Episode 486: Why I’m Afraid Silent Hill 2 Remake Will Suck


There was a time when survival horror games were extremely popular. That was all thanks to Capcom’s Resident Evil kind of creating the genre for modern consoles for the time. After that, a lot of game developers jumped on the bandwagon but the survival horror genre fell on hard times for a while. It has had a resurgence as of late, thanks to indie darlings like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender. This has reopened the floodgates for more survival horror games to get made and even series like Resident Evil and Fatal Frame have been rising out of the grave, so to speak.

I guess it was only a matter of time for one of the progenitors of the survival horror genre to make a comeback. That series is Konami’s Silent Hill. Recently, the game publisher recently had a showcase featuring all of the games coming out under the Silent Hill banner and there was a lot of stuff to talk about.

Not only did they announce a slew of new games but Konami also revealed they have a movie coming out as well. Probably the biggest news for a lot of fans was the announcement of Silent Hill 2 Remake. I understand there’s a lot to be excited for as the original Silent Hill 2 was one of the best survival horror games to come out. They did show a brief trailer for Silent Hill 2 Remake, giving viewers such as myself an indication of where the game was going.

I was not excited. At least, I was not as excited as I wanted to be. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say I’m deathly afraid Konami will flub this and botch the Silent Hill 2 Remake badly.

My brain is telling me not to be so hard on what Konami did show during the Silent Hill showcase thing. They only gave a very brief glimpse of what Silent Hill 2 Remake was going to be like. A little taste of what’s to come, so to speak. After I did see it, a chill rolled down my spine. Not because I thought it was scary but because I felt it just wasn’t going to fall incredibly short of fan’s lofty expectations.

One of the things which struck me about the brief trailer for Silent Hill 2 Remake was, well, it didn’t look all that good. Graphically, I mean. It’s not that it looks bad. It’s just that it didn’t look all that good either. It just looks unspectacular and I guess I expected something much better from something with the Remake brand nowadays.

Take the Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remakes. It might be unfair to compare them to Silent Hill 2 Remake because those Resident Evil games came out on the original PlayStation while the original Silent Hill 2 came out on the more powerful PlayStation 2. However, I’m not comparing how much better the graphics are from the originals. I’m comparing how good the graphics look by today’s standards. Resident Evil 2 Remake simply looks stunning with really good character models and lighting effects. Even if you didn’t know how the original Resident Evil 2 looked on the original PlayStation, there’s no deny how handsome the graphics are in the Remake.

Silent Hill 2 Remake just looks… flat. The character models look a little too stiff. Everything is just a tad too bright, even when you see James exploring the “dark” side of Silent Hill. There’s still some time for Konami and developer Bloober Team to tweak the look of the game and I severely hope they do make the necessary adjustments to make Silent Hill 2 Remake look a little scarier than it does now. I don’t expect them to make something with the graphical fidelity of Resident Evil 2 but I do hope they can come close.

Speaking of Bloober Team, that’s another aspect I’m kind of worried about with Silent Hill 2 Remake. I haven’t played a single game the developer has put out but I did some research and I did learn that most of their output has been well received in general. This is especially true for their survival horror type games like Layers of Fear and The Medium. They’ve always gotten high marks with setting up the atmosphere and the look, which is why they might be able to tweak the look of Silent Hill 2 Remake’s general aesthetic. They have the ability to do that.

What concerns me is the writing as a lot of the criticisms on Bloober Team’s games focuses on that. You might not think that’s all that important as this is a remake of an older game but you’d be wrong. You can’t simply just copy everything when making a remake and expect it to be well-received today. Bloober Team will need to add their own stuff, rewrite some of the dialogue, rework a puzzle here and there and maybe switch things around to give veteran players a feeling of something new even if it’s supposed to be very familiar. Hopefully, Bloober Team does get someone really good as the head writer for this project. I don’t envy that person, though, as there’s bound to be a ton of pressure on him or her to make it feel like a Silent Hill 2 game without deviating too much from the original story.

However, my biggest concern as to why I don’t think Silent Hill 2 Remake won’t be all that good is, well, because the trailer wasn’t scary at all. It showed a little gameplay and some story bits but nothing actually that frightening. This was surprising to me because I remember watching the original Silent Hill 2 trailer fairly recently and I thought it was creepy as all heck!

There was just so many things the original Silent Hill 2 trailer got right. For one, it was disorienting and never gave the viewer a chance to get their balance. They kept on bouncing around from scene to scene, introducing most of the characters but not in chronological order so you never get to piece together who’s who and what they’re role is going to be. The monster they show move around in an unsettling jerky and surreal manner, upping the scare level. There are also some incredibly unnerving moments with the cutscenes, like the first part where Maria acts super nice and then her demeanor changes instantly to berate James. I also have to mention the really creepy ending of the trailer where Maria touches James and says she’s real. That still sends chills down my spine.

However, the best thing about the trailer is the sound design. All of the monster screams, especially when Pyramid Head is doing something unspeakable to another monster while James hides in a closet is just perfect. All of the spluts and splatter sound effects whenever James hits a monster is also spot on. They also made the smart decision of muting some of the sound effects when necessary, like when Angela starts kicking a monster while its down. The star of the sound design is, for me, the music. There’s something about how the music composed by Akira Yamaoka that comes off as chaotic and feels so much like a survival horror game. I do know Konami got Akira Yamaoka to do the music for Silent Hill 2 Remake but his signature song style wasn’t on display in the Remake trailer. All-in-all, the original Silent 2 trailer is perfect as it intrigues you and lets you know it’s going to be a horrific experience. That’s not something I got from the Silent Hill 2 Remake trailer.

I am hoping I’m all wrong about this and this new Silent Hill 2 Remake by Bloober Team is actually going to be much better than I think it is. Like I said, it’s still early in production and they don’t even have a release date for it as of now. Things could change from then and now and I might change my tune if Konami shows us more of the game later on in its production life. They better do the game justice as most people have high hopes for this to be good.


Do you think Silent Hill 2 Remake is going to be any good? Let me know in the comments section below!


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