their roots in classical theater”. Players will need to find a way to “smoke them out to make them reveal themselves” and this will be “a major pillar of the adventure and the story”. Toyama continued:
The game will explore life and death and the process of decay throughout everyday life, so inevitably some of the developments and visuals will be quite shocking. That said, we are not only focusing on the gore itself; we intend to portray horror in a way that deepens the sense of immersion for the player. Although it is a horror game, we aim to make a game that is entertaining on a wide range of levels, with a story filled with mystery and new types of action gameplay.
Slitterhead will be a third-person action adventure game at heart. It will also “include many new mechanics that have not been seen so far in other games, so I think it will result in a unique experience”. However, we can’t expect to see the game anytime soon. The game has only just finished the prototyping stage and they’re “committed to production until at least the end of 2022”, so it will be no earlier than 2023 before the game is released. Platforms are also undecided, although Toyama did say he wanted to “reach as many players as possible while maintaining the essence of the game”.