Slitterhead: Release date, gameplay, and everything we know about the Silent Hill creator's new horror game

(Image credit: Bokeh Game Studio)

Oops! Bokeh Game studio accidentally leaked its Slitterhead release date in a trailer that has already been pulled offline ahead of Summer Game Fest [via PushSquare]. Slitterhead is one of those upcoming horror games that piqued our interest immediately. Led by Keiichiro Toyama and announced back in 2021, the grisly scare 'em up marks the first game from Bokeh Game Studio, and with a smattering of Silent Hill alums behind the wheel, it's looking suitably grotesque in the best way possible. 

Thought the trailers has since been pulled, we now know that Slitterhead is slated to launch on November 8. The initial Slitterhead reveal trailer crawled wickedly onto our screens some three years ago, and it's still enough to give you the shivers. It shows a city being overwhelmed by hideously grotesque parasites, taking control of their hosts in a manner that belongs in only the most brutal of Japanese horror flicks. A more recent glimpse gave us a look at how combat will function in this terrifying adventure, seemingly balancing action elements with magical properties to create something truly unique.

The developer hasn't said as much, but we're still hopeful to see Slitterhead amid the top new games of 2024 to look out for. For now, here's a breakdown of Slitterhead's storyline and gameplay mechanics, as well as some insight into how legendary Team Silent composer Akira Yamaoka (who's scored some of the best horror games of all time) came to sign up for Slitterhead.

Recent updates

This Slitterhead hub was updated on June 7, adding the leaked release date as per an accidentally leaked trailer ahead of SGF 2024.

Slitterhead release date


(Image credit: Bokeh Game Studio)

A leaked trailer reveals that Slitterhead will launch on November 8, 2024 on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC platforms [via Gematsu]. We're still waiting for the official release date announcement, which is suspected to come later today on June 7 during the Summer Game Fest opening night showcase.

Slitterhead trailer 

The Slitterhead trailer that aired at the Game Awards teases a little of what we can expect from Bokeh Game Studio’s first project, and leads with Keiichiro Toyama’s horror credentials. A caption reads: “In 1999, Keiichiro Toyama chose horror as the genre for his first directorial work. Silent Hill was released to the world. In 2020, he went independent and founded Bokeh Game Studio. And he came back to face a new challenge in horror.” 

With that, this new challenge in horror depicts grotesque, shapeshifting monsters, the dismemberment of bewildered civilians and police officers alike, and a ninja-aping, motorcycle helmet-wearing, sword-wielding chap who goes to town on the ethereal beings, who may or may not be the game’s protagonist. 

Slitterhead combat footage dev diary 

Dev Diary: Slitterhead Pre-Alpha User Tests - YouTube Dev Diary: Slitterhead Pre-Alpha User Tests - YouTube
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Published on July 6, 2023, this dev diary explores the QA process behind the scenes at Bokeh Studio, before teasing a small section of early in-development combat. Unfolding in un-rendered testing rooms, the playable character can be seen battling shambling humanoids whose heads have been overtaken by parasites. The player uses a mix of red magic, Vega-like claws, swords, and what looks like a sawn-off shotgun at one point to take down their aggressors - one of which takes the form of a giant, multi-tendrilled monster. Toward's the gameplay footage's end, there's a playable dog. Which is cool.    

Slitterhead story and gameplay 


(Image credit: Bokeh Game Studio)

Again, with such a short burst of cinematic footage, it’s hard to say exactly what shape Slitterhead will take in gameplay terms come final release. The Silent Hill and Siren series have both historically adopted third-person perspectives, though survival horror heavyweight Resident Evil has recently pivoted to first-person fare in Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village. Ghostwire: Tokyo, an action-horror game from The Evil Within creators Tango Gameworks, has likewise moved from third to first-person view, therefore it’ll be interesting to see which path Slitterhead goes down. 

In the Slitterhead trailer itself, we see a man seemingly caught off guard by a woman overcome by parasites, and are later shown police scrambling around the streets reacting to a pretty gruesome active crime scene. All of which suggests things turn to shit pretty quickly in-game. The Slitterhead trailer ends with an older woman standing on a veranda who’s clearly been infected by the parasites we’ve seen earlier. In a flash, her creature-like head – scales, tentacle tongue and all – retracts, folding neatly back into place, to reform her otherwise normal human face. Which may mean shapeshifters play a part in Slitterhead too.

Slitterhead development 

Keiichiro Toyama is the head of Bokeh Game Studio and the creative director of Slitterhead. Besides creating Silent Hill in the late 1990s, he is also responsible for the Forbidden Siren series of horror games – the last of which, Siren: Blood Curse, landed in 2008 – having spent the last several years working on the Sony-exclusive action-adventure series Gravity Rush. In 2020, the veteran developer established Bokeh Game Studio, with Slitterhead marking its first project. Team Silent composer Akira Yamaoka is also scoring the project and thinks that you’ll like the finished product. 

Check out the very best survival horror games ever, from Resident Evil 2 to Alien: Isolation.

Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly is a sports editor from Glasgow and former features editor at GamesRadar+. A mental health advocate, Joe has written about video games and mental health for The Guardian, New Statesman, VICE, PC Gamer and many more, and believes the interactive nature of video games makes them uniquely placed to educate and inform. His book Checkpoint considers the complex intersections of video games and mental health, and was shortlisted for Scotland's National Book of the Year for non-fiction in 2021. As familiar with the streets of Los Santos as he is the west of Scotland, Joe can often be found living his best and worst lives in GTA Online and its PC role-playing scene.

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