A strong rumour has been running around for the past few months, stating that there are two Silent Hill games being developed. One would be episodic in nature and more of a spin-off, and the other will be a significant title backed by Sony themselves.
Bloober’s name came up quite often during these rumours as being associated with the smaller SH game, with The Medium thought to be a test and benchmark for their capability to work on Silent Hill. The rumour does have more credibility now that Bloober has announced a strategic partnership with Konami.
Generally, as a diehard Silent Hill fan who has been yearning for a true next-gen experience, I am excited at the prospect of Bloober working on a game in the series. I thought they captured the atmosphere perfectly with The Medium, especially due to Akira Yamaoka’s help. Not to mention, the way you could influence Blair Witch’s ending based on what you interacted with, screamed Silent Hill to me!
However, despite all that, I do not think that Bloober will be capable of making a mainline game, as whilst they have elements of authenticity, a lot of what made Silent Hill iconic is missing in them, especially the psychologically daunting puzzles. I believe one day they will be able to, but not just yet.
I also don’t think that Silent Hill should be made as a budget title, and will only excel once it is given a budget that matches games like Resident Evil 7 or 8. However, most of all, it needs reputable talent!
There is a reason PT is considered by many to be the perfect horror experience, and a major part of that was the collaboration between Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro. We had a mixture of people who understood the strengths of storytelling in games with those who understood the essence of psychological fear as well as creature design. These are fundamental skills required to execute on such a series.
Bloober has shown their pedigree with their previous projects, but not in the scope of what is required from a mainline game. A small, succinct Silent Hill game will be much better suited to them, which I hope is the case.
The thing that worries me, however, is that their studio hasn’t always released critically acclaimed games, and fans are almost always divided. This gives me a bad déjà vu to why the previous Silent Hill games, who faced the same predicament.
Konami should be looking for more prestigious developers, but based on their track record, I am worried that this is nothing more than another money-grabbing opportunity for them, riding on the coattails of the recent increase in Silent Hill demand. Thankfully, at least I can confidently say that Bloober is a team with passion for what they do, and it might be just what we need!
Fingers crossed that the rumour is true about there being multiple games, as it is time for the king of psychological survival horror to make a return!