There are plenty of things that just go together. Fundamental combinations that we know of exist all around us. Some examples: peanut butter and jelly, french fries and ketchup, fava beans and a nice Chianti. These all go together, and work incredibly well in their respective passionate tango dances. When I was reading about Kodoku, it became incredibly apparent that the team at Carnivore Studio had uncovered yet another fundamentally beautiful combination: Lovecraft and Japanese folklore.
Excuse me, I need to wipe some drool off of my keyboard. So yes, Kodoku is an excellent looking horror game in development for the PS4 and Vita by Carnivore Studio; a London based independent developer. Earlier this year, Romain, the founder of the studio, placed an excellent overview of the game up on the PlayStation Blog where he talked about the game they are making. The studio itself is composed of industry veterans who all come from different countries. Many of them had worked together before and came together to create a unique horror game.
What Exactly Am I Looking at Here?
Kodoku is a horror exploration game set on a Japanese island. You’ll be fighting Lovecraftian creatures inspired by Japanese folklore that reside on the island. No guns though, those won’t do anything. Instead you’ll be using magic talismans that you can craft using materials you find on your journey. For those uninitiated with Lovecraft, I’ll give you the short version. Check out my Call of Cthulhu preview for a more in-depth examination of the Mythos. Lovecraftian refers to the last name of a posthumously renowned horror author by the name of H.P Lovecraft.
The man was brilliant, or insane. Probably a little of both to be honest, but his work has lived on and grown in popularity long after his death. For Kodoku, the team is shooting going for an original and captivating art style that sets a particular mood and generates specific feelings in the player, things they hope will contribute to a unique horror experience. With many of the team members being fans of the Siren series, the Japanese influence in the anime-like art style are evident. That being said, the style is very detailed and stylized. It calls to mind the art of Akira to give you a good comparison.
The developers are also taking inspiration from modern art and Butoh dance, combining it with Lovecraft and Japanese folklore for the best damn horror based peanut butter and jelly sandwich this side of a Silent Hill kitchen. Ultimately, Kodoku is a game where you can explore the entire island and discover equal parts horror, mystery, and magic. The team is experienced, passionate, and in my humble opinion, on the right path.
Instant Purchase for Me, How about You?
Everything about this game screams awesome to me. As always, time will tell if it truly capitalizes on all of its potential, but wow, there’s a lot of potential here. Kodoku is coming along nicely and while the release date hasn’t been nailed down quite yet, I am counting the days until I can get my hands on this one.
What do you think of Kodoku? Do you like the combination of Japanese folklore and Lovecraft? What does the art style remind you of? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 9/15/2014