- Silent Hill 2 remake presented a new trailer, and unfortunately, it was exclusively a combat showcase.
- The combat wasn’t what made the original so legendary, it was the unique psychological approach.
- The remake might be a well-done game, but releasing a combat trailer was counterproductive.
Let me paint you a picture. There’s a game you thoroughly enjoyed and cherished in your childhood. It was an impactful adventure that you feel is irreplaceable. You now come across the news that it is being remade for modern platforms and audiences. What would be your feeling towards it? Would you be excited to relive the nostalgia? Or worried beyond belief that a remake might butcher what made the game great in the first place?
As optimistic as I am, I think it would be the latter for me. Remakes carry a ton of risk, even more than a new IP. With a new project, people have no prior image of it, so minor issues can be ignored. However, a remake has to live up to a legacy, and that’s easier said than done. And recently, the trend of remakes and remasters has become a little too excessive. Some of them are clearly not even close to the original, like the new Silent Hill 2 is looking like to me.
Silent Hill 2 Remake’s Trailer Is Not A Good Impression
Before I begin, let me say this. Silent Hill 2 (the original) is one of my most beloved and favorite titles. It was the pinnacle of atmospheric horror for me, and the peak of the series. Yet, I was never excited about this remake. Konami fell from grace a long time ago, and it took Silent Hill with it; the series has gone through hell. Considering this, I had no expectations, but I still decided to give it an objective evaluation, past aside.
Even going by logic, the Silent Hill 2 remake is not looking good. It was announced back in 2022 after being rumored, and Bloober Team’s at the helm. However, it seems the devs are going in a completely different direction than why the original Silent Hill 2 was so renowned. Take a look at the trailer and you’ll know for sure. You can argue that it’s just a combat trailer so this was expected, but let me ask you this. Does Silent Hill 2 need a “combat trailer?”
Immediately as the trailer begins, you notice that the environmental impact and atmospheric dread are completely absent. Move on, and you see that it’s all about combat and killing stuff. I even felt I was watching a Resident Evil game at one point. The trailer was just a glorified combat showcase. We might get different trailers later, but so far, forget Silent Hill 2, this is in antagonism to the entire series’ design philosophy.
The Original Silent Hill — What The Series Embodies
I knew reaching the heights of the original would be a very tall order, but the combat trailer shows the remake is completely off base. I mentioned earlier how it reminded me of Resident Evil. Kinda ironic how the original Silent Hill formula aimed to distinguish itself from Capcom’s action horror giant, and the remake just goes and adopts it straight-up. Team Silent crafted something legendary, and so far, this remake is not that.
The original Silent Hill was sort of a failed project. Konami wanted to create a blockbuster, but that never worked out considering Team Silent was a bunch of “failures.” When Konami pulled away the gigantic expectations and gave the team free reign, that’s when this masterpiece of a concept came into being. In a time with iconic characters and their stories, Silent Hill aimed to depict the life of a “common man,” and boy did it do a great job.
Throwing away the conventional approach to horror, Team Silent adopted a more cryptic style and let the atmosphere do the talking. Visual blurriness with fog was adopted as a workaround for weak graphics, but it all ended up strengthening the environmental design and storytelling impact. Couple that with a vague yet brilliant story, perfectly horrifying environments, enemy design, and music, and you have a psychological horror like nothing else.
Silent Hill 2 Is Where The Concept Peaked
Do you see now what a team can accomplish when their thoughts and creativity are not limited by strict monitoring? And this was just the beginning, Silent Hill 2 is where the real good stuff was. Now that Team Silent knew the concept had potential, they took this template and reinforced the original philosophy, which was making the story about a common man. The first game still had external factors like conspiracies and cults, so it was time to make it more personal.
Silent Hill 2 was all about a person coming to terms with his bubbling feelings of regret that took physical form in the form of dread. He had nothing external to battle, only his conscience and guilt. And the game made sure to depict a very authentic recreation of the darkness of one’s heart. Of course, this darkness manifested as grotesque monsters and the phenomenally dark Pyramid Head, but the concept was pretty powerful.
The plot was cryptic yet it flowed brilliantly when you started connecting the dots. And the environments, ah the design, that was the true thrill. The fog and darkness were a cover-up in the original, but here they embraced it to strengthen the design. Silent Hill 2 was a perfect embodiment of the devs’ wishes to create a more psychological horror rather than action-y, and everything about the game just screamed atmospheric horror.
The First Trailer Shouldn’t Have Been A Combat One
I knew in my heart the remake wouldn’t be able to match up to the original, it’s just that good. But, I never expected it would totally miss the point. At least that’s the image I got from this trailer. And you know what, it’s not even confirmed what kind of game as a whole, it would be, but this trailer came at the wrong time and created a very wrong impression in the minds of everyone.
I admit combat has been a part of the original Silent Hill 2 as well, it’s not like the game was a full-on walking and puzzle simulator with cryptic storytelling and environments. It was all that plus the combat. But the thing is, combat was never the highlight of these games. And this was the first proper trailer we got after the teaser back in 2022. We know nothing about the game and the first thing devs do is present a combat trailer for a psychological horror game.
It’s not the community but Konami and Bloober Team who were not able to deliver a second high quality SH2 remake trailer compared to the first one. That is the main reason for the vast majority of negative feedback! (Check comment)
I firmly believe this trailer did more harm than good. Even if the final product is a more authentic representation of Silent Hill 2, a combat trailer first of all was not a good move. This has sort of established it’s just another action-horror game, which we don’t know yet if it is. Oh and on top of that, the combat itself and the enemy animations looked pretty janky and awkward to me. For a combat trailer to feature janky combat, I think you know how bad that looks.
Will The Final Product Be Different? I Hope So
I think with all that discussion, I’ve made my feelings about the Silent Hill 2 remake very clear. My fears have come to pass and the remake is nowhere near the original. And even worse, the Bloober team has gone off-track with what we know so far. First, the series is ruined as a whole by Konami’s pachinko escapades. Next, Silent Hill 2 becomes another action-horror, and then even that action is awkward, it’s all a nightmare for me.
Despite all this, I’m still willing to keep an open and unbiased mind for this, at least until the final product (I’ll bash it then, I guess). However, it’s safe to say that what little expectations I had for the Silent Hill 2 remake have just gone down the drain. If you’re optimistic, you might say that this was just a trailer that focused on the combat, who knows the final product might be decent. To this, I say, I hope you’re right my friend.
Konami has a pretty bad track record if you ask me. Especially when it comes to Silent Hill. The company disbanded Team Silent, ruined further adaptations, canceled genuinely interesting projects like the P.T. project (I wonder if Kojima’s OD is a reimagining of that), and poured everything into pachinko games. The odds of a good remake were already slim, but after this trailer, they’ve taken a nosedive. I sincerely hope the final product proves me wrong.
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