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Rumours of a new Silent Hill game are everywhere these days. From supposed industry leaks about studios taking over the series, to outlandish theories from journalists (who should know better) claiming indie devs are actually mere alter-egos for Hideo Kojima, there's an endless stream of fiction designed to get your click. All this circus does is shine a light on an indisputable fact: Silent Hill has suffered enough.
There's no doubt that the initial two games were both superb, with Silent Hill 2 held in the collective consciousness as a masterpiece (it even made our Top 10 PS2 Games video below). The following two games also have their fans, and rightly so. However, things went downhill after Silent Hill 4. We all know how changing the developer of a game franchise can bring a series into decline - it's a tale as old as time. So when Konami took their iconic horror series from the disbanded Team Silent and handed it over to Climax Studios, things went the way of the dodo. In fact, they were worse because dodos just went extinct, instead of producing mediocre-to-terrible games before being plastered over pachinko machines.
Silent Hill 2 was one of many amazing games on the PlayStation 2. See more here!
Konami couldn't even preserve their own past. If you've never been unfortunate enough to play it then I envy you, but the Silent Hill HD Collection (containing SH2 & 3) is one of the worst "remasters" unleashed upon the world. It's buggy as hell, with glitches like the player character frequently falling through floors and into out of bounds areas. It's so heinous, I'm convinced it was released from a parallel dimension to torment longtime fans.
All of this is to say that Silent Hill should stay dead. I love what this franchise used to be, but its glory days have been over for a long time. When I first played Silent Hill back in the 90s, I was in awe. Nothing had ever made me feel so enraptured and terrified. It spoke to me in a way even the original Resident Evil couldn't get close to, although I'm not saying SH is a better game then RE1.
When Silent Hill 2 came out on the PlayStation 2, the series hit new heights. The psychological horror was ramped up, creating some of the most memorable moments playable in a video game. Sadly, this is where the series peaked, with SH3 not quite hitting the high notes of its predecessors, but still being a good game with plenty of loyal fans. The same can be argued of Silent Hill 4: The Room.
So, if your best game came out 20 years ago - and nothing you've done since comes close to it - then, surely, it's time to throw in the towel? I know we all enjoyed P.T. before it was removed from the PlayStation Store forever, but a demo isn't a game, and whatever Hideo Kojima had planned for that project has as much chance of seeing the light of day as I do of understanding why Kojima doesn't just become a film director.
Just look at the Resident Evil franchise. If you compare the first game in the series with Resident Evil Village, you have two distinct titles that are both excellent at what they do. The same can be said of many other RE games. I'm not saying every title is a banger (Resident Evil 6 hurt me like a child letting down a parent), but there are more hits than misses throughout Capcom's catalogue. That's why Resi is still going strong, and when you compare this long-running success to Silent Hill, the findings are conclusive: Silent Hill is done.
It's time for the rumours to stop. It's time for Konami to let Silent Hill go. It's time to accept that this sleeping giant shouldn't wake up. We'll always have those first four games, and they're enough. Sure, I love the idea of proper HD ports of them all - that actually work, of course. And yes, I still fantasise about the original two games getting a remake in a similar style to what Capcom did with Resident Evil 2 in 2019, but it'll probably never happen.
Silent Hill is dead, and that's ok. It's time to move on, look to the future, and be thankful that Silent Hills didn't end up like Death Stranding (I'm just kidding, Death Stranding fans). If I'm wrong, I'll be the happiest one here, but it's clear that the series is beyond salvaging now. Until then, I'll be playing the best Silent Hill game on my PS2.
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