Silent Hill 2 Isn't The Game That Actually Needs A Remake

There's a reason that Silent Hill 2 is still considered a masterpiece of survival horror more than 20 years after its original release, but while rumors about a Silent Hill 2 remake are all over the internet, its masterpiece status proves it's not the Silent Hill game that most deserves to be remade. With a long history of nearly 20 games there's plenty of opportunity for older games to re-enter the spotlight, but there's one in particular that deserves to be remade more than the rest.

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Konami's Silent Hill as a franchise has seen survival horror games, shooters, interactive novels, arcade action games, and puzzle-oriented titles in the course of its life. It all began with Silent Hill on the PlayStation in 1999, a survival horror game in the vein of Resident Evil that distinguished itself by taking a psychological horror bent that proved to be far more terrifying than what was typically available at the time, an element that has distinguished the series throughout all of its major entries. Silent Hill 2, with monster mascot Pyramid Head, followed the original release in 2001, and has become such a fan-favorite horror game that a remake seems like a foregone conclusion.

Related: You're Going To Wish Silent Hill Was Dead

Yet Silent Hill 2 hasn't aged all that poorly. While it certainly doesn't have the graphical prowess of a modern game, the relative simplicity of its environments are part of what makes it so effective. In emulating a small American resort town mostly consisting of empty streets and familiar, everyday structures, Silent Hill 2 has the advantage of staying rooted in things that were easy to render convincingly, even at the time. With the addition of heavy atmospheric fog effects, amorphous and highly stylized enemy designs, and a heaping helping of darkness, it was never what one might consider a "pretty" game, but one that still maintains an entirely workable look for the horror atmosphere it sets out to create. The original game, however, can't quite say the same.

The Original Silent Hill Needs A Remake More Than 2

Lisa pre-transformation in Silent Hill.

Silent Hill 3 upped the graphical ante handily just a few years after the release of the second game, though the gap didn't seem nearly so large as that between the original game and its sequel. Released for the original PlayStation, Silent Hill looked clunky from the start, both in terms of its core real-time rendering and its pre-rendered movie sequences. The design has aged much better than the technology, thankfully, which is partly why it's gone down in gaming history as one of the all-time greats, and it's this strength of design that makes it a prime candidate for a full-on modern remake. While some fans have attempted to remake Silent Hill in Unreal Engine 5, a full production would benefit from a more expansive budget (and wouldn't be subject to an almost inevitable cease-and-desist letter).

Ultimately, Silent Hill 2 just wouldn't benefit from a remake nearly as much as the original game would. Silent Hill 2 and 3 were already remastered in 2012's Silent Hill HD Collection, though there were changes made to the script, voice acting, and graphics that still reflect poorly on this version of Silent Hill 2 in particular. But in any case, far more attention has been shown to the newer games than to the original, which is a shame given that the first game remains both compelling and deeply unsettling in a way that its immediate sequel is not. While Silent Hill 2 is a masterpiece of horror, it's also one of the less scary games in the series, and there's an elegant sense of confusion, dread, and degradation that makes the original something to behold. If anything deserves the remake treatment in 2022 or beyond, it's the special moments from the original game that set all the darkness in motion to begin with.

2022-09-10T23:01:46.000Z

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