Last year Konami decided to show us a very interesting teaser, in the most insane, terrifying, though engaging and unanticipated way. they gave us something we were lingering to have since Silent Hill 3. they gave us hope. They gave us Silent Hills. A couple of days ago, they decided to step back and do away with this hope.
I remember playing the first Silent Hill. It was like anything else i’ve played before. It was a terrifying game, in which I experienced for the first time that helplessness feeling of being exposed and unprotected, vulnerable with the almost useless weaponry of the game gave you. It was this simple “think or die” way of gaming, enriched by a gloomy, scary atmosphere, what remained carved in my memory. A few years later Silent Hill 2 came —my personal favorite—, continuing with the dark, bizarre style, full of challenging puzzles and great story turns, and giving us a great script that followed a different line and different characters than the first instalment. The third game, Silent Hill 3 came about with the same tradition and capturing our imagination. by then, Silent Hill was one of the most popular franchises ever.
Then it all started to change. Konami gave us some spin-off games with not-as-good storylines and graphics, convoluted explanations of events in the main games, and not-so-scary jump scares. It seemed that the creators were trying hard to give some new feel and texture to the franchise, experimenting on different directions. Then, Silent Hill 4 showed more of the same in a long, static and slow-paced game, attempting to cause the notion claustrophobia and surrealism, but failing at ultimately delivering the impression and feel of the first three instalments. There seemed no clear goal about what the franchise was pointing to. Instalment after instalment, we the fans were waiting for that terrifying enchantment of the three first games, and what we got seemed simply not the same.
After all of this hoping and waiting, there came the hope in the form of the P. T. Demo, released last year. It was simply the most terrifying bit of game I’ve played in years —even probably since the second Silent Hill. this incredible, innovating playable teaser showed us a world of simple but terrifying events using nothing but a simple corridor, repeating itself all over again, but evolving at every step, getting more and more terrifying at every new loop. the consistent and strong script reminded us of the way we used to feel when we played the first Silent Hill instalments. at the end of P. T. —half an hour of gameplay, if you were lucky with the final, non-intuitive puzzle— we were rewarded with the teaser trailer of Silent Hills, a strategical master stroke that made the upcoming instalment one of the most anticipated games of the year. The collaboration of the legendary Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus taking the main role of the game made this project the most exiting news we the Silent Hill fans had in a long, long time.
Now the developing events left us with nothing, since it was announced Silent Hills was definitely cancelled, and the P. T. game, removed from the PlayStation Network. This strange, self-destructive move by Konami appears to be part of a series of moves that led to several speculations, including their closure of the console game development division, or even the inevitable doom of the company. Konami allegedly will keep developing Silent Hill games in the not-so-near future, but as even Del Toro and Reedus confirmed, Silent Hills is definitively dead. This news are indeed a huge “sucker punch” in the heart of the fans, who have been expecting this new take of the franchise for decades. the sad thing is that, no matter what konami would release for Silent Hill in the next years, we will always have the “what could have been” notion in our minds, after being teased with this all-star fantastic possibility and ultimately being blown away, in the same way that after all this time, people still have in their subconscious mind that Superman Lives project that never was. We’ll just have to wait for more several years and see what the future departs for the Silent Hill franchise. in the meantime, i personally hope that Kojima can find a creative space outside Konami, so he can develop deliver the games he want, the way he wants.
Let me know what you think about this. Are you a hurt Silent Hill fan like me?