Leaked footage of Overdose (the rumored new project from Hideo Kojima) has appeared online, and it already has some fans thinking of P.T./Silent Hills.
First off, let’s be very clear that the leaked footage in question is about as unofficial as it gets. At the time of this writing, there has been no official word regarding the leaked footage’s authenticity. Furthermore, the footage itself is quite strange. It looks like a recording of an internal demo captured via cell phone by what appears to be a notably shirtless man. Obviously, that’s not the ideal way to view gameplay footage, if the footage itself is indeed authentic.
On that note, we can’t exactly share a link to the footage at this time. Not only are recordings being taken down quite quickly, but it’s currently being shared via rather unusual channels. You should be able to find it quite easily if you’re determined to do so, though.
The footage lasts about two and a half minutes and prominently features a character walking through a series of rooms in what appears to be some kind of medical facility. The character model is quite obviously based on actress Margaret Qualley, who also appeared in Death Stranding. Indeed, the character model in the demo may very well be pulled from Death Stranding.
Regardless, it’s pretty obvious that the game in question is some kind of survival horror title. The player character wanders through grimy hallways armed only with a flashlight and a look of pure terror. Much of the footage even focuses on the player character’s facial reactions. That’s hardly a surprise given that the character model is incredibly well-detailed.
Toward the end of the demo, we see the player character turn their back to a dark hallway. A strange, pulsating red light that looks kind of like an input prompt then appears in the hallway. Aside from a very brief flash of a zombie-like figure in the hallway, we don’t really get to see what that light represents.
Soon, the player character runs from the mysterious figure/light and tries to hide behind a table. It’s all for not, though, as the figure soon finds the player character. Terrified, the player character screams, raises their hands to their face, and we’re soon treated to a very unnecessary look at the reflection of the shirtless man recording this footage. That doesn’t seem to be the intended monster, though. Oh, and we see the words “Game Over” pop up in-game, but that classic message is soon replaced by the words “A Hideo Kojima Game” and “Overdose.”
We’ve actually spoken about Overdose in the past, and that certainly does seem to be the name (or codename) of Hideo Kojima’s next game. So far as that goes, it’s potentially worth pointing out that this leaked footage has apparently been circulating for quite some time. This is just the first time that it’s been released to the general public via unofficial channels.
If the footage is as legit as some insiders are claiming, it’s certainly fascinating. While the game appears to be a third-person title (though there are other theories we’ll get to in a second), quite a few other things about the design give off some strong Silent Hill vibes. The levels are dark and dingy, the player character looks largely helpless, and even some of the font choices and decor decisions (most notably the presence of an old wheelchair) looked ripped from a classic Silent Hill game. Overdose is almost certainly not a stealth Silent Hill game, but it doesn’t seem crazy to suggest that Kojima may have brought a few of his old P.T./Silent Hills ideas to the project.
Interestingly, the footage almost makes it seem like the gameplay is being controlled by someone via a smartphone. At the very least, a “picture-in-picture” box shows a woman reacting to the gameplay footage as she holds her smartphone up. While Overdose likely isn’t a pure mobile game, Kojima has said that he’s very interested in how Xbox’s cloud technology will allow him to fulfill some of his visions. So far as that goes, it’s likely that Overdose will simply support smartphone functionality in some way.
While this is entirely speculative, this footage leads me to believe that Overdose may even be a kind of “guide the character” horror game. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a title, but games like the PS2 cult classic Lifeline experimented with the idea of essentially telling another character what to do via non-traditional input commands (in that case, voice controls). Is it possible that players will use a smartphone to guide the Overdose character in similar non-traditional ways? Those “flashing red lights” the player character doesn’t always acknowledge certainly suggest those are for the player’s benefit (perhaps to tap?) but aren’t necessarily being seen by the in-game character. It’s also possible Overdose could support some kind of co-op or watch-along functionality, which would also help explain the use of a smartphone.
Regardless, it really does seem like Hideo Kojima is working on a horror title yet again. While the nature of the entire P.T. situation will obviously impact players’ expectations of this upcoming project, for the moment, it’s nice to know that Kojima is returning to a genre that he has only really loosely explored in the past yet seems to be a perfect creative fit for.