While speaking at DICE 2016, Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima discusses his ideas for a VR horror game that would deploy different tactics to ‘scare’ the player.
Although Hideo Kojima’s most recent foray into the world of horror, the abruptly cancelled Silent Hills, crashed and burned, it appears the developer is still very much interested in the genre. However, while Silent Hills was to be a more traditional console experience, Kojima’s new vision for horror is slightly different.
While at the DICE 2016 conference this week, Kojima spoke at length about a number of topics. He suggested a potential reunion with Silent Hills star Norman Reedus, shared more info about his new studio and Sony-exclusive project, and even teased how he would use VR technology.
Specifically with regards to VR, Kojima said that he would love to craft an experience that elicits genuine horror. Not horror in the sense of “gory” or “grotesque” imagery, but discomfort and a general sense of unease.
“Shooters are always fun, but I’m more interested, for example, in bringing out feelings in people that are unique to VR. Some feelings, maybe displeasure, maybe horror. But not the kind of horror you get from grotesque or gory things, but a different kind of horror…Let’s say you put the VR headset on and there are a lot of people here, people you’re not familiar with,” he explained. “You’re not being told who you are, why you’re there. That alone is scary. That alone makes you want to look away. For example, when you look away you can have someone come [into the room]. You don’t need to explain anything. That’s something completely different. That alone is so interesting, the possibility of creating that.”
It feels only fitting that Kojima would want to approach horror in a unique way – the developer has been bucking the trends ever since he burst on the scene over two decades ago. In fact, a horror game that explores real world fears would be rather unique, especially with VR to boost the realism.
Then again, we’re sure that plenty of fans would prefer Kojima approach horror in the traditional sense, if only because they want to see the promise of the P.T. demo delivered in full. That game was predicated on the grotesque and jump scares, which is more along the lines of traditional horror.
While the prospect of a VR horror game from Hideo Kojima is likely to garner a lot of attention, that’s still a far off possibility at the moment. According to Kojima, VR headsets have improved a lot in the time since he first demoed them, but he believes they are still in need of some fine-tuning. Not just in function either, but form as well.
“It doesn’t look really good when you have a headset mounted on. But I’m very confident that the day will come where we’ll have something integrating glasses, where you have a nice combination of AR and VR. I’m really confident in that regard.”
We can’t speak to the functionality of VR at the moment – Oculus Rift headsets are slated to hit first patrons next month – but the form is certainly something to consider. Having a bulking headset attached to one’s skull for an extended period of time is sure to cause some strain, not to mention the looks one is bound to get while using a VR headset. But the technology is still in its infancy, and likely not even close to where it will be in 5 or 10 years. Presumably then Kojima and his horror ideas might get involved.
Of course, hearing the words Kojima and horror together is exciting, but we wouldn’t put money on a VR horror experience coming from the developer any time soon. As we mentioned, the Metal Gear Solid developer is currently putting together ideas for his first project at his new studio. All we know at this point about the game is that it is a PlayStation exclusive.