We knew everything and at the same time we knew nothing. With patience and all humanly possible disillusionment we have tried to take with the pliers and analyze every single rumor, like an ocean of gamers literally in love with a brand that has fallen into sad silence. Ten years have passed since the last chapter of one of the most loved series by the public, and more than twenty since that iconic sequel that has marked entire generations of fans by burning them with a magnificent trauma impossible to forget. Konami took some time it is true but finally he listened to the noisy invocations: the remake of Silent Hill 2 is official, and we are very ready to face its horrors shrouded in fog for the umpteenth time.
Power of re-enactment
Everything was clear from the first shot, that floor of a filthy bathroom that has become a roach’s den has the narrative power of a million pages written in a very thick way: the trailer for Silent Hill 2 opens in that seedy environment with the dim light. The nervous steps and the labored breathing of the man who enters return the terror mixed with joy of an unexpected revelation, easily placed in the supernatural, to the most insane of follies.
The flow of water anticipates a crucial gesture, while the camera frames the hands that touch each other nervously, revealing an undisguised guilt that breaks out in a few, but dazzling, piano notes. It is all contained in those keys, years of hopes and dreams kept in the drawer, with graceful music that anticipates James’ words and steals their importance. Konami is well aware of the gigantic strengths of his brand, so he decides to make them explode after a black screen and a moment of silence: Akira Yamaoka returns to compose for Silent Hill those extraordinary music burned into the collective memory, a return for nothing taken for granted but absolutely wanted, because the city of fog would not have had the same ability to bewitch if its melodies had been different. James Sunderland is allowed to speak only in a long pause between the notes, and his doubts are identical to those with which he accompanied us twenty years ago (for a second time) on the shores of Toluca Lake: it is possible that Mary is there?
The incredulous gaze lost in one’s own reflection reflects on the absurdity of one’s hopes – in a contradictory game of images that will take on ever greater significance over the course of history – but the letter received is clear: his wife who died three years earlier wrote to him, he is waiting in Silent Hill. At the exit of the bathroom we see his car parked a few meters from the abyss of a silent lake, a look at the map of that cursed city forgotten by God, this is how the nightmare begins.
A wound that still bleeds
The perennial haze grays the contours of abandoned buildings, blackened bricks and pieces of plaster blown away for reasons still unknown, rain and neglect have torn apart an asphalt that no vehicle has crossed for who knows how long. A figure advances with an uncertain step, getting lost in the fog just beyond James’s gaze, while the man looks around and looks for signs of life in a city that will never give him anything like this.
The first sequence chosen to present this absurd bet signed by Bloober Team and Konami is perhaps one of the most iconic of the entire franchise, because in a room much warmer and brighter than it was in the original version Pyramid Head is about to vent its pulses on the mannequin creatures, forcing a panicked James to peek through the crevices of a closet, clutching his useless pistol in his fingers. Quick images of other key moments in Team Silent’s story follow, including Laura’s pranks over a railing in the apartment complex and rushing into that damn elevator, demonstrating the deep visual attachment that the Polish developers wanted to maintain respect. to the original material. The directorial ideas seem for the moment to approach with reverence those put in place two decades ago by the internal Konami team, however placing further emphasis on a renewed facial expressiveness that will have the task of transmitting with even greater passion the chilling story that awaits the contemporary players.
In fact, it is with James’s terrified gaze that a trailer comes to an end definitely dedicated to those who have already imprinted in their memory all the narrative turning points of an unattainable sequel, revealing glimpses of very important and above all very advanced sequences, still recognizable thanks to the cinematic cut that it has kept its dramatic value unaltered despite the passage of time.
As it should be, at the end of the film there are the two focal moments of the whole experience: one belongs to the narration, with James hesitantly approaching the special place recalled by his wife with his letter, the other is for the fans, because the pace of Pyramid Head has become an artistic trait capable of defining the entire Konami horror production.
Old glories and new hopes
James Sunderland’s journey to purgatory is not only marked by his faults and by the music of Yamaoka, because the disturbing images conceived as a visual frame have in turn a very strong diegetic value, and much of their merit goes to Masahiro Ito, the creator of those creatures that we can’t wait to face again or avoid: during the short chat, the monster designer announced that the project linked to this remake had been in the works for three years, and it was difficult to keep the secret for so long.
It is then up to the famous and already mentioned composer Yamaoka to take the floor thanks to a video message, revealing some anecdotes about the genesis of what, in all likelihood, will soon become one of the most popular videogame soundtracks ever, telling how the creative idea came from Crime and Punishment – the fundamental theme of the entire chapter – and declaring that this remake will enjoy new songs and sound effects capable of satisfying both those players already in love with its notes and those still starving of Silent Hill. Following the great minds who have sculpted Silent Hill 2 making it a timeless classic, it is finally up to the young Polish developers to take the floor and in fact confirm what was the evident sensation aroused by the trailer: the guys of Bloober Team say they are profoundly in love with the title Konami, for this reason they intend to transport it into modernity while keeping intact the original atmosphere of the work, which continues to have the same terrifying psychological impact today that it had twenty-one years ago.
Hearing the developers talk about sensations and concepts bodes well for the legacy of a historical video game because, net of some small controversy in the gameplay phase, the Polish studio has shown that it knows how to manage the artistic references at the base of its works, a maniacal and passionate care that he placed in works such as Observer and The Medium.
Furthermore, through a long post published on PlayStation Blog, the creators of Layers of Fear have leaked some small details of a technical nature, such as that of a closer third-person view than the classic dated 2001 and over the shoulders of the protagonist, which consequently leads to revisions in terms of fighting, which we look forward to watching. This remake will also try to squeeze the potential offered by the new Sony flagship, between non-existent loading screens and 3D audio that will guarantee the player to accurately locate the origin of a noise, in addition to support for DualSense with ideas that for the moment they want to keep. secret.
Finally, it is impossible not to mention the high performance of a graphic engine such as Unreal Engine 5 already evident from the images of the trailer, with a changing and convincing lighting system combined with the thick haze of a credible fog, capable of descending with gloomy realism between the streets. deserted in the city of nightmare. Worth mentioning, for example, is the use of the engine’s Lumen and Nanite features, which insiders are using to take visual presentation to the next level, both in terms of global illumination and level design.
The reveal trailer for Silent Hill 2 has undoubtedly rekindled the sacred ardor of millions of fans around the world, who may be able to keep their perplexities at bay by virtue of the involvement of some key figures behind the development of the original title who work. in synergy with a team of developers in love with Konami’s work.
Net of the certainty of the PlayStation temporal exclusivity in the console environment, of course, we have to wait for more information exactly as we have always done until tonight, limiting ourselves to look hopefully at the fog, while something has begun to move with a terrifying way in the distance. , just beyond our gaze.