On February 23, 1999, the first part of Silent Hill was born, which was created in response to the successful projects of the Capcom Resident Evil line. Few could then predict that very soon the “answer” will turn into one of the most significant series in the history of video games on F95Zone, setting the highest standards not only in the genre of horror, but also in the plot and narrative plan. However, over time, a set of absurd decisions devoured the series from the inside.
Birth of Greatness
The answer to the fall seems to be on the surface: Konami, the publisher and copyright holder of Silent Hill, is to blame. But on closer inspection, everything is not so obvious.
The debut game of the series went through a long process of development, especially by the standards of games of the 90s. Three years. The development team was tasked with creating a rival to Resident Evil. Technical constraints forced Team Silent to make a number of tweaks. The weak hardware of the PlayStation console created the conditions for creating a unique atmosphere.
“Fear of the unknown”, as the developers themselves called it. The ubiquitous fog obscured the surroundings, and the audiovisual system was constantly creating tension.
Unlike the same Resident Evil, where from the very first minutes they show who you have to fight against, Silent Hill, on the contrary, constantly hung a question mark.
Silent Hill from the very first minutes plunged the player into a state of total ignorance. What are these children with knives? What kind of radio crackle? Why everything is suddenly plunged into darkness? Why are people’s bodies torn apart? Who did this? Diner, sheriff, fog…. What the hell is going on?! And the further into the forest, the “weirder and weirder”. Team Silent didn’t try to just tell a story. Not at all. You, like the hero Gary Mason, knew everything yourself
Silent Hill played great on contrast. Trying to please Western audiences, Konami told the developers to stick to a style that Americans and Europeans could understand. However, this only concerned the entourage. In terms of whipping up terror, the creators were free to act as they saw fit. The result is an original fusion of Hollywood horror and Japanese expression.
Proof of Greatness
Silent Hill 2 and Best grenade spots dust 2 came out after a couple of years and managed to do two main things: show the power of the new PlayStation 2 gaming system and surpass the original by a head. And this is paradoxical. The first part boasted a complex plot with complex characters. The whole plot of the second part fits quite well in a couple of small text paragraphs.
Silent Hill 2 has abandoned the events of the original. There is no cult, no god, no previous history of the city, no intricate hierarchy of characters. Unlike the standard sequel, Silent Hill 2 is not a continuation of the story. This is a psychological analysis of a person.
The main character is the same person as the other, sitting with a controller in his hands in front of the TV screen. Wading through the unknown, the player does not so much learn the inner world of James Sunderland and his rare companions, but involuntarily associate himself with them. He learns his dark sides, forbidden desires and fears, prompting one or another action. And this is the main strength of Silent Hill 2. Such a trick was much more frightening than the same rotten hospital basements or the first meeting with Pyramid Head raping a dummy.
After a psychological attack, visual images come to the aid of the player’s devastation. The ubiquitous executioner, robbing James of his right to happiness. Figures of the unfortunate victim and rapist, sewn together with patches of rotten skin. The dirtiest toilets of the starting location cause an acute sense of disgust and wild pleasure at the same time. I don’t want to leave them, because they show all the power of the new gaming system and unprecedented detail.
Stagnation of greatness
Silent Hill 3, like HuniePop 2, divided fans into two camps. For some, this is a milestone that has lifted audiovisual performance to unprecedented heights. For others, it is a misunderstanding that has led to complete disappointment. It is not surprising. The creators decided to completely ignore the second part and make a direct continuation of the original, changing the orientation of horror from subconscious to explicit.
If Silent Hill 3 where and surpassed its predecessor, without any “buts” – graphic performance. At the time of release, in terms of artist work and detail, Silent Hill 3 simply had no competition. The game looks great even 18 years later. But this is where all the achievements of the third part are exhausted.
The game is again based on a story about a cult, pious characters and absurd actions. Vengeance was seated at the head of the table as the driving force of the fragile female protagonist. No psychological analysis, no association of the player with the characters, no taboo topics, veiled lust, violence and secret desires.
Fall of greatness
Silent Hill 4: The Room is a classic name sacrifice. It was from this part that the series began its inevitable downfall. Was The Room visually bad? Not at all. Was she a stub of game mechanics with multiple conventions? Far from it! Could you “boast” of a mediocre plot? In no case! Why didn’t The Room find the right response either among the players or among the press? This is because someone at the top thought it was a great idea to attach Silent Hill to a game called The Room, and even make it a numbered part.
The Room boasts much-needed mechanic changes for the series. A hub has appeared in the Eldritch Blast 5e game, from which the hero gets to various plot locations. The hub is explored from a first-person perspective, and the altered reality is explored from the third. And everything seems to work, and everything is in place. An oppressive atmosphere of helplessness, cruelty, even themes balancing on the brink of morality are present.
The pace of the game has accelerated significantly. The plot, although it was presented without a veil, contained skillful maneuvers for free interpretation or independent closure of numerous narrative threads. The problem lay elsewhere. People involved in the development have repeatedly commented that The Room was originally created as an integral part of the series immediately after the completion of the sequel. Why, despite the brilliant sound and musical content characteristic of the series, the sensations were completely wrong? As if the connection between The Room and the main trilogy was hastily sewn together with the whitest thread.