Liam Ferguson looks into the newly returned Silent Hill franchise
It happened. After fans of the series had gone through the five stages of grief following the cancellation of Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills in 2015, the pachinko and sometimes video game company Konami have decided to bring back the Silent Hill franchise. This should have been a time for joy, but the monkey’s paw curled its finger once more, and instead fans were left terrifyingly underwhelmed following Konami’s October 2022 Silent Hill showcase.
To start, something that has only been in the dreams of gamers for years was announced, a remake of Silent Hill 2. The masterclass of survival horror is set to arrive sometime in the near future exclusive to PlayStation 5 and PC. Time to rejoice, right? A next-gen focused remake of one of the most beloved entries in a storied franchise that has been left to rot is being developed, time to break out the champagne! As long as Konami have partnered with a great studio to bring this remake to life, then it is a shoe-in for many game of the year awards and the perfect match to light a Konami renaissance.
...brief glimpse of Silent Hill 2’s mushy textures did not spark a wave of optimism
Anyway, Bloober Team, the studio seen trending on Twitter as fans of Silent Hill came together in a collective mourning session, are developing the remake. This is not to say Bloober Team are a bad studio, their horror titles such as Layers of Fear, Blair Witch and The Medium have found their own small fanbases, but none of these titles present the level of polish that would be expected from a remake as big as Silent Hill 2. Studios like Bluepoint have radically changed the perception on how remakes should look in the modern era, and the brief glimpse of Silent Hill 2’s mushy textures did not spark a wave of optimism.
Following that came the announcement of three brand new games in the franchise, none of which seemed to lift the mood of grieving fans. Silent Hill Townfall was cryptically revealed and offered little to no explanation on what it actually was. But, coming from Annapurna Interactive is a good sign that it may turn out as a relatively unique indie-style outing for the series. Silent Hill Ascension looks to be a Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or Until Dawn style interactive story. It’s a novel idea for the series and has the developers of Dead by Daylight behind it which is promising, but it also has J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot lending a hand, which is never a good sign for a beloved franchise. Finally, Silent Hill 2 marks the first new mainline Silent Hill game in over a decade. This one had an eerie cinematic trailer and may actually lead to something quite great, but not enough was revealed to truly get fans excited.
...it also has J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot lending a hand, which is never a good sign for a beloved franchise.
Konami’s presentation did not spark any form of joy for fans or newcomers alike. Gamers were left with the vague promise of a new mainline game that might be good, a couple of spinoffs, an underwhelming remake of a fan-favourite title, and the announcement of a new movie that will likely be as bad as the rest. Maybe initial reveals are misleading and everything announced here will be a masterpiece, but as things stand, the future of Silent Hill looks about as bright as it did after Kojima’s project was cancelled seven years ago.