While considering yesterday’s musings on Resident Evil 7 there was another game that wasn’t far from my thoughts.
I will never cease to be salty about the decision Konami made to cancel P.T. The more I look at it; the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Silent Hills would have been groundbreaking and a revival for a series that was on life support for some time.
Silent Hill as a franchise had stagnated and while there isn’t any 1 contributing factor I feel the primary cause had to do with gameplay/control. Silent Hill games (at least as far as I can remember) were never known for having amazing controls. Part of why I feel they got by for so long had to do with Resident Evil and its successful use of tank controls and fixed camera angles which at the time was great. However, this changed with the release of Resident Evil 4. It was a departure from traditional Resident Evil controls that helped pave the way for the amazing Resident Evil 7 among others. It set a very high bar and I feel the closest Silent Hill ever got to it was with Downpour, even then the game still had a lot of issues. Downpour was released 7 years after Resident Evil 4 and while it did a lot of things right, mechanically it still had a lot of issues. This had been the case for several installments. It also didn’t help that silent hill began to fracture into spin offs and other ventures that didn’t pan out well, detracting from the series.
Pictured a scene from Silent Hill Book of Memories. All I'm saying is people who want to play Diablo, already have Diablo. I think this is a very poor fit for the franchise
Then P.T. was released, shaping an entire generation of horror games to the point where P.T. has become its own genre joining the likes of Metroidvania and Soulslike. Even Resident Evil 7 somewhat copied the P.T. structure with their “Beginning Hour” promo for the game. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that P.T. was probably one of the most influential horror game of the past decade. It looked good, it handled even better, and the way it played out was phenomenal. Silent Hills had everything going for it and a lot of people (myself included) were hyped to see this game come out... but it never did.
Konami cancelled it and began moving away from video games. They chose to focus on their literal gambling business instead of running a racket inside of their games like most companies figuratively (though some like NBA 2K literally) do. Thus we’ve had a decade plus of Konami being overtly and unabashedly shit to their employees, IP, and customers. Wasting such an amazing opportunity should be criminal, but it is what it is. For now I’m left to wonder what could have been.