Hideo Kojima + Silent Hill = Perfection?

#1 Posted by Cincaid (2956 posts) -

Before I get started; I'm well aware of the extremely vocal users on the site who hate Jim Sterling, but I for one think he makes several convincing arguments in his latest article posted on GameFront. Here's the link to the original article, and here's the article in quotes (for those who don't want to visit GameFront):

Recently, Hideo Kojima set the brains of fans ablaze by registering his interest in the Silent Hill series. The Metal Gear director started thinking of Konami’s other big franchise after borrowing the movie spin-off from a friend, and detailed how much he’d love to see someone use his team’s FOX Engine to power the game. Kojima went so far as to say he was “envious” of the possibilities of using FOX — having it power a game that could squeeze the maximum graphical potential out of the engine thanks to its claustrophobic, closed environments. Naturally, there’s only one thing to say to Kojima — FUCKING DO IT!
The man behind Metal Gear has tried multiple times to step away from the franchise he created, yet gets pulled back every time due to fan demand. The man has made it clear in the past that he yearns for something fresh, and I believe having him tackle Silent Hill would truly be the best of both worlds — fans would see him take on an established franchise within the Konami family, and he’d get his chance to do something different. What’s more, after a string of controversial American developers taking stabs at Silent Hill, a Japanese studio would likely be welcomed with open arms by the series’ perpetually enraged fanbase — and Kojima would be the perfect Japanese director for the job.
Silent Hill, until more recent efforts, was famed for its psychological horror. That’s what it did. While Resident Evil was doing a fine job of bringing B-movie stories and jump scares to life, Silent Hill went darker, deeper, and attacked the very mentality of the player. So potent was the pure fear in these games, that even long stretches with no acti0n at all managed to terrify players. It was a game that got in your head, and exploited your meager brain for its own nefarious ends. Sound like someone we all know and love? Hideo Kojima is Silent Hill personified! Few developers have been so good at exploiting fans’ emotions and fears — whether it’s tricking people into thinking Metal Gear Solid 4 would be a first-person shooter, or notoriously bait-and-switching the protagonist in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Kojima has infuriated and impressed his audience many times over the years, and it’s all because he knows his audience perfectly. He knows what gamers think, how they feel, and he’s successfully manipulated us like he’s the Hannibal Lecter of videogames.
Kojima’s mastery of the audience’s mind goes beyond simple trolling and misdirection. Let us not forget the classic boss fight against Psycho Mantis, in which the fourth wall was repeatedly broken — Mantis would view our pasts by reading data off the PlayStation memory card, he’d screw with the game to make it look like it had glitched, and he’d predict our every move until we switched the controller to another port. The Metal Gear series has constantly pulled the rug out from under the player’s feet and done things we could never have expected. Whether we’re being told that our Fission has Mailed or we start having dreams about zombies, Metal Gear Solid found ways to surprise us and creep us out by reaching out to us … not just the characters we’re pretending to be on-screen. Metal Gear Solid acknowledges that it is a videogame, but rather than acknowledge it in a way that breaks our immersion, it draws us in deeper by directly including the player in the action. Now imagine Kojima’s ability to speak to us personally, to extend an arm from the videogame’s world into our own, and you try to tell me that he wouldn’t be capable of scaring the shit out of everybody.
It’s not like Metal Gear Solid has been averse to dabbling in horror. The build to the aforementioned battle with Psycho Mantis was notably creepy, as the psychic reached into sidekick Meryl’s mind and toyed with us. In the same game, we also had the stark corridor full of Ninja’s victims — the dying and the dead, soaked in blood, with silence the only accompanying sound. The latter chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2, when the Patriots reveal themselves to Raiden, was deeply scary in a number of ways, while the battle against The Sorrow in Snake Eater was atmospheric, eerie, and highly inventive. These sequences were but small parts of a larger game, yet each were so effective in their own way that they left deep lasting impressions. The series’ ability to craft horrifying backstories, haunting atmospheres, and downright chilling scenarios is evidenced, and I think Kojima Productions has shown itself to be more tuned into what makes great interactive horror than most of the leading horror titles on the market today.
Most crucial of all — Hideo Kojima is insane. I’m sure of it. The man’s balls-mental and I think we need that kind of madness in the Silent Hill series. Later titles have been pretty damn conventional. Even Silent Hill: Downpour, which I genuinely enjoyed, didn’t stray too far from typical Hollywood horror tropes, and even its selection of monsters were little more inspired than spooky zombie creatures. Just imagine what the man who has conjured hornet telepaths, geriatric plant-people, and giggling women strapped into gigantic octopus robots could bring to the perverse and grisly world of Silent Hill. Kojima’s mind is a car crash of weird philosophies and twisted bodily horror — I would argue that few people are more qualified than he to bring Silent Hill back to the truly unnerving realm that once it inhabited.
I say this with the utmost confidence — Hideo Kojima is THE man who should be directing a Silent Hill game right now. The very thought of it makes me more excited than should be healthy. If Kojima’s serious about his envy, then he should step up and take charge. If Konami is serious about a series it seems lost with right now, it should give its best asset a chance with the property. It makes too much sense for Konami to endorse, but we can always dream.
Hideo Kojima is the human form of Silent Hill, and as such, there’s no developer more equal to the task.

I think Jim brings up a lot of interesting thoughts in this article, and I for one would love to see it happen (even if I'm not a fan of the MGS franchise). Your thoughts?

#2 Posted by Harpell (168 posts) -

At this point, I'd like Kojima to do ANYTHING besides Metal Gear. Silent Hill would be pretty cool.

#3 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4677 posts) -

@Harpell said:

At this point, I'd like Kojima to do ANYTHING besides Metal Gear. Silent Hill would be pretty cool.

Same here. I like Metal Gear Solid but I wonder what else Kojima can do.

#4 Posted by august (3845 posts) -

Clearly what Silent Hill needs is lengthy expository character speeches.

#5 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Someone just needs to  let him make a movie....course it would be like 20 hours long....

#6 Posted by BBAlpert (1475 posts) -

I don't know, it sounds like that kind of project could turn out real good or real, REAL bad.

#7 Posted by Lunar_Aura (2779 posts) -

the next Pyramid Head is really Raiden

#8 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

I don't know, it sounds like that kind of project could turn out real good or real, REAL bad.

That's kind of Kojima in a nutshell, though. Say what you will about the guy, but he always makes his game. He's similar to a director like David Lynch in that there's always enough craziness and personal composition in the work that it's either going to all click and be something great or be a crazy interesting mess.

#9 Posted by Fattony12000 (7416 posts) -

Hideo Kojima presents Silent Hill 5.

#10 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Silent Hill could be cool. It seems to me though that his statement about being envious was him just pimping his engine a bit more in the press, so I don't think it's very likely that he'll actually sign on.

#11 Posted by sissylion (679 posts) -

Hideo Kojima likes having in-depth explanations of every single facet of his productions. That is the exact opposite of what Silent Hill needs.

#12 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3327 posts) -

I personally think that Hideo Kojima + anything = (near) Perfection. There are far, far too few auteurs in games. Lame to say, I know, but it's true.

#13 Posted by falserelic (5437 posts) -

Yes let that man put his magic in the Silent Hill series. He'll put the series right back in the spotlight with his own special sauce.

#14 Posted by Sackmanjones (4705 posts) -

Please give me a good silent hill. I'd really love that

#15 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@august said:

Clearly what Silent Hill needs is lengthy expository character speeches.

Not to mention confusing postmodernism, conspiracy theories, and a guard who shits himself.

#16 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

You know what silent hill has no where to go but up so let him do it. Or atleast influence one because it has to be better than the last one.

#17 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -

Kojima is too goofy for Silent Hill.

#18 Posted by John1912 (1886 posts) -

Konami would never do it. Silent hill doesnt make enough money to warrant putting him or his team on it. Personally I loved the last game, but the fans hate the series as it is. What do you think would happen to it to make it more mainstream to get sales where they would need them to be, to warrant Kojima's time, and loss of another project he could be working on.

#19 Posted by phrali (646 posts) -

oh god no. Silent hill is about fear of the unknown. Kojima is about never shutting the fuck up about his crazy ass storylines and batshit philosophies SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LET ME CHOKE PEOPLE OUT

#20 Posted by Lost_Remnant (109 posts) -

I sort of have a love/hate thing going on with ol'Kojima. I really disliked MGS2 to an almost passionate level (and no, it wasn't because of the bait and switch, I found Raiden to be fine.) but on the other hand MGS3 is probably one of my favorite games period. Silent Hill hasn't ever quite reached the level of SH2 or even below that, but I also did not care too much for SH3 and 4 and found Homecoming fine even though it leaned a bit too much on the movie in terms of aesthetics.

The way I see it, a SH game headed up by Kojima would have equal chances of rubbing me the wrong way or a completely enrapturing experience. In any-case I would welcome the try, whatever the man does weather I like the end result or not, does tend to end up being pretty interesting.

#21 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3091 posts) -

Well, I want Kojima to do something new, and Silent Hill needs a good developer before it completely crashes and burns, if it hasn't already. The worst that could happen is that the game would be terrible, and that's practically assured of Silent Hill no matter what happens at this point. Might as well let him do it!

#22 Posted by AuthenticM (3732 posts) -

I agree with everything in this article. Hideo Kojima is the man for the job.

#23 Posted by N7 (3589 posts) -

It's actually really funny, this thread. I mean, of course, there's the fact of "Who gives a shit?" at the top of it all, but you people don't know Hideo Kojima for shit.
 
This is the guy who has a hand in every single aspect of a video game's design. Not only does he have complete control over the story, but this is the man who, in the early days of video games, created a video game engine by himself that could allow him to do anything or change anything on the spot. Just like a director has total control over the set, characters, designs, so too does Hideo Kojima. It's all so brilliant I'm splooging in my brain already.
 
There was a video showing off MGS4 during it's early days of promotional appearances and one particular event was them showing off the lighting engine and something like the cutscene camera. They could change lighting on the fly and it would affect everything in real time since the game was entirely in real time. So they'd adjust the hue in one part of the world, and in another part, the change would take place, on the fly. They didn't have to pull the scene, go back, get into the code and dig and change and revert and redo. Right from the cutscene, they could change it at will. Same thing with the camera. It's under appreciated I think, but all Metal Gear Solid games(Except for the first, I think) presented in real time. From the gameplay to the cutscenes. In MGS3, your face paint and camo changed what you looked like in the cutscene, in MGS4, it was affected by face camo(Which could be changed to a number of other characters such as Otacon, Drebin, even Raiden) or actual octocamo. And at any point, with the shake of your dualshock 3, it would revert back to the default octocamo design. In any cutscene but one.
 
They could even move the camera around, again, on the fly. Now, I'd imagine that in today's time, that's no feat worth bragging about per se, since we've gone far with the cutscene technology since MGS4 came out, but at the time, it was amazing. They could change angles, view distance, everything they could do with a real camera, but while the cutscene was playing and in real time.
 
And from what they have said about the FOX Engine, is they have built it to do more of the same, but on an entirely new scale. It's so versatile that you could add or change anything at any time during any stage of development on the whim, and everything reacts organically to it. What they've shown so far of that has been true. Small scale battles where they spawn in enemies and tanks and the enemies react and take cover like nothing we've seen in an MGS game before. 
 
I think Kojima could do something incredible with Silent Hill and the FOX Engine. Just for the simple fact that he's such a specific creator, he already knows what he's going to do before it even starts. So if at any point something needs to be changed or removed or tweaked or even added, they could do so with an ease that they couldn't do before with their older engines. Such potential. And I know it's a fever dream bullshit article set to inspire people to read the article and give the site hits(Not that I'm buttmad or anything, that's how the job works), and this will never ever happen, especially with Zone of the Enders and whatever he's working on with Suda51, not to mention MGS5 and his unannounced "Taboo" Devil Project, but it could and it would be wonderful.
 
It doesn't just end with Hideo Kojima, however. Yoji Shinkawa is one of the most talented and diverse designers in this industry. I don't think he's ever made something that looked flat or boring. And with monster/demon designs, he could do something he's never done before and really show us what he's made of. And then there's Shuyo Murata, Hideo Kojima's trusty co-writer since MGS2.
 
The staff is incredibly talented and as a huge fan of Kojima/Productions, I don't feel like I can really sit and let people assume that he's just this guy who says "EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE MORE COMPLEX AND DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND EVEN THOUGH IT'S ACTUALLY REALLY SIMPLE BUT STILL KIND OF CRAZY", when he was also the one who came up with almost every mechanic in the game and figured out ways to flip video gaming on its head and be one of the most popular and prolific designers yet.
 
I mean, they are building the new Fifa game with the FOX Engine, so that must mean something.

#24 Posted by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

Please, for the love of God or whatever deity/non-deity you prefer, keep Kojima away from Silent Hill. Bring in anyone else. Fuck, bring in Uwe Boll! Just don't put this in Kojima's hands.

#25 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

Ummm sure...

It would be as scary as Metal Gear is badass...in that ironic unknowingly naive sort of way.

#26 Posted by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

It certainly would make me interested in a Silent Hill game.

#27 Posted by Yummylee (21652 posts) -

He'd make for a great fit working on an Eternal Darkness sequel, that much is sure.

@Sackmanjones said:

Please give me a good silent hill. I'd really love that

I take it you're not so fond of Downpour anymore?

#28 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1766 posts) -

Silent Hill's 1, 2, and 3 will continue to exists no matter what happens to the series so I'm game for pretty much anything.

#29 Posted by OneManX (1693 posts) -

Yeah why not? Silent Hill, to me, has just fallen off, almost every game after 3 has been met with mixed reactions, at best.

Say what you will about Kojima, dude makes HIS game and you have to respect that.

#30 Posted by Sackmanjones (4705 posts) -
@Yummylee

He'd make for a great fit working on an Eternal Darkness sequel, that much is sure.

@Sackmanjones said:

Please give me a good silent hill. I'd really love that

I take it you're not so fond of Downpour anymore?

I guess I worded it wrong. I thought downpour was good but I want something great like 2 or 3. Downpour filled in my horror gap and I did really like some of the things it did, but It didn't stick with me like I hoped it would
#31 Posted by Dixego (385 posts) -

Oh my god. A Kojima Silent Hill game might just be the best Silent Hill game this side of Silent Hill 2.

#32 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4811 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

@Yummylee

He'd make for a great fit working on an Eternal Darkness sequel, that much is sure.

@Sackmanjones said:

Please give me a good silent hill. I'd really love that

I take it you're not so fond of Downpour anymore?

I guess I worded it wrong. I thought downpour was good but I want something great like 2 or 3. Downpour filled in my horror gap and I did really like some of the things it did, but It didn't stick with me like I hoped it would

I thought Downpour was a very good game. It's everything people claimed to have wanted - functional but cumbersome combat, claustrophobic settings, a more open ended town, and some of those side quests were truly creative and well thought out. (I'm thinking of the Phonograph one specifically). It kept its allusions and nods to the franchise history out of the context of the main narrative, and instead hid things like Room 302 in the game world for you to find. Not only that, but the story and thematic ideas were genuinely fresh in the context of the series. I've felt that since James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2, even the Team Silent games were more or less trying to recapture that same lightning in a bottle. What Vatra did was different. They chose to go their own way and approach Silent Hill not as fans, but as creators with a unique spin on the material.

In the end, this is exactly the Silent Hill game that people were demanding Konami make for years. I'm glad at least one other person on this board recognizes that it did more right than wrong.

#33 Posted by Nottle (1914 posts) -

@sissylion said:

Hideo Kojima likes having in-depth explanations of every single facet of his productions. That is the exact opposite of what Silent Hill needs.

He also very good about fucking with the player. Psycho mantis, Big Shell, the ghost photographs, the nightmare in MGS3. He can make meta, and kind of fucked up shit when needed.

#34 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

A silent hill game where I spend the least amount of time actually playing it sounds like it could be the best silent hill game I will ever play.

#35 Edited by SimonM7 (129 posts) -

You can save Silent Hill, but by doing so it would need to step away from the imagery and elements that have made SH too familiar. "Fans" - incidentally going on about how the unknown defines the series - are the first to dismiss a take that is different. That's why the series is stuck eating its own tail.

This can be done by anyone with a solid vision and the freedom to explore new venues with the IP, you don't need to namedrop industry celebs to get it back on track. Or, perhaps more accurately - back off track.

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