A Terrifying Return: "Slitterhead" Sets the Stage for a New Kind of Horror

Keiichiro Toyama’s name has a kind of mystique in the ever-expanding galaxy of video games. He is revered for his work on some of the most groundbreaking horror of the past quarter-century, games that are designed to turn your senses and your narratives inside out. If all goes well, this November, he’s going to shake up the genre again. His new survival-horror adventure, Slitterhead, is on track to be the most heart-pounding, enthralling horror the field has ever seen.

Unveiling the Nightmare: Slitterhead Emerges

The next phobia-inducing game from the creator of Silent Hill promises to be released on 8 November. Why should you be afraid? Because this is the announcement of Slitterhead. If you missed the recent Summer Game Fest kickoff event, you might have wondered: what is a slitterhead? Thankfully, we now know an answer. The new trailer revealed that the game will be a terrifying experience punctuated with action elements.

Thrills and Chills: The World of Slitterhead

Imagine traversing a bustling cityscape as prey rather than predator, running from a monster too immense to see in front of you. Slitterhead’s combat, presented through a third-person action and horror lens, utilises possession mechanics along with a centipede-like gang of oversized adversaries created to be hit. Elements of what seems to be a detective-style plotline are hinted at in the game’s latest trailer, but the combat sequences – displayed time and time again – feel this time like a primary focus, too. Slitterhead promises a steady combination of meaty narrative followed up by sweat-inducing action, a hallmark of Toyama’s style in game creation.

The Masterminds Behind the Madness

And yet Slitterhead has been brought to us by Bokeh Studio, a Sony-backed developer founded in 2020 by Toyama and a team of Sony alumni. The creative team includes Tatsuya Yoshikawa, best known for the action game Devil May Cry, Junya Okura, the lead designer of Gravity Rush, and Kazunobu Sato, who led the design of the Puppeteer action-platformer. These veteran developers have all worked on ambitious titles that have thrived on palpable complexity, in both their mechanics and their narratives.

A Clash of Titans: Slitterhead and the Gaming Landscape

Its 8 November release date will see Slitterhead launch into a bloodbath of console exclusivity, releasing just days before the Silent Hill 2 remake, another much-anticipated title. It’s also reminiscent of the tense launch schedules of games like Dead Space and The Callisto Protocol. ‘It certainly seems there is a renaissance for horror games,’ says Jay Shirley.

Where to Experience the Horror

Slitterhead Makes Its Debut on XBOX SERIES X/S Scheduled for an October 2023 launch, Slitterhead will be available on a wide range of platforms for those ready to enter our ominous, intertwined world and test their mettle against the terrors hiding in its depths. Look for the game on Xbox Series X/S, the PlayStation platforms (PS4 and PS5), as well as PC platforms like Steam and the Epic Games Store.

CONSOLES: The Gateways to Nightmares

Having to invoke consoles along this path into horror is important because these machines are not just inanimate gadgets – they are the portals to alternate universes of fantasy, splendour and, in this instance, hyperbolic fear. To be launched on the newest iterations of consoles and PC, via the latest evolutions of the imagination, is for Slitterhead to demonstrate the efficacy of the platform in channelling the creators’ darkest reveries into flesh-and-blood.

It’s within this landscape, one where the same forces that turn skin to bone still bursts forth, that these dark, complicated worlds are created and contained within consoles and PCs for those of us willing to pull back the lever or press keys to engage in the mantra of horror gaming: Don’t look away. With Slitterhead, the hallowed halls of horror gaming will continue to be filled with new legends come November.

Jun 08, 2024
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