The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


An unfortunate return to ‘Silent Hill’

The iconic ‘Silent Hill’ franchise is coming back, but it’s not something to be excited about
Skylar Savarin

“In my restless dreams, I see that town. Silent Hill.”

The “Silent Hill” franchise is one of the most iconic series in all of gaming, with its titular town in Maine serving as the nightmarish background of some horrifying and occasionally depressing games.
It’s impossible to talk about horror games without mentioning “Resident Evil” or “Silent Hill.” However, while both franchises suffered a decline in quality over time, the former has been on a hot streak since its 2017 return to form: “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.” Meanwhile, “Silent Hill” was seemingly abandoned … until now.
While I’m not the biggest fan of the franchise, I have been desperate for a new entry for a long time, especially after the infamous cancellation of “Silent Hills,” a new entry in the franchise that would have been directed by gaming legend Hideo Kojima (“Metal Gear Solid”) and Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”). Aside from the short 2014 game “P.T.,” we never actually got to play this full game, as Kojima parted ways with Konami after creative disagreements, resulting in the game’s ultimate cancellation.

Almost a decade after all the dust settled, Konami announced a relaunch of the “Silent Hill” franchise in October 2022, and I have some pretty mixed feelings overall. This relaunch has already gotten off to a bad start, with the interactive series “Silent Hill: Ascension” being torn apart by audiences and the game “Silent Hill: The Short Message” being an overall mess of a game. I laud the latter for trying to tackle themes of bullying, suicide and the problem with social media, as some moments in the story were genuinely effective. But the outdated graphics, repetitive gameplay and terrible writing make the game feel half-baked, as if the developers were more focused on the message than on making an actual video game.

The one game that’s coming out relatively soon is also the one that I’m dreading the most: the “Silent Hill 2” remake. When it comes to remakes of games, I’m usually pretty excited. The 2019 remake of the horror classic “Resident Evil 2” has shown that taking older games and revamping their graphics and gameplay can be successful. Granted, I’ll admit that some remakes were pretty unnecessary — like “The Last of Us Part I,” a 2022 remake of a game from 2013 — but quite a few have proven to either be as good or even better than the original. And as much as I enjoy “Silent Hill 2,” the age of the game keeps me from loving it.
My biggest problem is that this remake is being developed by Bloober Team, a studio I’m not a big fan of. I enjoyed the first few hours of their games “Layers of Fear” and “>observer_” mainly due to their atmosphere and art design, but after a while, they just started spamming me with excessive and predictable jump scares that abused my eyes and ears. “The Medium” is probably their best game to date, partially due to its unique gameplay which has the player navigate two alternate realities simultaneously, but mainly due to its fantastic music co-composed by Yamaoka. But even that game is only a 6 out of 10 for me, mainly due to its technical problems.
So far, the marketing for “Silent Hill 2” hasn’t quelled my fears, and I remember loudly groaning when it was announced that Bloober Team was developing this remake. The visuals look weirdly outdated, making the project look more like a port for the PS5 rather than a game being rebuilt from the ground up. Not only that, but the January State of Play showed a new trailer focused mainly on combat, which really shouldn’t be the case considering that “Silent Hill 2” is a harrowing psychological game focused more on a chilling atmosphere instead of action. If this were a “Resident Evil” game, then a focus on fending off enemies with guns and melee weapons would be perfectly suitable, but “Silent Hill” is very different tonally.
All in all, it seems that this relaunch of the “Silent Hill” franchise will be pretty bad overall. It’s frustrating seeing such an iconic series being reduced to a cash cow that disrespects what came before it. It’s possible that the rest of Konami’s lineup for the franchise can pleasantly surprise me, but at this point, I highly doubt that any of these titles can live up to the miserable glory of the original games.

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About the Contributor
Om Dighe
Om Dighe, Arts and Entertainment Columnist
Hey guys! My name is Om Dighe, and I'm an arts columnist specializing mainly in movies, television and video games. I'm from Spring, Texas, and I'm a senior. I'm a Communication major and I'm planning on minoring in both Film Studies and Theatre. As an aspiring filmmaker, I think that film criticism is extremely important, so that's what I'm here to provide!

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  • R

    River AcheronMar 26, 2024 at 10:51 am

    You don’t like Bloober and you are not a fan of the Silent Hill franchise anyway.

    Why even do an article about it when you clearly dislike psychological horror? Resident Evil certainly seems to be more your speed.

    • O

      Om DigheMar 31, 2024 at 1:40 am

      I would like to first mention that there was A LOT of stuff that had to be removed from my initial draft of this piece due to the sheer length of it, and I unfortunately think that some of the stuff that was cut may have made some of my statements a bit less clear, and I do apologize for that.

      When I said that I’m not the biggest “Silent Hill” fan, I should have clarified that it’s because I haven’t played that many games in the franchise. I had only played “Silent Hill 2,” which I do love. It has such a fantastic sense of atmosphere and dread, and the story and themes are definitely some of the best of any game I’ve played. I have not played as many games in the series as I would like, but I absolutely love the world and themes of the series, so even though I’m not the biggest fan, it does hold a very special place in my heart.

      As for your claim that I don’t like psychological horror, I would like to say that this is not the case at all. Sure, I do love the less cerebral, goofy stuff like “Resident Evil,” but I also enjoy something that’s so much more. When it comes to psychological horror, I have more experience when it comes to films, with “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Hereditary” being a couple of examples that I’m fond of. When it comes to video games of the genre, I really enjoy “Amnesia: The Dark Descent,” “Outlast 2” and “Blair Witch,” the latter of which I had given a brief mention in my initial draft. (I’d also recommend playing “Visage” if you haven’t. It’s one of many indie horror titles that was heavily inspired by “P.T.,” and I think it’s great and genuinely scary as hell.)

      As for your note that I don’t like Bloober Team… yeah, I got nothing there. They’re a studio that I really want to love, and I keep coming back for more everytime they make a new game. I bought the original “Layers of Fear” back when it was in early access, and I loved the atmosphere, tone, story and music, but it felt repetitive after a while. Same thing goes for “>_observer,” but I’m currently trying to play the “System Redux” remaster, as I do want to give it another shot. I will say that “Layers of Fear 2,” “Blair Witch” and “The Medium” are all pretty big leaps in terms of quality (in my opinion).

      My gripes with them doing a “Silent Hill 2” remake is that I feel like they’re not quite there yet, but that’s also just me. I could be extremely wrong, and I’d be perfectly happy with that. I’m just very doubtful personally.

      Apologies if this reply was long or came off as just one big “um, actually.” Just wanted to kinda clear things up and further explain where I’m coming from.