In modern video game folklore, there are few incidents that have sent bigger shock waves through the gaming community than the cancellation of Silent Hills. Touted as an absolute dream project — one that combined the creative talent of Silent Hill director Hideo Kojima, horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus — the project had financial success written all over it. Where the game was expected to revive the Silent Hill franchise, and drove dedicated fans into a frenzy, Silent Hills was officially cancelled in 2015 when Hideo Kojima parted ways with video game publisher Konami.
The cancellation was heard around the gaming world, and fans and critics alike imploded when they heard the devastating news. Over a year has passed since that fateful day, and despite evidence and press comment that confirms the game will never see the light of day, fans are still clinging to the hope that, one day, Silent Hills will be revived in some capacity.
Well, it seems one fan just couldn’t wait any longer and decided to recreate some classic Silent Hill scenes himself, using the Unreal Engine 4. The results are phenomenal, and if anything, they are a sad reminder of a project that could have been, one that could have potentially changed the survival horror genre as we know it.
Courtesy of James Brady at ArtStation, a Silent Hill concept video has been posted online, a story originally reported by Cinema Blend. The video was created using Unreal Engine 4 — which will be used to bring Gears of War 4 to life in late 2016 — and pays great homage to the survival horror franchise. If anything, the video is a stark reminder that, if Silent Hills had gone ahead using the superior technology now at a video game studios disposal, it would have been something pretty special.
Check out the video below.
As well as the short video, the site also offers some spectacular screen shots of Brady’s work. Flecked with menacing shadows, flickering lights, filthy walls, organized chaos that threatens to explode into terrifying fear at the turn of a dime, and a glinting substance lurking in the darkness that can only be spilt blood, the artist has captured the essence of Silent Hill in just a few precise, composed shots.
The mysterious landscape of Silent Hill has never been more daunting than when it turns an innocent location into something more sinister, and he’s done that perfectly here with a normal children’s school as the backdrop. The painted wall art and scattered toys help invoke a shiver, a technique that Silent Hill mastered in its heyday. As any fan of the franchise can attest, he has done a remarkable job.
It’s this attention to detail, which is fleeting in the haunting video and stark in the eerie images, that reminds us just how good Silent Hills could have been. The light reflecting on the bloody wall, not to mention the blood itself, and the lingering mist that lurks at the end of the hallway — we’ve posted the image below — are details that couldn’t have existed in previous games due to restricted technology, and the shadows that caress the walls so hauntingly means Silent Hill has never looked so terrifying.
We may not be getting a new Silent Hill game any time soon, but this sort of fan dedication proves that, somewhere in the world, maybe multiple places, there is a huge market should Konami change their mind. A couple of screen shots were released for Silent Hills before its tragic cancellation, and these more than confirmed that the mysterious town was going to be brought to life like never before. On the evidence above, it was definitely going to happen; it might just give fans a reason to mope over the cancellation one more time.
We may never see Silent Hills, but we have a whole range of Silent Hill games out there. On viewing these images above, I believe many gamers will be enticed to pick up their controllers once again, and revisit the town that makes their gaming so worthwhile.
[Image via Konami]