What to Expect From The ‘Silent Hill 2’ Remake

A man by the name of James Sunderland receives a letter from his late wife, Mary, that says she is waiting for him in their “special place,” a town called Silent Hill. James knows deep inside that his wife is gone but he is still drawn to Silent Hill and must face himself to uncover the truth of the town.

Silent Hill 2, what gaming culture describes as the greatest psychological horror game of all time, is receiving the remake treatment exclusively on PlayStation 5 and PC.

This is just as surprising as it is exciting, since Konami owns the IP, but has not been invested in video games again up until recently. Horror fans rejoice, despite a portion being trepidatious of the Silent Hill revival for not trusting the controversial company to do right by the original Team Silent developed 2001 PlayStation 2 game.

Silent Hill 2 gameplay

Lightning in a Bottle

The second entry of the Silent Hill franchise was not an immediate success like its predecessor, as it was as much of an unconventional sequel as one could imagine, but over time, players were drawn back to it like the town itself.

Currently, Silent Hill 2 is held up as the greatest of what the genre has to offer due to the delicate and nuanced way it handles its themes on grief, guilt, and punishment, as well as the artistic expression of its world, which is unparalleled.

Team Silent has made it widely known that Fyodor Dostoevsky’s book, “Crime and Punishment”, was an inspiration for the game’s themes.

Unfortunately, the Silent Hill franchise started to fall apart when Konami outsourced the IP to other development teams after Team Silent was dispersed, which was due to the 22-year-old release of Silent Hill 4 on PlayStation 2 not meeting the same level of critical and financial success of the first few games (although some might argue that this would have been a close to impossible standard to meet).

Despite this, the Silent Hill fandom is alive with online public discourse on the franchise, which is a testament to the impact those first few Silent Hill games had over two decades ago in the PS2 era.

However, the conversation changed with the announcement trailer of the Silent Hill 2 remake released on October 19, 2022, with reactions ranging from pure excitement to those that are cautiously optimistic on if the remake could live up to the original.

Silent Hill 2 gameplay

A Cautiously Optimistic Community

Silent Hill 2 was previously remastered for the PS3 in 2012, but the new voice cast, among other port issues, kept it from being worthy of the original.

As a result of this, and the fallout with video game auteur Hideo Kojima following the release of Metal Gear Solid V in 2015 and the cancelation of Kojima’s would-be Silent hill reboot, P.T, which was in collaboration with Japanese horror mastermind Junji Ito and Guillermo Del Toro, the community lost trust in Konami.

So, the fact that Konami is bringing Silent Hill back again all these years later, and it being spearheaded by a somewhat unproven studio, Bloober Team, makes some skeptical on not only if the developers can handle the task, but also if Konami’s heart is in the right place.

Luckily, just because companies are static, it doesn’t mean that the executives that work at Konami are, as Bloober Team developers have spoken out in defense of Konami, stating “they do know what they are doing.”

Even so, the wait has been excruciating for fans as they become antsy without a significant update since the trailer dropped nine months ago, and as a result, the wait for the Silent Hill 2 remake has risen to be a psychological horror experience in itself for fans of the franchise.

The trailer for the remake has been criticized for protagonist, James Sunderland, showing too much emotion at earlier stages of the game’s story, but fans should remember that this remake is more than just a face-lift, supported by members of the original Team Silent that said that the PS2 didn’t have the hardware capabilities to display facial expressions that current generation consoles do now.

Despite some of these criticisms and trepidations surrounding the Silent Hill 2 remake, the trailer itself looks to be a faithful and exciting re-imagining of this beloved classic. However, there are still some fans that are disappointed with Konami for not starting with the first Silent Hill.

Silent Hill 2 gameplay

2 Before 1

The current age of video game remakes has been successful, so it is no surprise that Konami would want to invest as well, since the company has some of the most popular gaming IPs, like Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, and Castlevania, which have collected dust for years now.

Similarly, Capcom went through a rough patch, but was able to rise again due to the company’s approach to the Resident Evil remakes and how they carried the franchise forward in both Resident Evil 7 and Devil May Cry 5 following Resident Evil 6 and DMC.

Konami should be given that same chance, and like Capcom having started with the most popular of the franchise, Resident Evil 2, in their remake saga, Konami appears to be doing the same with both Silent Hill 2 and the recently announced Metal Gear Solid 3 remakes, each the most popular of their own respected franchises as well.

This business strategy is one that Konami has been quite transparent about, such as having communicated the opportunity to do more Metal Gear Solid remakes if they are financially successful, like Capcom with Resident Evil, and the same could be assumed for Silent Hill.

Metal Gear Solid 3 and Silent Hill 2 also have the benefit of acting as standalone titles in an otherwise on-going story, as MGS3 is a prequel and Silent Hill 2 doesn’t require any pre-existing knowledge on the first game to be enjoyed.

This is backed up by Series Producer, Motoi Okamoto, “we decided that if the brand’s identity is true psychological horror, we needed to start by remaking Silent Hill 2.” Testing the waters with Silent Hill 2 makes the most business sense, and it doesn’t mean that Konami couldn’t go back and do the first Silent Hill following its sequel if it is a success with Bloober Team.

Silent Hill 2 gameplay

Bloober Team: Moment in the Spotlight

The Silent Hill 2 Remake has the potential to be among the greatest remakes of all time, standing toe to toe with the Resident Evil remakes and the Dead Space remake, and could spell great things for Bloober Team’s future if they can stick the landing.

The developers not showing anything from the Silent Hill 2 remake since the October 19, 2022, announcement trailer is likely due to the team being deeply invested in the development of the game, but it does present a stark contrast to the marketing of the Dead Space remake, for example, which showed gameplay early on.

Even so, it’s understandable if the developers and Konami want to play this one close to the chest, as they must know what is at stake with a remake of this caliber. Since the trailer, Bloober Team has come out to say that the Silent Hill 2 remake is the beginning of their transition to more ambitious titles with an emphasis on action gameplay.

The fact that Bloober Team is already looking ahead may be indicative of developers having previously stated that the game is pretty much done, and that it is mostly dependent on when Konami wants to release it.

This supports claims that Bloober Team had been developing the Silent Hill 2 remake since 2019, if not earlier. As a result of this, there are many exciting things that have been shared from the inside that fans can hold onto in the meantime while waiting.

Bloober Team: Moment in the Spotlight

Silent Hill: A Town Renewed

Konami was reportedly impressed by Bloober’s concept for the remake. The developers have also stressed “not missing the point,” as they don’t intend to stray from the original while updating the gameplay for modern audiences, such as: an over the shoulder perspective, improved combat and enemy AI, haptic feedback support, and being able to explore the town of Silent Hill, which industry insider Dusk Golem claims to be “100% bigger” than in the original, without any load times thanks to the power of the SSD on PS5.

There are also aesthetic changes made, with Okamoto stating “after speaking with Mr.Ito, we decided to raise James’s age in the game a bit…. We want to depict a James who is more mature and has had to suffer through more in his life, and to do that we raised his age, though only by a bit.”

All in all, it sounds like Bloober Team is making exciting changes in specific areas that are intended to improve the gameplay experience while also practicing constraint with the story and characters for players both new and old to enjoy. The next time fans see a trailer for the Silent Hill 2 remake, not only should these aspects be showcased, but also a possible release date be announced.

Silent Hill 2 Town Renewed

When to Expect The Release Date

A placeholder date for the Silent Hill 2 remake said September 29, 2023, but that is likely too soon, otherwise, that release date would have been announced by now.

What appears to be more accurate is what James Sunderland voice actor Luke Roberts was claimed to have let slip, which is that the game should be ready for release early 2024.

The 22nd anniversary for Silent Hill 2 is September 25th, so fans may prepare to see the marketing campaign kick up around then or on that date. The hype is real for the return of Silent Hill.

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Benjamin Hunt

Ben is a writer and journalist. He received a Master of Science in Communication Studies and a dual minor in Photography and Environmental Studies from Grand Valley State University. In his free time, he and his wife create Batman cosplay images on Photoshop, and play video games, sometimes on YouTube.

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