Saturday, August 16, 2014

After Playing or Seen PT... What Can be Expected of Silent Hills?

If you have been keeping up with the newest blog entries, you know that 3 days after the Survival Horror Awakens, but Still No Silent Hill article, Sony and Kojima had this brilliant idea of using a viral technique to tell us that there is going to be a new Silent Hill game which is now called Silent Hills. That piece of news has generated a lot of hype between both the long time fans and curious gamers who haven't seen much about this horror franchise, which is very cool thing considering the lack of love that the series had been suffering since Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Silent Hills Normal Reedus

Now knowing that PT was a sort of a viral teaser for the new Silent Hill game, we got to see first hand how powerful the fox engine is. The setting of the PT game is on a small segment of a house and it looks astonishingly real also supported by a really good assortment of sound effects that were successful in giving the creeps to everybody who experienced it. Overall, the teaser was excellent, but all the questions are now directed at the final product. How will Silent Hills be?

Silent Hills trailer city
Any fan of the franchise itches at the thought of exploring the entire city.
Will it be an exclusive?

The possibilities of this title becoming a PS4 definitive exclusive are very slim, even though it was first showcased on PS4. The reasons why a definite exclusivity deal seems unlikely is that the franchise is trying to get back on its feet again and in order to do so it needs to be available to as many gamers as possible. On the other hand we have stuff like the game's profile on IGN where it shows that Sony is one of the publishers along with Konami. So if this publisher thing is true, it means that some sort of exclusivity is on the way even if it is only for a limited time. Sony recently said that they were not interested in "buying" exclusives, but if they are indeed one of the publishers we may be seen something like the thing Nintendo did with Bayonetta 2. Now been things as they are right now, the safest bet on this aspect of the game is to think of it as a timed exclusive.

PT game hallway
The power of the fox engine at work.
Graphics vs Content

A great deal of speculation has been going off regarding how this game will be, but nobody has a clear idea. There have been a lot of fan theories that try to predict how the story of the game will go, but have you ever asked yourself how will the game be displayed to you? The Fox engine did a hell of a job, grafically showcasing the interiors of a section of the house, but will it hold up to an entire town? Will this force developers to divide the game in chunks in order to maintain the visual quality? To have at least some kind of answer to these questions be aware that the final product will most likely be different than the teaser. If we take it from a business perspective we can tell that if they feature Norman Reedus in the game, it wouldn't be for him to stay hidden under a first person point of view for 90% of the game as that would be kind of a dumb thing to do if they want him to be part of the marketing efforts for the game.

So this points to the game been in a third person perspective with some first person parts that will play like PT and will serve to give the player some insights about the story of the game. Hopefully the beautiful graphic style presented in PT will not be affected.

PT game ghost upstairs
My experience of the game was so unique, I didn't even saw this guy.
The "s" in Hills

It is a fact that people that played the PT game are still looking for a definite and logical way to finish it. Up until now there are still a lot of discussions about how to beat the teaser and it seems like everybody is having a different experience. This, coupled with the "s" in "Hills", give the impression that the "everybody has his own experience" thing will also be true on the final product. Maybe this time we wont be taking a personality test before the game starts, but have other things that will lead us to all sorts of variations that will make each experience to be unique. This can be done by changing the game through the player's decisions and/or making it a free roaming experience by featuring multiple paths and mixing those paths with various choices for puzzle solving and character interactions that serve as forks in the road (explicit and implicit) up to a point that they may even change the main objective of the game somehow. All this of course will lead to the classic multiple ending feature that many Silent Hill games have had in the past.

Pyramid Head Sex Reference Silent Hill 2
This Silent Hill 2 scene is still an ongoing topic within fans.
Philosophy and Psychology

Almost all of the Silent Hill games have deep psychological and philosophical roots. There is a lot of stuff to analyze and fans have been making theories ever since the first game was released and this is especially true with the second game in the series which seems to be the richest on this sort of thing. Now with Silent Hills we may have a lot of new material to twist our minds into. Evidence of this comes in the discussions that have started on the net, with fans already making all sorts of theories based on the PT game. Some fans have tried to predict the setting and time in which the game will be set on, the appearance of classic antagonists like Pyramid Head and they have also been talking about their ideas about how the story will be. The curious thing about it is that the fan theory mill is getting bigger and bigger and we don't even have the game yet. If you want to read some of these theories check out this Reddit thread and see for yourself.

PT game close up
Been grabbed by surprise and finding this thing face to face, its no wonder there were so many screaming videos.
Wrapping it up

Silent Hills doesn't look like a reboot to the series, but some sort of side story focused on bringing an unique experience to everybody. The powers of the cursed town called Silent Hill can move to pretty much everywhere as evidenced on Silent Hill 4, so we can have an terrifying and macabre experience in any place near it as long as the main character has some sort of relation to its messed up history. It all looks good up to this point and expectations are high, so let's just wait and see what Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro have in store for us.

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