Recently, there have been a ton of rumors surrounding the Silent Hill series. From all new games to remakes and even to a new movie. The Silent Hill rumor mill has been buzzing lately but I feel there’s something we aren’t really addressing here.
Should we really be excited for a new Silent Hill game?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Silent Hill fan! I’ve played and beaten most of the games, I even suffered through the HD Collection! But despite being such a big fan I really can’t bring myself to get excited about a new game in the series. At least not yet, anyways. But let’s talk a bit more about that and why I think other fans should be just as cautious as me.
I feel like the main thing that has people excited about all these rumors is Silent Hills, the Hideo Kojima developed Silent Hill game that was teased with P.T. before being tragically canceled. It honestly feels like a lot of people assume that if we get a new Silent Hill it would be like Silent Hills, but that could not be further from the truth. The only way we could possibly get that game is if Kojima himself came back to the project and, let’s be honest here, that is never going to happen. There is still so much bad blood between him and Konami, the publisher and owner of Silent Hill, that I can’t imagine he’d ever want to work with them again. And if Kojima isn’t working on the game, along with the amazing team he assembled for it, we will not be getting that game. And look, I get it! I am a big fan of Kojima and Silent Hill. I was extremely excited when I found out he’d be making the next game in the series and I was horribly heart broken when it was canceled. I would love to play that game or just know any more information on it. But we have to let go of the dream that we’ll ever get to see more of Silent Hills. At this point, the best thing we can hope for on that front is that Kojima will make a horror game and reuse some of the elements he wanted to include with Silent Hills. But beyond that? It’s never going to happen.
And that brings us to our next big question regarding these rumored new games. Who would even develop them? Many people seem to be pointing towards Bloober Team, the developers behind Layers of Fear and The Medium, and it honestly makes sense as to why people assume they’d be working on it. They are a team with horror game experience, they even stated that The Medium was their attempt at making a Silent Hill like game, and they have even worked with Akira Yamaoka, the composer for most of the Silent Hill series, before. And to top it all off, they announced awhile back that they would be working with Konami on a future project. However, if they are the team that is working on this new Silent Hill, then I feel we should be even less excited than before! While they certainly can make a horror game, that doesn’t mean they can make a good Silent Hill. Take a closer look at The Medium if you want to better understand what I mean.
From a distance, The Medium does look like a classic survival horror game released in a modern age, but that’s only at a distance sadly. Actually playing the game quickly reveals that it’s a far cry from classic survival horror. And this is mainly because of the lack of actual ‘survival’ in the game. When I think of survival horror games I think of managing resources, deciding whether it’s worth it to fight something or just run, and having that constant fear of whether or not you have enough to take on what might be around the next corner. I also think about exploration aspects of survival horror games, things like looking at your map over and over to make sure you’re going the right way, marking off which rooms you’ve explored and which you haven’t, checking around an area for new items for solving puzzles or for helping you survive. These are the elements that make survival horror! And The Medium has none of these. It’s a linear experience where you never have to look far for the answer to a puzzle, you can’t miss anything, and the only moments of survival are when the game’s one monster shows up for a little before leaving after you hide from them or trick them into running away or something. The game wants you to think it’s still survival horror though. Especially with it’s fixed camera angles. But lack of tank controls! You had one job, Bloober Team… The game’s game play is serviceable but it doesn’t come close to Silent Hill. And given that this was Bloober Team’s attempt at making a game inspired by Silent Hill, that should be worrying. Because it shows their lack of understanding about what really makes a Silent Hill game great. Just because someone is inspired by something doesn’t mean they understand it or what even inspired them about it in the first place. However, the game play isn’t actually the thing that makes me the most worried about Bloober Team handling an actual Silent Hill game. The story of The Medium is what has me the most scared…
I’m not going to go into too many details here talking about the story as it tries to tackle some very heavy topics. But it mainly focuses on abuse and more specifically, the victims of abuse. This very real and relevant subject is handled so terribly that the message of the game seems to be that the only real way to help a victim of abuse… is to kill them. Yes, really. The message of The Medium seems to be that the cycle of abuse only continues and will never stop unless drastic action is taken. And I’m not the only one what has come to this conclusion about the game’s story. There are a lot of people who feel the same way. This is just gross on so many levels and I shouldn’t have to explain why. But it is very important to bring this up as Silent Hill is a series that also touches on some very heavy topics like this. The big difference is, Silent Hill generally handles them much better. Silent Hill 2 in particular does an amazing job of talking about heavy topics but doing so respectfully. Something that is rare nowadays but even more rare back when the game released in 2001! And while not every single Silent Hill game tries to cover this kinds of topics, it seems pretty clear that Bloober Team would attempt to address some more topics like this if they were given the chance. And this right here is the main reason why a Silent Hill game from them scares me the most. It goes far beyond just the game play being bad, I don’t want another message like the one in The Medium in any other game. Especially not in a series like Silent Hill!
But if Bloober Team isn’t the one making the rumored game, who should? And that is the question I think needs to be answered before anyone should get excited about anything Silent Hill related. It’s pretty clear there needs to be a good team behind a Silent Hill game for it to be successful and Konami doesn’t seem to be that great at finding people for the job if the more recent games in the series are anything to go by. After Team Silent, the original team behind the series, was disbanded the games really fell in quality. Silent Hill Origins wasn’t too bad in all honesty but it also doesn’t really compare to the originals. Silent Hill Shattered Memories was a surprisingly great game! However, it wasn’t very much of a Silent Hill game at it’s core. Beyond that, the other games have just been bad… Homecoming, Downpour, and Book of Memories. All of them were not only bad as Silent Hill games but just games in general. And let’s not forget the extremely upsetting HD Collection as well… And while all the blame can’t be put on the developers of these games, it’s still pretty clear to see that Silent Hill needs a passionate team behind it to really make it into something great.
So, despite being a massive fan of the series myself, hearing these rumors about Silent Hill coming back does not get me excited. If anything it does the opposite. At this point, I think it’s time to just let the series rest and move on. While other horror series, like Resident Evil, have managed to bounce back, I really can’t see the same happening with Silent Hill. Maybe if another company got the rights away from Konami and actually put the proper time, care, and money into it, then I could look forward to a new game! But right now, I think everyone really shouldn’t be getting excited about any new Silent Hill.
But those are just my thoughts! What are some of yours? Are you a fan of the Silent Hill series? Do these rumors get you excited for a new game? I’d love to hear your thoughts so don’t be shy!
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