6 Things I Want From The Next ‘Silent Hill’

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I am a big Silent Hill fan. If you were to write a slash fiction story where Pyramid Head and I share a night of otherworldly passion after he looks at me with his come hither helmet grate, beckoning me to polish his great sword, I would be okay with that. Too much time has passed since I last visited that foggy resort town and its seedy, red-tinted underbelly. This needs to change, because I’m filled with loneliness right now and only this series can remedy it.

Basically, there’s a tetrahedron-shaped hole in my heart, Konami, and I’d very much like to say that it’s gone now.

But before this can happen, we need to set some ground rules. So after the break I’ve compiled a list of six super easy things I’d like to see (or not see) in the next game so my reunion with Silent Hill and its disturbed denizens can be a happy one.

No More Unsolicited Pyramid Head Cameos

After reading all of the above, this may come off a little strange. I love me some Pyramid Head, but his myriad appearances have become a pet peeve of mine.

For the unfamiliar, Pyramid Head was introduced in Silent Hill 2 as a manifestation of James’s need to be punished for Mary’s death. He should have been a one-off, but his instant popularity led to appearances in a half dozen other games. I understand the desire to wring every last drop of awesome that oozes out of this poor guy, but it needs to stop.

Nemesis didn’t return after Resident Evil 3 — this doesn’t count his appearances in games like Operation Raccoon City which take place during that same time-frame — and Umbrella easily could have mass-produced him, maybe even stowed a few away to whip out in Resident Evil 7. Capcom had a solid reason to bring him back as often as they liked. Granted, they abused the hell out of Albert Wesker until he ate a rocket in Resident Evil 5, but for every time we were forced to gaze upon his familiar face and wonder whether it’s naturally hairless or just an unfortunate side-effect of all those laboratory engineered viruses he keeps ingesting, a new big baddie was introduced.

All I’m saying is don’t be afraid to introduce a new badass.

Continue Vatra’s Good Work

Sadly, Vatra Games is no more. A few glaring issues aside, I think the developer did a fantastic job in taking the series in an exciting new direction. Downpour’s more open and dynamic world should’ve only been the beginning, because it can be pushed much further. Downpour gave players the freedom to explore the areas we wanted to explore, to scour every inch of that abandoned resort town for a new side quest or a better weapon. The unpredictability that stemmed from Downpour’s sudden rainstorms, which made the enemies more agitated and prone to violence, added a lot to the combat as well.

If Kojima has a role in the development of the next game, I can see these features (especially the open world format) being expanded upon. If he isn’t, I still hope this is a path Konami continues to pursue.

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  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    what about a pyramid head on steroids? i love pyramid head. if we can’t have him we must have a replacement. that giant 2-man saw he uses is a pretty terrifying weapon IMO

    • Skull-And-Crossbones

      i vote for Liam Neeson as the new badass

    • Adam Dodd

      I FULLY support a Silent Hill starring Liam Neeson.

    • DomenikSinead

      But Akira Yamaoka said that he’s not going to make the music for Silent Hill!!…..

      So who’s gonna make it?
      Silent Hill without A.Y. it’s not the same

    • Adam Dodd

      Akira Yamaoka won’t return to the series, that’s why I said Daniel Licht should! His scores for Downpour and Book of Memories were fantastic, right up there with Yamaoka’s work, I think.

  • Blood-Sicles

    I like the idea of the Dark Souls “online” thing. Taking the violence out of Silent Hill is a neat idea, but by the time a Silent Hill game gets made, I’m afraid that mechanic will already be dated considering how many of those are being released. Plus who didn’t freaking love the final boss in Downpour?

    • SkullBunnie

      yeah…didnt love the final boss in downpour

    • Adam Dodd

      I liked Downpour’s final boss, it was that dull boss with the trenchcoat and gas mask I found wholly uninteresting.

  • SkullBunnie

    Great summary. I agree with pretty much everything. I would also hope that they throw in a good deal of Shattered Memories (IMO the best installment since 2). It was great that there were no weapons and all you could do was run in terror…made it much more terrifying.

    • Pav

      I absolutely agree with you. Shattered Memories is a great game, my personal favourite of SH. Great deal of puzzles, weapon free and absolutely fantastic designed controlls (i’m talking about PS2 version). It’s a great example how to make horrifying game without arsenal of weapons.

    • Adam Dodd

      Until recently, I didn’t realize how deep the game’s psychological profiling of the player went. If you haven’t seen it already, you should watch this. It’s fascinating if you’re a fan of Shattered Memories.

      • Pav

        I’ve already seen it and this is revolutionary part part of game (it’s the only game that have such great feature). Have played Shattered Memories few times and different psychological profiling really changes gameplay.

  • DomenikSinead

    But Akira Yamaoka said that he’s not going to make the music for Silent Hill!!…..

    So who’s gonna make it?
    Silent Hill without A.Y. it’s not the same

  • felixbrewer

    I agree on all points. I haven’t finished Downpour. Actually, I’ve only just started it. I’ve read a lot about people being disappointed with the enemies overall. I hope they aren’t too uninteresting or disturbing.

    Oh and which installment is the “come at me bro” image from, creature-wise? I’ve played most of the games but I don’t recognize that creature.

    • Adam Dodd

      That beautiful creature is Siam from Silent Hill: Homecoming. Downpour is a solid game, but its biggest flaw (IMO) is definitely the enemies. They just weren’t all that interesting.

      • felixbrewer

        Weak. I liked a lot about Homecoming but I didn’t like how much of the movie kind of seeped back in with it so I never finished it. I should find my copy and just play both once and for all. thanks

  • joesey

    great suggestions. but they should never get rid of pyramid head–i find him absolutely terrifying in the game.

    • Adam Dodd

      I don’t think they should get rid of Pyramid Head entirely, but he also shouldn’t be crowbarred into every Silent Hill game.

  • chris99x

    Who *wouldn’t* want to, um, polish PH’s sword…

    • smoot

      I’m writing this PH/Adam fan fiction right now

  • Laugh Riot

    I’d love to see a online game of Silent Hill. Depending how you played in the game when you die you become a random monster maybe even a rare chance to become one of the more serious ones like Pyramid Head, Boogeyman, Butcher and etc.
    A pack of friends roam a hospital as nurses looking for kills sounds fun to me.

  • Darkness69

    Haha, Adam, great article! Now we need a similar one for the movie dimension of the Silent Hill! Evan, interested?

  • Fluke97

    I feel like an interesting idea would be a visit to one of the other games from another character’s point of view.

    Or a “re-imagining” where another character is roaming Silent Hill while the main protagonist of another game is dealing with their demons.

  • OrpheusDeTelos

    “No More Unsolicited Pyramid Head Cameos”
    -I couldn’t agree more, I loved Pyramid Head at SH2 but I hated how they kept shoving him into other installments even for just a few scenes.

    “Continue Vatra’s Good Work”
    -I loved Downpour and I think this should be considered by Konami.

    “Be Psychologically Horrifying Again”
    -Oh god please yes! Downpour was great and all but it felt a bit dull with the “Horror” part.

    “Bring Back ‘The Licht’”
    -Even tho I prefer Yomaoka, Licht did a fantastic job on Downpour

    “Lock The Weapon Cabinet”
    -This has to be the only thing I completely disagree on. Yes, it might grant Silent Hill more popularity but that what makes Silent Hill more unique than typical modern day horror games. I loved how I had the choice to either fight or run and by taking away that choice would just make it not feel like Silent Hill anymore. That’s just my opinion tho.

    “Take A Page Out Of Dark Souls’ Multiplayer Handbook”
    -That could be something that would be quite fun to have, but I don’t think it could work a swell for horror games because, pop ups will be more expected. Just imagine running down a hallway and there’s a pop up waiting for you at the end of the hallway but a sign tells you to expect it. I like the idea but they must think of a way to remove spoilers.

    That was just my 2 cents over this article, remember this is just my opinion. Thanks for reading.

  • greynite1

    I have to say, I like some of these things and not others. HEH As you would expect,

    - Pyramid head can take or leave, The motif of scary characters with things on their damn heads is getting worn. We got Safe head in The Evil within.

    - Loved me some Downpour the music was very good and moody and creepy even though some of the songs weren’t intended to be.

    - Well making things psychologically horrifying right now is VERY subjective. Being horrifying comes for a basis of can you fight back. How easy is it for you to actually win!!! Can you win?? A video game is different because games run a very fine line in being scary because you can’t fight back or the threat is overwhelming your guns don’t matter. Even the most silly of horror victims these days can toss shit at the baddie as he comes round the bend, or force him to stick his blade into a chair or couch. This is what I feel needs to change, players need to be able to use their environments in creative ways against the enemies. This is VERY difficult to program and do.

    - On a Note!!, I Just started playing outlast and its Fantastic in many ways BUT i’m SUUUUPER annoyed that I can’t do anything. I can’t kick or punch or even land a lucky stun shot. An addendum to my comment above. Players should be able to use their environments to either harm their enemies or keep them off balance. I wanted to pick up several of the set pieces and just chuck them at someone chasing me!! REALLY!!?? I CAN’T But I can sure as hell hold that camera up!

    - Multiplayer I feel is a FANTAAAASSTIC oppurtunity to do something unique with horror games, cooperative survival which they kinda sorta did in Op Raccoon city.

    - Disagree, DO NOT Lock to weapons cabinet, I’m a normal dude but if I find a scalpel or axe or even a hunk of rebar I’m gonna use it against my enemies damnit!!

  • Dethroner

    Team Silent would make this game perfectly how it should be, provided, they feel as passionate as before. SH4 wasn’t as appealing to me as the first 3, basically, because, even though i liked the claustrophobia element in 4, i didn’t feel it was Silent Hill at all, because it missed the foggy town and sudden shifts to “Alternate Hill”, except for the last few minutes. Even those got boring in the final boss battle.
    New SH should take back the whole feel and essence of the first three games and the depth in the story, characters, dialogue, music, enemies and psychological elements. Not to forget the inspirations from David Lynch (SH 2).
    To get scared (not startled/jump scared), we need to link to the weirdness, through the symbolism, especially portrayed through topics, as you mentioned beautifully, related to sex, abuse, threats, mystery and all things we would be scared of in real life.
    A very simple scene can be made scary, only with adding a horrifying meaning to it. It depends on how you build it, that what you are about to face would be really terrifying. For example, in Mullholland Dr., two people talk in the diner about the “monster” in the back of the alley and they build it up with their acting and dialogue and you are already scared, so much that when you actually face it, you almost get a heart attack. That’s the power of writing and presenting the ideas to build fears.
    In contrast to this, a horrifying creature, without a horror story behind it, won’t be as scary.