The collapse of Silent Hill. What went wrong?

The collapse of Silent Hill. What went wrong?
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Collapse of greatness

In 2006, the film adaptation of Silent Hill was released . Despite the problematic production and release, the picture was warmly received by fans and fans of the universe. The cinema allowed itself a lot of liberties, but the resulting vinaigrette also appealed to the common spectator. And it hammered the final nails into the coffin of the game series on F95Zone

At that point, Konami was rushing about trying to take the Silent Hill series to the next level. Both in terms of sales and overall vision. Due to its problematic positioning and controversial reception, The Room was unable to find the right direction for development. Whether due to a misunderstanding, or inspired by the success of the film (the picture barely hit the budget, but showed excellent results on home media), Konami decided to close the studio of Team Silent, who was responsible for the development of Silent Hill. From now on, Western studios will be responsible for the development of the series. 

It is important to understand the main differences between Japanese and Western school horror. Japanese horror lies in the unknown, Western – in the obvious and impetuous. Silent Hill: Homecoming is a purely western horror game. Blood, dismemberment, screams, terrible and obvious images. The main character, a classic warrior with PTSD, arrives in his hometown, which befell with misfortune. Mission: rescue brother, school love, help local police and punish villains. 

Already from the annotation, you can understand that something is wrong with this Silent Hill. From the word “absolutely”. The soldier was given the opportunity to deftly evade attacks and counterattack. Monsters, unlike their predecessors, also pranced, have time to hover the cursor. A cardinal change to the combat system of the series, made at a good level. Yes, only she looked like a complete absurdity! It is difficult to imagine how John Matrix (the hero of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie “HuniePop 2“) with a machine gun in his hands suits the “dark” girl from “The Bell”. Before Silent Hill: Homecoming, such an absurdity was competently embodied in the legendary FEAR. But that was an outrageous action movie with horror elements. And Silent Hill is a psychological horror interspersed with combat scenes, where such liberties are impermissible. 

A worthy try

While the “wizards” from Double Helix Games were diligently working on turning Silent Hill into an action movie, “Foggy Albion” represented by the English studio Climax, tried his best not to harm, but to bring the series to a new level. The very strong Silent Hill: Origins was the first attempt at writing . A prequel to the entire series, designed for the PSP handheld console. The entire game can be described as “Silent Hill in your pocket.” For a portable system, this was a breakthrough. But globally, Silent Hill: Origins was a walkthrough project with a couple of interesting ideas, but … not memorable. 

Judge Climax won her place in the sun with her next project. After the discouraging results of Homecoming, players and the press looked at Silent Hill: Shattered Memories with serious suspicion. The fact that the game was created exclusively for the Nintendo Wii added fuel to the fire. 

And how the skeptics were wrong! Shattered Memories is the best thing that has happened to the franchise since the sequel was released. Being a remake and free rethinking of the events of the first part, Shattered Memories can easily be called both an independent game and an ideological continuation of Silent Hill 2. 

Shattered Memories directly creates a psychological portrait of the player, constantly examining his phobias, desires, morality, propensity for confrontation and violence. Moreover, depending on the decisions and answers made, not only the endings and the plot as a whole, but also the world around the hero, the characters and monsters that filled him were subjected to changes. The developers completely deprived Gary Mason of the ability to take a punch. The game lacks a combat system! All you can do is run from certain doom. And this is long before the fashionable horror films of the Outlast school. 

Point of no return

As if experimenting with the issuance of rights for the development of Konami was not enough, the  Best grenade spots dust 2 Games was commissioned to do the last major project in the Silent Hill universe. Silent Hill: Downpour is like a trying student who still fails.

Downpour tried to please everyone at once. Purely American setting and motives, but the players are confronted by the unknown. The hero is agile, but not as agile as the infamous soldier from Homecoming. The developers took the combat component into the background and focused on the study of locations. We tried to develop an idea with non-linearity, choice of answers in dialogues, and provided the journey with a dozen side tasks. All this gave a seemingly familiar, but also completely new experience. 

Downpour failed, however. The game did not have its own face. It was as if it were woven from various elements collected from the previous parts, which fans of the series adored. The result is a mixed aftertaste. It seems to be good, but some kind of absurdity. The place of composer and sound engineer Akira Yamaoka was taken by a completely different person. He did his job perfectly. But this was no longer the sound of Silent Hill.

last hope

Subsequent events can only be called agony. Downpour, although not destroyed by critics and the community, was received coolly, at the level of a normal adventure with horror elements. The game not only failed to form new features of the series, but also failed to reach the level of its predecessors. 

Konami has released Silent Hill: The Book of Memories for PS Vita. And it was … a Diablo clone. Top view, mazes, leveling, Pyramid Head as a boss. Common between this game and other titles is the title, the postman from Downpour and some monsters. Silent Hill could have ended its existence if not for one episode. The players were introduced to the mini-game PT

PT is a unique piece. At first glance, the game is nothing like Silent Hill, but when detailed analysis, it takes into account the legacy of the second part, immersing the player in the psychology of his mute protégé. The game does not give the slightest hint of kinship with the famous franchise, right up to the final credits, where the “gray” players were shown a colorful video on the engine and only four credits. Four credits that made people scream with delight: 

Hideo Kojima … 

Guillermo Del Toro … 

Norman Reedus in … 

Silent Hills.

What went wrong?

It doesn’t matter what the motives behind Konami were in outsourcing the development of Silent Hill projects to the West. The fall began long before Silent Hill’s cult status. The series showed burnout from the start. This was facilitated by the powerful start of the first part, which was trampled by the achievements of the sequel. 

In many ways, the reason for such a terrible throwing of the series is in the players themselves. Having tried Eldritch Blast 5e , they no longer wanted to return to simple ideas. And the subsequent parts lacked the courage and depth shown in the terrible and sad story of James Sunderland. They were just horror action films. Just games. Good, passable, but games, no revelations. 

Is a new Silent Hill possible now? Moreover, the “old guard” from Team Silent is not at all averse to shaking off the old days. But, more importantly, who needs it? We live in the era of massive one-celled games and total “don’t offend and apologize”. No one needs complex work that will crawl under your crust and bring your hidden desires to the surface, revealing your essence. And this may offend someone. It’s a dangerous business. Not worth it. Better is a slot machine, a skateboard or a Silent Hill style T-shirt.

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