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The death of Silent Hills, and the future of the survival horror game series

April 27, 2015

It's official, the death of Silent Hills is now among us. Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima who was involved in the project is leaving Konami for good after The Phantom Pain is finished, and this also means that there will not be a new Silent Hill game in our future.

At least not the Silent Hills game you were expecting to see after playing the famous P.T. teaser demo that was launched last year. So if you haven't done it already, you have less than two days to do it as it will be pulled from the Playstation Network on the 29th.

So the new question that's being asked is, where does the famous survival horror game series we all know and love so much go from here? Fans of Castlevania were demoralized when creator Koji Igarashi left the company to freelance, and now Kojima wants to leave to do his own thing, and even become a voice actor at some point according to him.

It's an interesting turn of events to say the least, and long time supporters and fans of the series are wondering the same thing.

What put Silent Hill on the map was likely the first 4 games in general. It sparked a revolution of horror game fans throughout the world, and they just can't seem to get enough of it. I can't say I blame them, and there is a major outcry in the Silent Hill community right now, and a controversy as to what will happen and when for a new game to be announced.

After all, the time that was spend on this latest one has just gone down the drain right?

So where to next? Perhaps some feedback from you, the fans is in order, and could prove useful in letting Konami know what their fans want from them for a new game. Here are a few for starters, and feel free to add your comments along with them below. The more the merrier in this situation, and is perhaps the only thing the fans have left as this point.

KY - on Facebook writes:

"In order to understand we need to take a look back and understand something about the old games. They weren't that great to begin with. Don't get me wrong there are some great classic games out there and at the time we were super understanding of a games short comings because the technology was so limited.

Now technology being limited is becoming less and less of a case, we're far less forgiving and see game design flaws for what they are.

For example, the Sonic the Hedgehog series of titles. People remember Sonic as being this awesome game with awesome characters and it was fast and all these wonderful gushing words about how great it was. Problem is if you look at a Sonic the Hedgehog game objectively you'll find that most of those games if not all of the break a huge number of rules designers themselves try to avoid.

Things like the Knuckles stages in Sonic Adventure 2 which by the way got great reviews from fans. The game is actually pretty terrible with a handful of quality levels and one good boss fight. Something we never see Sega really capitalize on and gamers keep giving them feedback that the entire game is great. This leads to confusion.

If you go further back you'll find even the very first game really keeps you on autopilot for its glorified tech demo. This robs players of control aside from stopping him from running, which consequently defeats the point of having sonic move at high speed. equally so modern games have lead ahead for high speed segments.

These didn't exist and made running into things increasingly annoying. Modern sonic games try to correct for this, albeit poorly, but sonic team never properly learned how to address this.

Conveyance is honestly non existent in sonic games of old, something Mega Man X actually handles quiet gracefully in the first 15 minutes of the game to teach you all you need to know. Back to the fast paced issues with Sonic these are constantly disrupted by puzzle elements that are far from rewarding.

Again modern Sonic games try to address this yet fail miserably and get castrated for it. I've yet to see a sonic game try to solve a puzzle using Sonics speed as the delimiter for completion. In this way I feel like Sonic could learn more from Zelda than Mario.

Sonic is an easy target, I can find several design issues, lore compatibility issues, and many other factors that hurt a good number of Konami, Capcom, and Sega licenses.

Japanese developers have been struggling to understand what has changed. Aside from a few strong contenders like Kojima who manage to produce strong titles, most seem to have the problem go right over their heads. Look at the JRPG for example. It's strongest element is typically story and battle system configuration that tests the players ability to be clever to overcome enemies.

The JRPG of old depended on a lot of time wasters and the relatively new nature of their cultures stories being unknown to the rest of the world.

Now every JRPG consists of tropes, pre-existing overly simplified mechanics that don't challenge the player, and a story that can be found in any RPG. No boundaries pushed. An attempt to remove things like Random Encounters has been a move in the right direction, but they are still a drag as the battle doesn't reward fast enough in game and reward the players cleverness either.

Japan has also struggled with technology on top of this inability to grow their strongest genres. While the west has had engine development for multiple games since the late 90's with complete tool sets, most Japanese developers have hit the reset button either with every title or with each console generation.

This has slowed development of new titles and sequels alike. Thus keeping costs high and preventing them from bringing new games to market rapidly. A game like Final Fantasy XV should take a decade to release when a game like Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 2/3, Assassin's Creed, LBP, Demon Souls (and its kin), and tomb raider can spit remasters and sequels out in 1/5th the time sometimes less.

Don't get me wrong the developers of old made games we all enjoyed. A lot of what they did back then isn't feasible now and trying to compete with nostalgia is a losing battle. Part of the reason the first Lords of Shadow did so well was ignoring it. It's why Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2 were steaming piles of crap as Mercury Steam dealt with fan reaction and Konami's reacting to it."

Y.A.T. Writes his response:

"It's sad that this has come to an end for P.T aka future Silent Hills. Feels like history has repeated itself with the similar case to the creator of Castlevania and he left Konami too. I really do not understand what video game company of this generation are doing.

Why can't these video game companies the likes of Konami, capcom and sega just take a step back and look at what they did before back in the good ol days video games and how much they have gained from their fan support and now look at themselves now all falling down hill.

Kinda reminds me about Resident Evil 4 and how the creative directors decided to take that game into a whole new game design direction and how everyone was shocked at it and objected to the idea from moving forward with the new concept. And what happened later on when it got released, the game development and art concept not only worked but also have made more sales than they have originally planned for.

That being said, they have raised the bar and It is the same thing as you said with Castlevania Lords of Shadows. I personally have not played that game yet but I will be. It's just that there are way too many video games flying around and that it is hard to make the time to play them. XD

But what you said about that game is exactly the same response that I have gotten from close friends and video game reviewers alike and that I am better off in playing Lord of Shadows and just drop Mirrors of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2 because they're crap."

Y.A.T. also adds about other big names like Igarashi and Yamane leaving Konami

"I agree and respect their decision for leaving Konami in pursuing their own path. Any individual would have done the same thing. I feel that Konami is mismanaged at this point in time just like with Capcom and Sega.

They have some of the most amazing creative talents onboard but they are all leaving to pursue freelance or other types of work due to the company's bad business practice with their own big IP games that have put them on the map are either being milked or watered down the overall quality and pushing the fanbase away.

Nobody likes to be pushed around and running the same vinyl disc routine in development again and again. It's just like you said, they need to use their classic games as a catalyst for future games. They need to learn from it and use that as a means to raise the bar for a better well created executed video game.

Furthermore I just took notice in some gaming forums have mentioned that Konami has taken itself out of the NY stock exchange since all of this fiasco is taking place. It's all bad timing in my opinion. I don't think they will sell themselves out but I do hope they can pick themselves up because it is a mess right now.

Silent Hill Fan posted:

"What now? If they put an end to Silent Hills now and don't continue development since Kojima is leaving, where does that leave the series? It would've at least been proper if they picked up where they left off instead of just trashing a game that had started out so well.

After this I am really worried about the direction the game will be headed in, and would love to see it go back to its roots. You know? Using the first few games in the franchise as a basis to make future games. I hope Konami does the right thing and continues some kind of development soon."

There are just three responses, among likely quite a few thousand out there who are just now picking up on this issue. Now that Konami has pulled the plug on Silent Hills, one can only dream of a new announcement  happening anytime soon. The question is when and if that will be at this point.

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