The Silent Hill 2 remake may suffer its own unfortunate legacy.
- Silent Hill 2 was a psychological horror game released in 2001 that was praised for its gloomy atmosphere and close look at mental trauma.
- Blubber Team is a Polish-based horror developer known for many of its games directly inspired by Silent Hill.
- Their latest game, a remake of Silent Hill 2, may fall victim to Blubber’s previous attempts at horror storytelling.
Since I’ll be talking about Silent Hill 2 and its many inspirations in this piece, I’ll likely get into some heavy stuff, especially parental abuse, and trauma. Reader discretion is advised. This will also spoil a lot of details regarding Silent Hill 2 and some of the Blubber team’s titles like The Medium and Blair Witch.
The early Silent Hill games have been an early part of my youth, especially Silent Hill 1 and 2, both games I played as a young impressionable teenager. Although my favorite game in the series is Silent Hill 3, which I played much later, I think the first four games are among the most important and influential in the horror genre.
One entry in the series in particular had a significantly more powerful impact on not only the series, but the genre itself. That of course is Silent Hill 2, often considered one of the greatest games of all time and considered by many to be the best story in a video game ever. Silent Hill 2 has achieved near legendary status, a masterpiece where changing even the slightest aspect of the game would ruin it. A somewhat exaggerated claim, all things considered.
However, the game started a new trend for horror, especially psychological horror. With its influences still trying to emulate the story and twists of the game to this day. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what these influences do is far more dangerous than you might expect at first glance. What comes across as cute imitations can backfire when you misunderstand the source material.
And misunderstand what they did. The aftermath of Silent Hill 2 resulted in an influx of horror stories that felt borderline insulting to those dealing with trauma. One of the most common twists on horror over the decades has been the “monster is in your head” due to “a traumatic event that happened to you/ It was because of your trauma.” Most of them also condemn people who suffer from these problems.
Such stories not only present a malicious and ignorant view of people suffering from real trauma, but are boring and uninteresting as a storytelling crutch. The monsters James had to fight weren’t just “demons inside his head,” they were actual physical threats that resembled James’ psyche. James was an emotionally and mentally tortured individual, yes, but the story neither condemns nor redeems him.
There are also true stories in the gaming space that heal trauma. Silent Hill 2 is perhaps the most honest and realistic portrayal of the effects of various forms of abuse. Angela is by far the best character in the game and I still can’t go through her arc without cringing. However, Angela’s fate in the play reflects the cruel nature of the city, it does not condemn her as a character for her suffering and her actions. Depressingly, the only one in the game who condemns Angela is Angela herself.
While I would like to go into detail about his character, I think This piece from Ferrari Does her entire arc do it justice more than I do. Contrast that with the biggest culprit of this trope, Blobber Team’s “The Medium,” a game that would be a great horror game if it weren’t for its offensively bad story and ending. One of the characters in The Medium, Lily, is somewhat similar to Angela.
Lily is the younger sister of the main character in the game and is also the reason the monster kills everyone in the game. The reason this monster exists is because Lily is raped by another character in the game named Richard, who is her father’s mentor. Now, it’s okay to cover taboos in a horror game, at its core the horror will unnerve and unnerve you.
The problem comes when you realize that the game has an entire arc about making you sympathize with her abuser. Fortunately, at the very least, the game, at least to some extent, condemns his actions. Lily’s story isn’t so lucky, however, as the game practically ends with her begging you to kill her because she can’t be saved. The ending is left up to player interpretation, with the last words you hear at the end being “You can’t save everyone, Butterfly.”
The result of generosity would be to understand that Marianne, the main character, shoots herself to save Lily, but this is still a huge task. Medium isn’t the only time the Blubber team has delivered a quirky message about mental health. In her game before the medium, Blair Witch.
The main character Alice is an ex-soldier with PTSD, the “big twist” in Blair Witch is that the serial killer who kills innocent children and Alice are actually the same person, and in the game’s “good” ending, Alice Including suicide. The end of preventing murder from happening.
Silent Hill 2 has established both a legendary and somewhat toxic legacy. While the game itself is a horror masterpiece and a cornerstone of psychological horror, it spawned an influx of stories that attempted to bring the game to terrifying conclusions.
This trend eventually caught up to Silent Hill as well. Silent Hill’s Death March begins when Team Silent disbands after Silent Hill 4, presumably to end the series. Konami then handed over the rights to the series to Western studios who pounced on its corpse and stepped on it, giving us a deformed scarecrow that barely resembled the series.
The problem with these western-based Silent Hill titles was that most of them were trying to ride the coattails of Silent Hill 2, the most popular entry in the series, while ignoring the other three games. had been. This is a good time for me to reiterate that Silent Hill 2 is exceptional, but so are the other Team Silent games.
The four games together form a single identity of what Silent Hill is and to ignore any of them would be a disservice to both the series as well as the horror genre. Silent Hill 1 redefined horror gaming on the PS1 by making it more psychological, Silent Hill 2 gave us one of the most dark and gloomy horror experiences in the medium.
Silent Hill 3 was a technical marvel that raised the bar for pure horror and also gave us one of the most interesting female protagonists in gaming with Heather Mason. Even the often divisive Silent Hill 4 ended up being the scariest entry in the series by turning your only refuge into a haunted house. Each game in the original anthology stands out in its own unique way.
I’m not really against changes in remakes. I find remakes that are nothing more than a visual look worthless. I recently played the remake of Demon Souls after beating the PS3 original last year and found it to be a very worthy game but with the entire game fresh in my mind for me to play it. There was nothing special.
This is why I have so much respect for remakes like this year’s Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 remakes. Both of these remakes aren’t afraid to change and cut to expand on the original game’s vision, and the result is a game that’s better or an alternative way to experience a game you already know. love
But I’m a little skeptical when it comes to Silent Hill 2, even more so when I hear it’s being produced by a studio that continues to paint an ignorant picture of mental health. This in itself wouldn’t be a huge problem if Silent Hill 2 wasn’t a game that actively dealt with trauma, but it does, so now I’m wondering if it’s better if Blobber is a threat. Take advantage and destroy effectively. A game I love or if I just play Silent Hill 2 again this time with nicer graphics and better controls.
Blubber is a strong studio that provides atmosphere, art direction, and music but has always failed in its stories. From the horror of Blair Witch to the horror story of Medium, it’s alarming to see a franchise you love so dearly be held by a studio that likely doesn’t understand the franchise. This is why I fear that the Silent Hill 2 remake may suffer from its legacy.
The chances of them screwing it up are slim, though, and what they’ve shown certainly looks impressive, especially since it features Masahiro Ito and Akira Yamaoka from the original Team Silent. Can’t confidently say I’m openly excited. This remake. It would be foolish to ignore that Yamaoka was also involved with The Medium and see how that turned out.
Although I once said that Silent Hill was better than dead – which I don’t think I agree with anymore – the silver lining to all of this is that this remake is still hotcakes. The sale will likely give Silent Hill another chance. pillar for psychological fear. The pillar that used to be in the 90s and early 2000s, that certainly excites me.
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