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‘Silent Hill’ Veteran Thinks The Series Should Start Fresh

There are two video game franchises that see a significant amount of attention for what they’ve done wrong lately. The first is Resident Evil, a series with serious flaws we’ve dissected numerous times here, and the second is Silent Hill. Both series are struggling, and while the problems with the former are easy to identify, the issues that plague our favorite foggy town are a little more difficult to pinpoint.

During a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) to promote his upcoming indie horror game Blackmore, Jeremy Blaustein — translator and voice-over director on multiple games in the Silent Hill series — was asked a question we’ve heard so many times over the last few years. How should Konami approach the next game?

Redditor Arsenic13 (who turns out to be none other than Rely On Horror’s managing editor, CJ Melendez, who I’ll be live-streaming DayZ with this Sunday) asked “If Silent Hill were to continue, how do you feel Konami should approach it? Smaller release with a small team (digital), tackle it head on like any other AAA release?”

It’s a great question, and one I’ve spent a spent a fair amount of time wondering myself.

Blaustein’s response is spot on. “Small, definitely small. First I would find people that wanted to make it and I would be certain that they were not copying from what has been done. A new Silent Hill would require some truly sick, dark people behind it. It is time to throw out the Silent Hill mold and try to ask ourselves again what it means to be scared. It requires a lot of inward looking. It isn’t just about making slimy, squirmy things on screen. Fear is inside us and we have to look at it closely before we can make other people feel it.”

Jeremy brings up a good point. Much like Resident Evil, Silent Hill needs to return to its roots. It needs to be a more intimate affair, more personal. A reboot is necessary, but it shouldn’t be on the same scale as the last few games in the series.

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  • DarthKnight

    I think Konami (and Climax, Double Helix, and Vatra) deserve credit for at least trying to give fans what they want, and do justice to the Silent Hill franchise. Unlike Resident Evil, where it is obvious that Capcom wants to conquer markets outside of horror fans, with Silent Hill, it truly seems that every team that has worked on the later games has put a lot of effort into making a game that could stand proudly alongside the original three.

    The problem is, those first three games cast long, dark, terrifying shadows.
    It’s almost a battle lost before beginning, to try to walk the line between evoking the memory of those classics and breaking new ground, all without being so reverent that your game feels stuck in the past.

    For the record, I have very few complaints with “Homecoming.” The sequence in the Otherworld version of the Shepherd family home is one of my favorite SH moments.
    And I absolutely loved “Downpour.” It didn’t frighten me like the first and third, or break my heart and scar my soul like the second, and I won’t say it reaches the classic status of those games, but it might be the Silent Hill game I simply had the most fun playing, while I was playing it.

  • Toby

    I came into the Silent Hill franchise with Homecoming then Downpour. I absolutely love those two games and have yet to start the first three. The problem with doing a reboot and going into a different direction is that there will be a good number of fans that will unfairly compare the new game with the originals. Personally, I would love to see a setting like a huge hospital or insane asylum.

    • Jezebel Truant

      Well, you’re in luck. I think the only Silent Hill that does NOT feature a hospital or asylum are the two you have played.

      Hospitals are standard issue Silent Hill fare. Where do you think the iconic nurses came from?

  • HorrorLover995

    Being a huge fan of the series, I agree with this. After what seems like more and more desperate attempts to spring Silent Hill back into crazed popularity, it’s time to scrape it down to the bare bones and create a whole new nightmare to toy with your mind.
    Also being a writer myself, I agree that they need to bring in a small team who need to be super dark and twisted. We want a Silent Hill that will bring back the true roots of psychological/survival horror. I would want to aim for a Silent Hill that has great Otherworld Transitions, like in Homecoming; Less weapons so you will have to face decisions as to either run or try and fight to survive; Decision Making that interacts with the actual player like in Shattered Memories; Grotesque looking Otherworlds like in Silent Hill 3, and a tragically macabre story like in Silent Hill 2. Plus add in some decent twists and easter eggs that pay tribute to the original games as well. Take all this, Mash it together and viola! New Silent Hill game to work with and tweak around with.

  • the-4th-survivor

    The thing is SH never really left its roots because the gameplay and general premise of the game is more or less the same as it was in 1999. The problem is that the new games in the series are basically inferior versions of what Team Silent made. They’re not bad games by any means but everything they do, the first four games did better. They were scarier, they had better characters and they had better and deeper storylines. Those three things are the main selling points of Silent Hill when you think about it and the originals did them a lot better.

    I think the series needs to be Japanese-made again personally.

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