Silent Hills was the horror game we all wanted, yet it was not meant to be. Will the most hyped horror game return?
Despite the excellent headlines that made P.T. successful, Konami officially pulled the plug on Silent Hills on the 27th of April.
Silent Hills looked to be a promising title to help reinvigorate the series, and the demo provided a number of elements that spawned a number of theories on what the complete game would have offered. Released for free download on the Playstation Network back in August, the P.T. demo has since been removed. The Playable Trailer showed a fresh perspective for the horror survival franchise that nearly redefined the survival-horror genre back in 1999 and went on to become a cult classic. To this day, the voice acting from the first game continues to make me laugh at how it used to be back in the day.
Information on the game has been scarce, but a number of fan theories based on the demo led to some interesting ideas on what might be present in Silent Hills. One of the more interesting ones including a more serious extraterrestrial influence, one that is significantly darker than the series’ joke endings. The first person perspective, while not necessarily an outstanding touch, did help build the atmosphere of the game and might have worked even further in the game’s favor. And the various, often cryptic messages from the Bloody Bag and The Baby added to the atmosphere. Ultimately, P.T. showed a better understanding of the horror genre than most of the recent films belonging to the same genre.
Details are scarce, but most sources indicate that a conflict with Konami and the staff behind Metal Gear Solid V, including Hideo Kojima, plan to resign from the company after completing the MGS title. Konami has gone on to report its intentions to reorganize its business while a spokesperson announced that Kojima would still be connected with Konami and the Metal Gear series.
Unfortunately, no information is available regarding any specific reasons why Silent Hills has been cancelled. The franchise itself will continue, as Konami confirmed in a statement to Kotaku, but many outraged fans have taken to starting petitions asking for development of Silent Hills to resume. This has about as much luck working out as previous attempts, and I’d feel more comfortable placing a bet on whether or not I would be electrocuted in a lightning storm.
It’s unfortunate that such a promising entry into a great series was cancelled for what probably amounts to Konami pulling on a few leashes too many times. Not only do we no longer get to pretend to be Daryl from The Walking Dead, but its also highly probable that the mysteries surrounding The Bloody Bag, its cryptic messages, and many other elements from the P.T. demo will likely remain unsolved.
If past experiences hold up with a video game franchise I enjoy holds up, Konami will not announce a new Silent Hill title for several years. Like many Megaman titles in recent memory, Silent Hills is another title adding to the pile of “games that looked awesome but never came out”. And with the industry handled the way it is I highly doubt the game will ever resume development, especially since Kojima was the project leader. If he and his staff returned it could be an entirely different story, but not many people in the industry return to a company they left.
Depending on how far along the game’s development was, we might get to see a few elements recycled for the next installment. Here’s hoping that Norman Reedus will be on board for the next Silent Hill: the guy deserves to be featured in a better game than The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.