While there were a bunch of world premieres at The Game Awards 2023, none really stood out as much as Hideo Kojima’s new horror game. Titled, OD, short for Overdose, the game seems to have the signature Kojima style. And by that, I mean the trailer was absolutely bizarre and made very little sense at first glance. While no gameplay was shown, gamers have already begun digging deeper into just what all this means.
Looking beyond the screaming faces of its main cast, players have uncovered certain details about the trailer and the OD itself. These are making them think OD might just be the true spiritual successor to PT that many have been waiting for. While sure, it’s too early to make any definitive conclusions, the similarities do make it seem like there’s certainly something interesting going on here. Here’s why.
The Devil Is In The Details
For anyone who might need a refresher, PT was a horror demo released by Kojima back in 2014. The game was set to provide a glimpse look at what would eventually turn into Kojima’s Silent Hills game. However, the project was canned by Konami. This was met with widespread criticism from gamers. After all, the initial demo was met with insane amounts of hype and excitement because of how good it was.
Since then, fans have been eagerly anticipating a return to form for Kojima. While Death Stranding was a fun title, it didn’t scratch the same itch that PT delivered. And now, for many gamers, it’s up to OD to complete what PT started. Looking at the two titles, there are definitely some similarities between the two already. For one, it’s the two-letter titles.
Now, this might not seem like it means much. But every aspect of Kojima’s games is designed very specifically and with a lot of thought. There is certainly a lot he’s thought about when choosing OD as the name of this upcoming horror project. Especially when he could’ve just called it “overdose” as well. It might be a way for Hideo to throw a nod toward his canceled project.
But that’s not all. The OD reveal had another sneaky reference to PT. This was in the form of the door through which Kojima walked onto The Game Awards’ stage. While it might not seem noticeable at first. But a closer look definitely reveals that it’s meant to look like the same door as the one in the PT demo basement. This reference could be a way for Kojima to further tie these two projects together.
Considering his relationship with Konami ended on bad terms, it’s likely Hideo cannot outright mention Silent Hills. But references and details like these go a long way in showing his motivations. With so many callbacks and references, he might just be telling the audience that he’s working on the game they’ve been waiting for all this time.
Bringing In The Experts
Part of the reason why the idea of Silent Hills was so well-received was because Kojima had brought along horror aficionado, Guillermo del Toro, as an assistant director. It felt like the match was made in heaven, with del Toro providing a way for Kojima’s storytelling style to effectively translate into the horror genre. However, with the game’s cancelation, the team-up that would’ve defined a generation never ended up coming to light.
While del Toro did go on to work on Death Stranding with Kojima, with him providing his likeness for the role of Deadman, it was never really in the same capacity as being an assistant director to an upcoming horror title. However, that has now changed with OD. While Guillermo still isn’t confirmed to be involved, Kojima has taken the assistance of another horror expert to help guide his upcoming project.
That person is Jordan Peele. He’s the director behind horror films such as Get Out, Us, and most recently, Nope. And I’ve got to say, his genre of horror definitely feels like it’d be interesting to turn into a video game. It’s likely that Kojima wants to strike a tone or balance that’s similar to what he had on PT. And so, he’s bringing in someone like Peele to help reel in some aspects of his own storytelling that can otherwise go bonkers.
There’s no denying that Death Stranding went a bit up the wall in some instances. While the concept was incredibly unique, there were moments when the game didn’t make a lot of sense. At one point, Kojima himself admitted, even he didn’t understand the game. That definitely doesn’t help make the title seem attractive to wider audiences. But with someone like Peele on his side, things might turn out differently.
Alongside Jordan, Kojima could be trying to replicate the worldwide sensation that PT turned out to be. Like I said, even just the demo pretty much set the world on fire with excitement. But for something like that to be recreated, the narrative and direction need to be digestible yet mysterious. Peele has three horror films under his belt that strike this very balance. So it’s likely their alliance will turn out amazingly well.
Innovating On Horror
While the story elements might be a bit easier to grasp this time around, there’s no saying what the gameplay will be like. Kojima always loves to go above and beyond for his video game titles. The PT demo wasn’t exactly touching the sky with its gameplay mechanics. But it was singlehandedly carried by the atmosphere and horror feel of it all.
That said, it’s likely that Kojima would have tried to make the final game a lot more interesting. In regards to the gameplay anyway. We’ve seen how Hideo claimed that Death Stranding straight-up belongs to a different genre of games altogether, called the Strand-type game. At the The Game Awards 2023, Kojima mentioned that his new title will continue that itch of his to innovate.
It’s tough to say what the gameplay will end up being like in the end. But it feels likely that Hideo will want to add all the elements that he could never add to his canceled Silent Hills project into OD. Keep in mind that the game is more or less his first proper horror take since the PT demo was released. Death Stranding, while having some horror elements, can’t really be classified as a true title in the genre.
This gives yet another reason to why OD might end up being the spiritual successor to PT that everyone has been waiting for. Ultimately, it’s a bit too early to say how things will turn out exactly. For all we know, OD might end up getting canceled too. But with how the game is shaping up, fans and Kojima alike might just use the game as a way of getting over the painful loss of Silent Hills.
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