Silent Hill: a town of nightmares

Konami announced they are reviving the Silent Hill franchise, and there’s a lot to get excited about. 

Silent Hill: a town of nightmares

Fans of the survival horror genre will undoubtedly have heard of Konami’s Silent Hill franchise. Initially created by Keiichiro Toyama, the first game was published in 1999. The game would later spawn many sequels including Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3 and others. Silent Hill 2 is regarded as the most iconic amongst fans of the series, with its memorable protagonist James Sunderland, and his nightmarish journey into a hell of his own making. 

The Silent Hill series has produced two film adaptations: one in 2006 directed by Christophe Gans starring notable actors like Sean Bean, and one in 2012, directed by M.J. Bassett stars Kit Harrington and Carrie Ann Moss. 

10 years after the last Silent Hill game, Silent Hill Downpour was released to mixed reviews and received a 4.5/10 by IGN. Konami plans to return with a tour de force and announced they will be releasing the Silent Hill 2 remake, brand new games called Silent Hill: Village fall, Silent Hill F and an interactive streaming experience called Silent Hill Ascension. This new foray into interactive storytelling by Konami is being directed by J.J. Abrams. It has been likened to one of Telltale Games' choice and consequence games where the player must make decisions. And, depending on those choices, it will affect the outcome of the character’s fate. There will also be another film release titled Return to Silent Hill. 

From a series long thought dead, Konami has pulled out all the stops to revitalise a beloved franchise in a genre that has sorely needed some reinvigoration – especially after the disappointing failure of Silent Hill Downpour. Fans of Silent Hill 2 are undoubtedly thrilled to see their beloved game get a next-gen update for Playstation 5 by the talented Bloober Team, who have produced other horror games such as Blair Witch and Layers of Fear. The creative director of Bloober Team, Mateusz Lenart, mentioned during an interview that aspects of the original game have been updated. This includes the old third-person camera to an over-the-shoulder viewpoint. 

The Silent Hill 2 remake has been developed using the New Unreal Engine 5, and the latest in motion capture technology that captures a diverse range of emotions without the characters having to speak. Some of Unreal Engine 5’s special features include Lumen and Nanite, which allow game developers to elevate the game to highly-detailed and realistic levels –  creating a nail-biting, smog-filled atmosphere. Lumen is a dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to light and scene changes, making the light interact with environments naturally. Nanite is a tool that allows game developers to create realistic environments that are lifelike and incredibly detailed. With these tools at hand, Bloober Team has the chance to fully realise the terrifying world of Silent Hill, and explore the nightmarish town from a visual standpoint, which was previously impossible due to the limitations of the technology at the time. 

The Silent Hill 2 remake is set to follow the same story as the original game. James Sunderland receives a mysterious letter from his deceased wife, beckoning him to the town of Silent Hill. Only James ends up trapped with the town’s sinister history and supernatural horrors. The usual caste of familiar monsters returns with fan favourite Pyramid head, the defaced nurses and the creepy mannequins. The announcement of Konami’s renewed faith in the Silent Hill franchise hopefully means a revitalisation of the survival horror genre and the return of the once-great franchise. 

Go check out the trailers of the new games below:

Silent Hill f - Official Announcement Trailer

SILENT HILL 2 Teaser Trailer (4K: EN) | KONAMI

Silent Hill: Ascension - Official Announcement Trailer (2023)

SILENT HILL Townfall Official Teaser Trailer

Header Image Credit: "silent hill nurse creature cosplay in korea" by kongjak1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Author

Magellan Dissanayaka

Magellan Dissanayaka

Magellan is a writer and personal trainer by trade. Like all writers, he has a flair for the dramatic and enjoys creative pursuits such as literature, film and games. He studied Counselling and Psychotherapy at university and is currently studying an MA in Novel Writing. When Magellan isn't working on his novel, he's training martial arts, where he's been a practitioner for 10+ years.

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