Silent Hill Returns! But at what Cost?

Silent Hill is known to be one of the best horror games of the century. Even though the gameplay is not that focused on the creepiness of monsters but on the terrific story behind each game, people loved the series, especially the second Silent Hill game, which is still thriving 20 years after its release. Although the game is not that easy to find anymore, its score is still a great one, with an 8.4 user rate.

Therefore, its original creators, Akira Yamaoka and Masahiro Ito have gathered their strength again to collaborate with Bloober and other studios to remake Silent Hill 2, along with other upcoming projects. But fans have controversial opinions about this decision, and Konami’s reputation has still to recover after the allegations regarding unusual employee practices.

So, what is this all about?

Silent Hill Returns! But at what Cost
Silent Hill Returns! But at what Cost

The remake of Silent Hill

The Silent Hill project started in 1999 with the first game ever released. The second one from 2001 was a roaring success, and from that point, many other prominent projects, spin-offs, crossovers and movies have merged from this horror timeline. The Japanese game was published by Konami, which had enormous potential, but due to unexplainable cancellations and unpleasant treatment of employees and ex-employees, it fell into darkness. Fans need clarification about what happened with the series despite their excellence, but maybe this is why the Japanese creators decided to come up with something new.

Therefore, a few days ago, we found out that Konami is currently working on five upcoming projects:

  • The remake of Silent Hill 2 is in development for PlayStation 5 and PC. The Bloober Team is working on the game.
  • Silent Hill: Townfall, a spin-off developed by No Code Studios and publisher Annapurna Interactive.
  • Silent Hill F is another spin-off made by Neobards Entertainment. A Japanese novel creator, Ryūkishi07, will write the story.
  • Silent Hill: Ascension is an interactive streaming series that many studios will work at to give each one of them the opportunity to come up with something unique;
  • Return to Silent Hill is a new movie adaptation of the series that will be directed by Cristopher Gans, who worked on the original movie from 2006.

Trailers for all games have been published, and even though there’s no release date available, people are excited about what’s to come. But even if some fans have welcomed the news happily, some are still concerned that the second Silent Hill game will not be the same as the older version. On top of that, the trustworthiness of Konami has decreased due to certain causes, which involve their inappropriate work ethics.

The controversial practices of Konami

A few years ago, Konami split ways with Hideo Kojima, which caused the cancellation of Silent Hills. This event has only made the company look unstable and even vengeful at some point. They suddenly decided to shift away from traditional games, which has affected their production of games and franchises. This has led to many employees leaving the company, and, on top of that, most of them were already treated poorly.

It seems like Konami monitored each employee’s movement with cameras placed everywhere to measure how much time they’d spend having lunch or taking a break. If they exceeded a specific time, workers would be publicly shamed within the company. Another issue regarding the vengeful character of the company was that some employees were reassigned to other jobs (like security guards or janitors) if they were considered useless and not bringing any “true value” to the company. At some point, one of the employees revealed he developed depression after he was moved from the game development team to working at a Pachi-slot factory.

What’s worse is that Konami has never tried to negate these accusations, and they don’t seem to mind them. However, employees have the right to be protected against unlawful practices and discrimination, which didn’t apply to Konami. An unsafe environment, staff and impossible tasks may cause fatigued employees to experience injuries due to accidents. According to Personal Injury Claims Care in these situations, you are eligible to file a compensation claim, but you need to provide evidence (footage, pictures, witness details, medical records) to receive compensation.

People have mixed feelings about the remake

What stirred fans’ reactions was the trailer of the second game of Silent Hill. People wonder if the new series can maintain the original game’s nightmarish vibe without ruining the game’s mystery. The original game from 2001 is able to make anyone scared to sleep in the dark due to its complex psychological setting.

The Bloober Team stated that the new game build would make Silent Hill better than the old version. Konami also declared that the remake was the company’s opportunity to improve the realism of the original game while losing the surrealist features (that fans love the most). This is what people have noticed in the new trailer. In one specific scene, when James is looking at himself in the mirror, questioning if Mary could be in Silent Hill city, we witness a moment of clarity in James’ mind. But, when compared to the same scene from the new trailer, we see a weird-looking, creepy character that doesn’t seem to have any emotions.

After the trailer release, the new James was constantly mocked for its facial features. This has already set some low expectations for the game, meaning Konami started on the wrong foot. It’s not easy to create a remake of one of the best games in history since fans are already used to a kind of dynamics and graphics. Still, the company thought the remake would have the same impact on the entertainment industry, which didn’t happen as they intended.

Final thoughts  

The Silent Hill franchise is one of the most impressive video games exploring the true horrors of psychologically challenging situations. For many years, the second game from the series was praised for its genius, but now with the remake announcement, and the lack of emotions the main character shows, we’re sceptical about the final product.

What is your opinion about this project? Let us know in comments.

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