By Tyler Wise / October 31st, 2012
The Silent Hill series has fallen into a bit of a rut. None of the games are that bad, they’ve just lost what we all considered to be the “heart” of the series—a variable that means different things for each person. Is Silent Hill defined by the atmosphere? The scares? The story and lore? A lack of combat? Everyone has different answers, resulting in mixed opinions of more recent entries in the series. For example, while I might love Shattered Memories, another fan might despise it and think Homecoming is the best.
The cause of this rift in the fanbase was Team Silent’s disbandment in 2004. Up until that point, Silent Hill 1 to Silent Hill 4: The Room had been created by that same group of people. Out of those four games, do fans have their favorites and least favorites? Yes, but it is rare for any of them to tell you they outright hate one of them. This is because while the series was under Team Silent, there was one consistent, unified vision. Ever since then, multiple groups of developers have all had their hand at Silent Hill, bringing with them their own views and ideas on what Silent Hill is and should be, leaving fans unsure what they will find in every new release. More than anything, the series desperately needs someone with a clear vision to direct Silent Hill and get it back on track.
Konami might have just the man for the job.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Hideo Kojima, the famed creator of Metal Gear Solid revealed that, “…the president of Konami rung me up and said he’d like me to make the next Silent Hill.”
He expressed concern in his ability to pull it off properly, saying, “Honestly, I’m kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, so I’m not confident I can do it. At the same time, there’s a certain type of horror that only people who are scared of can create, so maybe it’s something I can do.”
On a more positive note, he added, “That said, I think Silent Hill has a certain atmosphere. I think it has to continue, and I’d love to help it continue, and if I can help by supervising or lending the technology of the Fox Engine, then I’d love to participate in that respect.”
I believe Kojima is the kind of person Silent Hill needs. For one, he has proven with Metal Gear Solid that his ideas and execution are almost second to none in the gaming industry. He knows what he wants to make and he does it. Second, he acknowledges Silent Hill’s pedigree and is afraid of messing it up. That means that whatever hand he has in the series, he will be diligent and respectful of the source material, making sure everything is handled with the utmost care.
Finally, and in my opinion most importantly: he is afraid of horror movies. The human mind is the single most messed up place in existence. Your imagination can cook up images ten times more gruesome and frightening than a movie or game would ever be allowed to show. This holds especially true for those of us who scare easily. They have a deep understanding of what it means to be afraid and can express it and infect a level of fear in others that a horror buff like me likely could never match. Kojima’s game design genius plus his natural fear of scary things could create a brand of horror that none of us have ever seen before.
What do you think, Silent Hill fans? Is Hideo Kojima a good fit? Anyone else you would rather see in charge? Or have you given up on the series altogether and just want it to be put to rest once and for all?
Hideo KojimaKonamiMetal Gear SolidSilent HillSurvival Horror