Hype On The (Silent) Hill
Justin recaps and deep dives into the latest Silent Hill announcements.
Silent Hill 2 is back, and *checks notes* we are excited? The last major game Konami worked on, aside from Contra: Rogue Corps (2019), was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015). As teased with leaks and mentions of Silent Hill from Konami, we finally have confirmation that the survivor-horror fan-favorite series, Silent Hill, is back. Let's not jump the gun, though, shall we? Konami has not had its toes in the game development world for almost a decade. The age-old question gamers loved taunting about was, "Remember when Konami made games?" I do, as I loved the Metal Gear Solid franchise alongside Silent Hill, as many gamers do.
Here is the catch, though. Konami isn't actually developing this title. The Bloober Team, known for past survivor-horror titles like Layers of Fear, Medium, Observer, and most recently, Blair Witch, has the helm of Silent Hill 2's remake. I personally have played Layers of Fear and thoroughly enjoyed the horror aspects and narrative. I do have hopes for what Bloober is capable of. Though, things right off the bat have already rocked the boat to some degree. If you haven't seen the teaser, the most significant change is the perspective. Long has the fixed-camera angles been absent from horror games, and the remake of Silent Hill 2 is no different. I still blame Resident Evil 4 for this unfortunate notion.
For those who have played the original Silent Hill 2 game(s), you would remember a disorienting fixed camera that swayed in a manner that almost confused you. However, I argue that this was a big draw to the game! Yes, not many out there like tank controls or fixed cameras, but hear me out. Like my Resident Evil articles here at Quit The Build, fixed cameras add value to the games! What do I mean by this, in particular, for Silent Hill? Well, the camera added to the sense of psychological horror that Silent Hill is known for. There are many interpretations of Silent Hill, and I'm among those in the psychology pool. The camera was stationary, but it also had an eerie sway as it followed you (to an extent). This little forced perspective aided in the sensation of feeling unnerving or uneasy. It really did add to the whole horror vibe of the series and not being able to peak around corners to find what lies ahead
I'm not saying the over-the-shoulder camera is a bad thing. I would just like to see more support from developers to include options for fixed cameras. Take the indie survivor horror Them and Us, for example. The developers added modern, and tank controls options in addition to fixed camera or over-the-shoulder perspectives. Hats off to you, Tendogames. I absolutely appreciate and adore these features. Moving on from this, the Bloober team has also mentioned a complete rebuild of the combat system. This could be a good thing, however. I like the old combat system, but it's dated and needs an overhaul. Bloober also indicates that they will reconstruct certain aspects/areas of the game. This could be good or bad depending on what changes and how much.
Big surprise here, but I like using the Resident Evil 1 remake as a grading scale for remakes. Capcom did exceptionally with this as they overhauled the entire game, kept true to the combat system and controls, and even added to the game seamlessly. Within the Spencer manor, new areas, inside and out, were mixed in flawlessly and made it seem like they were part of the original. If Bloober can pull that off, then, by all means, go for it! Now on to a little bit of bad news about this announcement. I'm sorry to tell those Xbox players, but Silent Hill 2 is exclusive to PC and PS5 for the first 12 months. It's somewhat ironic as Sony's exclusivity with Call of Duty wasn't brilliant recently, but then it turned around and did this. Who's steering the ship up at Sony?
Anyways, onward with the Silent Hill announcements. The other worth mentioning, in my opinion, is Silent Hill: F. Silent Hill: F appears to be the first new major entry to the Silent Hill franchise in over a decade and is developed by *checks notes again* the Resident Evil Re: Verse team. Hmm...I don't know how I feel about this one. Resident Evil Re: Verse is an online multiplayer shooter game held within the Resident Evil series, so this tends to leave me a bit on edge about how they will go from shooter to survivor. In any case, Silent Hill: F showcases a teaser trailer of a young girl mindlessly walking down in what appears to be rural Japan.
Soon after, red vines emerge, creeping up every wall, nook, and cranny. As the girl walks, the vines reach out, grabbing for her; she panics and begins to run. After, we see her sitting on a tiny bit of land in the middle of a pond/lake, and flowers start to bloom out of corpses. The camera pans in, revealing the girl enveloped in vines and flowers. As the camera reaches her face, it falls off in a disgusting fleshly manner. It reminds me of those parasitic fungi, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-floridani, which controls its host in a zombie-like rhythm towards specific destinations to flourish and spread its spores. It makes me wonder if Silent Hill will take the direction of Resident Evil 4 and create a parasitic-type enemy.
Overall, it was an exciting day for Silent Hill fans. It seems most either excited or, in some cases, worried. Only time will tell how these new entries will be excepted. Until next time... じゃまたね.