Hideo Kojima expresses interest in Silent Hill. Here's how he could (very easily) make it better than it's been in a decade

Silent Hill, let's face it, is in a bit of a mess. Once one of the most pioneering and narratively powerful series around, it's since been passed from home to home like a weird troubled orphan whose houses have a strange knack of burning down, never finding the right familial fit or long-term stability to really flourish.

But here comes benevolent old Uncle Hideo. He seems interested in helping Silent Hill. He's potentially its most suitable, understanding benefactor yet, and what's more, he has friends who could really, really be an incredibly positive influence on it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, the facts. It's seems old Koj recently watched the first Silent Hill film in preparation for its sequel, and was mighty impressed with the series' potential (aesthetically and atmospherically at least) in conjunction with his shiny new next-gen Fox Engine technology. Tweeteth Koj:

'"Silent Hill" movie that I borrowed from Murashu as the next sequel is coming out. It would be a scary game if we make Silent Hill game on FOX engine.!(◎_◎;)'

'"Silent Hill" is in closed room setting and doesn't require full action so that we can focus on the graphic quality. Enemy doesn't have to be a lot or move fast. It only requires scariness by graphics and presentation. As being a creator making action game in open world, such game is very enviously attractive. Wish someone could create this on FOX engine'

Above: Silent Hill 2 - More of this sort of thing

Simple thinking out-loud? Coded hint that he's working on something? I don't know, but either way this is a damnably interesting idea. Because when you extrapolate the (very real) possibilities around this one, the idea of a Kojima-managed Silent Hill project becomes one of those too-perfect-to-happen ideas that have a habit of actually happening when you least expect them. Allow me to break this down.

Kojima specialises in swirling, surreal narratives grounded by affecting characterisation. He also loves screwing around with planes of narrative reality and royally messing with the player both inside and outside of the game. All of this is pure Silent Hill.

While he doesn't have extensive horror experience himself, Kojima is friends with people who do. Namely Grasshopper Manufacture. He's already working with the studio on a radio-play prequel to his own early game, Snatcher, and has another, fully game-shaped collaboration with them in development. Why are Grasshopper important? Simple. Studio head Goichi 'Suda51' Suda directed the sublimely Lynchian brainsmash Killer7, and 2010 hired Akira Yamaoka. Akira Yamaoka, in case you don't know, is the most important person in Silent Hill history, having produced the series during its glory days and composed every soundtrack right up to 2009's Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Above: Silent Hill: Downpour - A bit less of this sort of thing please

Given Koj's success as a producer for external teams (see Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for evidence of that; developer Mercury Steam's last game before it was the rather wretched Clive Barker's Jericho ), the idea of a Kojima-produced Silent Hill developed by Yamaoka and Suda is pretty much the perfect vision of a reboot for the series. Kojima keeps the project ticking along, steers Silent Hill back to real AAA quality for the first time in years, and stops Suda going completely mad. Yamaoka and Suda handle the creative heavy lifting.

If Kojima's desire for a Fox Engine Silent Hill also means that he's eager to bring Silent Hill back to Japananese development after years in the international wilderness, there's only one sensible way to do that. And tell me it wouldn't have the potential to make you forget about the entire last decade of (the wrong kind of) Silent Hill pain.

Persuasive postcards to H. Kojima, Konami Street, Japan, forthwith please.

Sources: Here and here

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.