Last week was a rather heavy week of news as Gamescom was in full flow. One of the most surprising revelations was that the mastermind behind the Metal Gear Series announced he was taking the helm of a new Silent Hill game along with director Guillermo Del Toro (Pans Labyrinth, Hellboy).
During Sony’s press conference, a game called P.T. was made public for all to download and try for free from the PlayStation Store. After solving cryptic puzzles, a small number of players managed to discover that P.T. was actually a taster for the new Silent Hill game “Silent Hills” staring Norman Reedus and developed by Kojima Productions. Kojima stated during a Q&A that P.T. actually stands for “Playable Teaser”.
If you have or haven’t managed to play it yet, it’s a potential example of what to expect in future from the new direction. It demonstrates jump scares and a prominent amount of tension. Tension being something that the original entries to the series used in abundance. The build-up and suspense before a scare is what really puts you on edge and its good news that it seems to be returning to the genre.
The Metal Gear creator expressed interest in making a Silent Hill game some time ago by speaking out how good it could look running on the Fox Engine. Prayers were answered sooner rather than later as the game was unveiled and Kojima stated that the PT demo was intentionally “downgraded” and running at 30fps to deceive the public into thinking it was a game from an indie studio and not a larger studio like Kojima Productions. The PT demo was actually extremely good looking for just a creepy, furnished corridor so I can’t imagine how good the actual full release title will be.
Just imagine what Hideo Kojima could do. His genius with forth wall scenes such as Psycho Mantis from (Metal Gear Solid) just imagine those techniques being used in a Silent Hill game. We also know how complex his story-telling ability can be which could also benefit as the last few titles have been a little lacklustre story-wise. Now Kojima is known to perhaps overdo cut-scene length and not everyone is a fan of this but the PT demo suggests a more gameplay centric approach.
One question to ask is, will Akira Yamaoka be returning to cover the soundtrack? The original team practically invented the Psychological horror genre for video games. Using sound expertly to build up tension and shake the player mentally. Every game he has work on hasn’t always been a masterpiece and Mr Yamaoka himself doesn’t create a Silent Hill game but he can be an important piece. It makes sense to contact Yamaoka but we don’t know if Kojima is aiming for something completely different. It will be interesting to see if Kojima will collaborate with him or choose someone else entirely
It will also be interesting to see whether the game will involve the more cult-based roots that the majority of the series covered or will it just simply involve a tortured soul brought to Silent Hill and met with a tormentor character such as Pyramid head or The Bogeyman seen in (Silent Hill 2) and (Downpour) or deviate entirely and take a completely new story direction. Ones thing for sure, we should see some compelling monster designs if the likes of Guillermo Del Toro are involved. We also still don’t know if the original monster designer Masahiro Ito will return as he apparently still works on certain projects for Konami.
It may or may not match up to one of the fan favourites (Silent Hill 2) but it will certainly be a better entry than most recent attempts at creating a horror game. Let alone Silent Hill. And it’s great to see the series back at Konami in Japanese hands, even if it isn’t the full original Team. We can blame one or a number of people for the below par iterations we have been suffering but we should really be excited for the future. I have extremely high hopes for Kojima to turn it all around and make Silent Hill a strong defining brand again.