Just yesterday I went to see Silent Hill Revelations and thought to myself “oh how the mighty have fallen!” The Silent Hill series was one off the scariest game series to date but somehow has fallen from grace. With a slew of bad tittles and even worse movies will they ever recover the title they fought so hard to earn?
In 1999 the first Silent Hill debut on the PS1 one and was considered the best for its plot twist, disturbing scenes, and oh so great sound design. Hitting you with truly immersive environment that made even the veteran of survivor horror game players jump with fear. Unlike your typical servitor horror which involved you going through tons of ammo and killing your way to the end, Silent Hill took on more of visual novel feel. The game put emphasis on puzzles and few story with a small group of enemies to keep the action going. One of the few games that you could go almost the whole game without killing with the, exception of the bosses, and beat the game. A masterpiece in its own right the only thing that held this game back was the hardware; enter Silent Hill 2 on the PS2. Silent Hill 2 was considered the best in the series. The bumped up graphics completed the package and created stunning visuals which made the blood and gore even more realistic and disturbing to the viewer.
The release of Silent Hill 3 brought you back to the main story of silent hill and was the games only sequel. Despite the title none of the rest of the silent hill stories had any real connection as far as plot goes. The only thing connecting the series is the town of Silent Hill itself. I guess a perfect title would be The Stories of Silent Hill. Silent Hill 3 was great in the fact that despite all the horror, adversity, and crazy things around you the main character was as plain and human as can be. Games have often given characters in this situation an almost super human quality but silent hill made her a scared little girl had no special armor, random average weapons like pipes and slicks, and made as average looking as possible. It was truly a realistic feel that helped gamers relate in big way. Silent Hill 4 took us back to one of the side stories in Silent Hill 2 where you play a victim of a serial killer. It kept to great silent hill formula with its great story and multiple endings giving the game depth and tons of replay ability.
After Silent Hill 4 we see the series start to take a bit of a downward spiral. Homecoming was the first release on PSP and although a great attempt it fell short to create a truly in-depth story. It was almost as if they wanted to create more action and less content for the handheld market. This concept was made even worse with the second psp release Shattered Memories. This almost Clock Tower like game had you running and hiding almost the entire game from enemies that couldn’t be beat. The two tittles where a great disappointment and where hit with horrible reviews and sale. Konami tried to bounce back with the release of Silent Hill Downpour for XBOX 360 and PS3 but as with the last 2 games they leaned toward more action and much shallower story. Perhaps influenced by the boom in sales of the action packed Resident Evil they felt Americans just weren’t interested in a true horror game and just wanted to kill monsters
With the announcement of their next tittle Book of Memories coming out for the Play Station Vita The early footage already has hardcore fans of the series up in arms. Taking top down Diablo like game play and boasting multi player action. It comes off as more of a party game then a true silent hill. I find it hard to believe that Konami will recover the series anytime soon. Who knows what the future will bring for Silent Hill but as of now it looks bleak.