You may have heard that videogame director Hideo Kojima has some new games on the way, mainly because the man has gone into maddeningly vague marketing overdrive for the last month or so. The first big one was the reveal of actor Elle Fanning for the new project, alongside which Kojima began tweeting out garbled phrases like "WHO IS WHERE?" and "TGS→'WHO'→ ELLE / PAX→'WHERE'→??? / ???→'???'→???".
No, I didn't make the last one up, and predictably enough the internet's finest gaming sleuths have been poring over all of Kojima's nonsense to bring together the strands. Now our mischievous friend has another announcement, though there are a few more straightforward and interesting elements to this one. The main reveal is that actor Shioli Kutsuna (probably best-known for her role in Deadpool 2) will join Elle Fanning in the new project, which is all of-a-piece with Kojima's affinity for casting actors he once liked in something.
The reveal for Kutsuna has her face under red lighting with the question "WHERE AM I?" To quote my colleague Ted Litchfield, all I want to know at this point is WHERE is my ASPIRIN. The post also features the text "A Hideo Kojima game", just in case anyone was confused about that, and the actor's name.
WHO AM I ?→ElleWHERE AM I ?→Shioli HOW COME ?→???? pic.twitter.com/0P0zLP72BXNovember 2, 2022
There's a little trick to this one though: the poster features a second layer, an all-black image with the words "HOW COME?" and a small silhouette of something tentacled with fins.
There are two Kojima Productions games known about: One is the collaboration with Microsoft, which Kojima modestly reckons may be less a game than a "new sort of medium", and there's the sequel to Death Stranding. The latter is known about thanks to Norman Reedus, who must have quite annoyed Kojima when he just blurted out that it existed in May (Kojima responded by telling Reedus to "go to his private room," an in-joke about the game).
Some enemy and thematic spoilers for Death Stranding follow. The silhouette of this tentacled creature suggests to me that we're looking at the Death Stranding sequel. While the game has become somewhat defined by the global pandemic that hit shortly after it was released, Death Stranding was never a game about a pandemic. It's a slightly clumsy parable about humanity's inability to act collectively in the face of a global crisis like climate change, which towards the end becomes quite blatant to the extent you're eventually blasting away at a giant whale made of oil.
The ocean's depths and the death and decay of marine life is one of the game's major visual themes, which repeats throughout in some ingenious mechanical ways. All of which is to say that, if this project involves something vaguely squidlike and sinister, my money's on Death Stranding 2: Electric Boogaloo. To be clear this is just speculation, and of course this could turn out to be something different: It's long been rumoured that Kojima Productions is working on a horror project called Overdose, for example, though take that with a grain of salt.
Hopefully we'll find out soon enough because, even as a Kojima liker, I want some red meat to look forward to, rather than more photos of actors alongside 20 questions.