It’s hard to believe there was a time when Silent Hill was one of the horror game franchises. Back in the days of the PS2, it stood as the largest rival to Resident Evil in the genre. In recent years, however, things haven’t just been rough; they’ve been disastrous! Silent Hills was one of the most anticipated horror games ever thanks to PT, and now neither one exists. Konami murdered the series just as badly as they did their other beloved IPs.
So imagine the internet’s surprise when they came out and announced a whole plethora of new Silent Hill content. They could have just announced the Silent Hill 2 remake and left it at that. Instead, they announced three total games and a new movie.
Hey, I know Silent Hill fans who loved those first two movies, so good for them.
Obviously, the biggest announcement is the Silent Hill 2 remake. That shouldn’t surprise anyone: SH2 is considered by many to be one of the greatest horror games of all time. The gameplay of the original PS2 version is janky as hell, sure, but that kind of adds to the experience. Silent Hill 2 is deeply unsettling on just about every level, so much so that the awkward acting and rough gameplay are integral to its identity.
That’s why my concern for this remake is really high. By modernizing and streamlining that original game, they’re going to end up losing a lot of the charm that made it so successful. The devs are going to have to get super creative to make up for that and make an experience just as impactful.
Will they be able to? I’m not sure. Bloober Team, the devs behind the remake, have made plenty of horror games in the past; Layers of Fear, Observer, and Blair Witch to name a few. Unfortunately, I haven’t played any of them, but I’ve heard generally positive things. Who knows? Maybe these are the right people for the job.
They also made The Medium, though, and I heard really bad things about that. So… grain of salt.
Personally, I’m much more excited about the new spin-off game: Silent Hill Townfall. The devs for this project are the same guys behind Stories Untold, one of my favorite indie horror games. These guys know how to mix psychological horror with the narrative. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got cooking. I honestly have higher hopes for this than I do for the 2 remake.
Silent Hill: Ascension is also a thing. That one just seems weird; from the sound of it, it’s like a TV series where the audience chooses the outcome. It also has J.J. Abrams attached to it, apparently. Whatever the hell this is going to be, I don’t think it’s gonna be good. All the details revealed about this one, vague though they were, have been attached to red flags.
Finally, we have the last new game announced: Silent Hill F. A brand-new game taking place in Japan. We don’t have any actual gameplay to go off of, but the cinematic teaser was pretty creepy and gross. It also has a pretty interesting team working on it, including Ryukishi07 as the lead writer. This one seems weird, so it seems pretty interesting to me.
That’s about it. Unless you all really want to know about the merchandise. Which Konami thought you did… for some reason.
Overall, these announcements have left me with some mixed feelings. After so many years of silence, it’s nice to see Konami actually trying to make new Silent Hill games (even if every single one of them is outsourced because Konami themselves don’t make games anymore), but there’s still room for concern. All of these games could be great and rejuvenate the series. Or Konami could do what they always do and ruin it with their special brand of executive meddling.
There’s plenty of reason to be concerned. Not just because Konami is Konami. All of these announcements are still clearly in the early stages of development; not one of them got a release date, and all the gameplay we saw was a few brief one-second clips of the SH2 remake. Nothing has been shown yet to really grab the audience’s attention.
Still, I choose to hope. These games could be the breath of life to restore Silent Hill to its former glory. Or they could be the franchise’s dying gasp. Only time will tell.
God, I remember back when Silent Hill actually contested Resident Evil. Wouldn’t it be nuts to go back to that? It probably won’t happen, but just imagine!