The original Silent Hill helped shape an entire genre in the video game realm. Horror games would not be the same if it had not been for those first claustrophobic camera angles that Silent Hill used. While the recent games have not been quite on the horror scale of the first in the series, Silent Hill still remains a pivotal point in survival horror.
That being said, it may be time for a new direction. Silent Hill, known for delivering pulse pounding, psychological scares, is ready for reinvention.
During a Eurogamer Expo, Hideo Kojima said that Konami had approached him about being a part of the newest Silent Hill. While Kojima hasn’t signed on to the project, he did raise an interesting point about the horror genre.
“Honestly, I’m kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, so I’m not confident I can do it. At the same time, there’s a certain type of horror that only people who are scared of can create, so maybe it’s something I can do,” said Kojima.
Herein lies one of the reasons why Kojima would be, at the very least, a compelling candidate for directing the game. Kojima is a self proclaimed “scaredy-cat,” so he is in touch with what makes an audience afraid. Kojima has the opportunity to bring his own fears into a game, something that great horror icons like Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, do in their work.
Not only that, it would be fascinating to see what Kojima can do in the horror genre. Known for story like narratives in his games, Kojima has the potential to create a cinematic horror game that would put the player in the center of a highly story and art driven game. After all, Silent Hill is known for his atmospheric environmental scares, so using a director with a strong background in large scale art centered games would be beneficial.
Of course, after sitting through what seems like millions of hours worth of cut scenes, during Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series, it could be a worrisome for fans if Kojima were to turn the game into a movie like experience, similar to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. One aspect that needs to be in every horror game, is the feeling of helplessness and utter fear, and pulling the player out of the experience constantly, through cut scenes, could be a disadvantage.
However, Kojima could draw inspiration from the highly acclaimed indie game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. One of the greatest horror games of all time, Amnesia suggests that the player completely become immersed in the gameplay, and by doing so, Amnesia forces the player to believe that they are actually in the game, therefore, drawing direct tension from the emotions of the player. The game melds a perfect amount of narrative and gameplay together, creating a sequence that makes the player feel as if their own lives are at stake.
The point I’m trying to make, by bringing Amnesia into the mix, is that Kojima has the opportunity to create a game that combines his signature uses of cinema and Amnesia’s use of gripping, story-like gameplay, that plunges the player into the world, to create a game that would not only bring Silent Hill back to its roots but also create a new and unique brand of horror games. Horror games are a huge part of video game culture, and by experimenting with key people such as Hideo Kojima, new methods to creating horror games are bound to be discovered and produced for future projects.