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Is This Game Killing The Silent Hill Franchise?
Poll ended at 29 Jan 2010
Yes 16%  16%  [ 23 ]
No 84%  84%  [ 119 ]
Total votes : 142
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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?
     
         
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SilentWren wrote:
Kenji wrote:
SH3 was pretty much when the cult was at their best. They've gotten cartoonishly evil, since then. A protag trying to escape their clutches would only exacerbate this trend.

Hell, despite my personal views, I'm all for a well-written story about someone trying to justify their religion.



I like what you've got here, but what about the cult from The Room? Besides a couple ghosts, they weren't directly present, but their influence was. That would satisfy everyone. (Wait, is it possible to satisfy everyone in this fandom?) I know it would be about as easy as pulling teeth to work them in at all now, but there's a part of me that's always going to think Silent Hill=The Order.


Er, the cult was heavily figured into The Room. If it weren't for The Order, Walter wouldn't have been a psychopathic serial killer bent on reviving his "mother".

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Kenji wrote:
Y'know what'd be better than the protagonist trying to escape from the cult?

A protagonist who's committed to the cult.
Can't be done- that requires the player to "abandon" their RL morals and accept/temporarily believe those of an imaginary cult. WAAAAAY too much metagaming in the average gamer for good sales. Unless you're only targeting the actors, the LARPers and the people who play RP hardcore enough to buy the little metal models, it ain't agwin hapn, son.

...I love painting those things for my friends, too, and even I couldn't get that wrapped up in the story...they don't invite me to campaigns to play anymore... :( Srsly, though- I cry at BOOKS, man! I'm as easily immersed as they come, and I can't put my morals aside long enough to play neutral evil in Baldur's Gate, let alone accept the singular dogma of an alien and oft evil fantasy religion!

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?
     
         
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lain of the wired wrote:
Kenji wrote:
Y'know what'd be better than the protagonist trying to escape from the cult?

A protagonist who's committed to the cult.
Can't be done- that requires the player to "abandon" their RL morals and accept/temporarily believe those of an imaginary cult. WAAAAAY too much metagaming in the average gamer for good sales. Unless you're only targeting the actors, the LARPers and the people who play RP hardcore enough to buy the little metal models, it ain't agwin hapn, son.

...I love painting those things for my friends, too, and even I couldn't get that wrapped up in the story...they don't invite me to campaigns to play anymore... :( Srsly, though- I cry at BOOKS, man! I'm as easily immersed as they come, and I can't put my morals aside long enough to play neutral evil in Baldur's Gate, let alone accept the singular dogma of an alien and oft evil fantasy religion!


I'm the same way, being so easily immersed and pulled in. I too find it very hard to set my morals aside, but found that doing so in games like Fallout 3/New Vegas gave me entirely new experiences I never thought imaginable. Learned a lot about myself this way, too. Also, it's fun to do in SH:SM, if you can bear lying that much. It wasn't all to just see alternate endings/scenes/paths in these games...it was very much entertaining and, I dare say, almost intoxicating to put on a mask of some other personality I opposed or despised. I could do this for a SH game where you are to assume the role of a firm believer in the cult's ways, but I also don't think it'll happen.

However, what we're seeing with Murphy being a
[Reveal] Spoiler:
prisoner/convict
has me thinking the flavors on our plate may be expanding in the game world, as if they haven't already. Also, sorry for any unnecessary spoiler tagging, I just want to be careful, as I'm not sure on the status of what's considered spoiling with Downpour at this point.

Gonna say this, too. Shattered Memories is definitely not killing Silent Hill in any way. I believe every addition to the series has helped improve it in some way, if only in small ways, such as furthering combat, breaking the molds of past gameplay patterns, etc... Like to think Shattered Memories kind of, um...shattered the mold in many ways, even if it reused things.

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Historical Society Historian
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lain of the wired wrote:
Can't be done- that requires the player to "abandon" their RL morals and accept/temporarily believe those of an imaginary cult. WAAAAAY too much metagaming in the average gamer for good sales.

Point taken.

That said, it's not as though we haven't before been asked to accept our heroes acting in ways that can be described as "sociopathic" (without this being the point of the interaction). After all, Auschwitz was like a bakery, ya?

And now I need to take a shower...

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^Aww... laughing made me sad.

wonder's boy wrote:
However, what we're seeing with Murphy being a
[Reveal] Spoiler:
prisoner/convict
has me thinking the flavors on our plate may be expanding in the game world, as if they haven't already. Also, sorry for any unnecessary spoiler tagging, I just want to be careful, as I'm not sure on the status of what's considered spoiling with Downpour at this point.
It'll probably be a tale of redemption, not unlike James, as versus acceptance of someone else's morality in order to play the game. Most of us were pretty cool with him right up until that video tape, after all, and then we got kinda divided (if the thread on the subject on this forum is to be believed, at least).

And don't worry 'bout the spoilers: safe>sorry, eh?

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SHH Cult Subscriber
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 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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Bit of a month old revival here. But I think what was being discussed was interesting.

I totally see where you are coming from with the idea that most people wouldn't be able to connect with a game where the player has different morality than them, but I also think that to a degree that's okay. I mean, look at Grand Theft Auto. People love those games, but I don't think that everyone who loved it are either actors or serial killers. They were just able to get into a game where you play as a person with different morals.

Now, a Silent Hill game would be different than a Grand Theft Auto, as it'd be more serious and ask more of the player, as Silent Hill is definitely more narrative-driven than Grand Theft Auto. It'd be risky and pushing it, but I think it's possible it could pay-off. I don't think writers should necessarily be forced to only write characters that the main public can relate to personally. It's taking more of a risk the more you get away from characters like that. But the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff... if you manage to get it right and hit gold. I'm fine with game developers taking a few chances and doing things differently.

For example, while I personally don't really want to see any more of The Order in my Silent Hill games, if they did come back, I wouldn't be instantly 100% opposed to a game where you played as a member of the Order. I don't really see a way where that story could work personally, but that doesn't mean a good story is impossible and if the story is good and the character is well-written then I don't think the mere fact that they are of different opinions and morals than me is enough to make it bad.


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There's sort of a difference between the fun anarchy of running over faceless, random NPCs and being handed a story that requires you to get directly involved with rules and religions that aren't your own. As a background idea (like playing an RPG cleric where the religious choice just dictates what spells you can cast), religion and beliefs are fun to play with, but have you ever played a serious, story-driven religious game? No matter how fun the gameplay, the narrative gets preachy and boring. I tried playing Left Behind once. Once.

I agree, if they made the protagonist a cultist, that would be fucking awesome, and I'd love to give it a try. My point was that it would be very hard to make it as immersive as a sympathetic good guy plot, and I question how well it would test well with companies. Also, based on how pissy we all get when they inundate us with the cannon of the cult (*coughSHHcough*), it may be better to keep everything alluringly mysterious like it used to be.

...Also, now that I think about it, if it got any kind of publicity, it would probably get boycotted by Walmart, super right-wingers and conservative religious communities, claiming video games are now trying to induct kids into cults. On the other hand, that might boost sales with the stupid anti-establishment teenager demographic, so... *shrug*

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 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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lain of the wired wrote:
There's sort of a difference between the fun anarchy of running over faceless, random NPCs and being handed a story that requires you to get directly involved with rules and religions that aren't your own.

Yeah, Grand Theft Auto was just a really easy example of a game where people are playing someone without their own morals. Of course Silent Hill would be a completely different situation. It's a story-driven horror game, so it's expected that you should be able to put yourself in the character's shoes. Some people may not be able to do that if the character is drastically different than them, but I don't think trying is an idea without merit.

I know that I personally don't have to completely agree with a character to put myself in their shoes and enjoy the game with them as my avatar. For another not-so-perfect example, I hated pretty much every single thing about the main character of Star Ocean 4. As the game went on I hated him more and more. I couldn't connect with him or his choices a single bit. But I was still able to understand and appreciate why he felt the way he did and did the things he did, and as a result I was fine playing as him and was able to enjoy the game (for the most part, but that's irrelevant).

Quote:
As a background idea (like playing an RPG cleric where the religious choice just dictates what spells you can cast), religion and beliefs are fun to play with, but have you ever played a serious, story-driven religious game? No matter how fun the gameplay, the narrative gets preachy and boring. I tried playing Left Behind once. Once.


Hah. No, I definitely haven't played a serious story-driven religious game. I'm amazed you even tried. But, still, there's a difference there too. With a game like that, the game is made to be preachy and "follow this religion"-ish. If the game is dealing with a fictional religion, it probably wouldn't get preachy, since both the developers and audience don't actually believe in the religion. Of course, this really just comes down to how well they are able to pull off the story and if the writing is good or not.

For example (and going back to what I was saying before a bit), a lot of people were able to sympathize somewhat with Claudia. They don't agree with her actions and they can't relate to her character at all, but they understand where she is coming from and that makes her a sympathetic antagonist. If they can take that idea and play it up for the role of a protagonist, making us able to understand the emotion and reasoning behind them, then we'd be fine even if we don't agree or connect with it personally.

Quote:
I agree, if they made the protagonist a cultist, that would be fucking awesome, and I'd love to give it a try. My point was that it would be very hard to make it as immersive as a sympathetic good guy plot, and I question how well it would test well with companies. Also, based on how pissy we all get when they inundate us with the cannon of the cult (*coughSHHcough*), it may be better to keep everything alluringly mysterious like it used to be.


Yeah, it's risky and if not done really well it could fall flat on it's face and none of us will be able to care remotely about it. But, for the sake of argument, if it IS done well then the payoff could be worth it. Perhaps it's not the best idea or the safest idea, but I think there is merit in the idea, at least.

In the end, I'm not really saying the cult idea itself can be done perfectly, and I'd definitely be worried and hesitant if they tried. Personally, I'm done with the cult and I don't even really want to play as one of them as I don't see how the story can work. So I'm not arguing for that story itself. All the same I'm not against the base idea behind it. What all I am saying comes down to is that I don't think the writer needs to always pander to the audience in order for us to connect with the work. I'm willing to put some effort into what I am experiencing as well, and I think the writer and/or developer should be able to ask the audience come with them even if they aren't pandering to them... so long as it's well done and there is payoff, of course. Otherwise we won't want to or feel cheated that we did.

Quote:
...Also, now that I think about it, if it got any kind of publicity, it would probably get boycotted by Walmart, super right-wingers and conservative religious communities, claiming video games are now trying to induct kids into cults. On the other hand, that might boost sales with the stupid anti-establishment teenager demographic, so... *shrug*


That would be amusing, at the very least.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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lain of the wired wrote:
...Also, now that I think about it, if it got any kind of publicity, it would probably get boycotted by Walmart, super right-wingers and conservative religious communities, claiming video games are now trying to induct kids into cults. On the other hand, that might boost sales with the stupid anti-establishment teenager demographic, so... *shrug*


This just reminded me of a religious game review website that I stumbled across ages ago that panned most games. Silent Hill 1 was included in that and its reasoning was that it was "teaching about cults" in that it either wanted players to join a cult or learn to make their own because all of the "tools and information" were "readily available." I will attempt to find the sauce...

But it just proves that communities and review sites like those that are so opposed to anything even including something negative (even if it's the antagonist) they won't touch it and immediately pan it. The first Metal Gear Solid was also on there for being unnecessarily violent and, if I remember correctly, wanting players to go out and kill people. The entire message behind MGS1 is not to kill people because there's nothing glorifying about it and there is no reward.

ANYWAY, ON TOPIC (wow, the conversation got far removed, didn't it?)

I very much disagree that Shattered Memories is "killing Silent Hill". If anything, it breathed new life into the series and gave it its... what are we on now, third wind? Surely not its second, for there was quite a lull between Silent Hill 4 and 0rigins/Homecoming. It took the series, tried something new and interesting, and then it's on its way. It never endeavored to change the franchise, it never intruded itself upon the rest of the series. It's a side story that doesn't affect anything aside from itself and our own perceptions and I think it did an excellent job of that. I don't necessarily think future Silent Hill games should follow suit (though I have to admit, I was crossing my fingers for a Silent Hill 2 reimagining in a similar style after James popped his head in during the UFO ending, and even an SH4 one that would really make our heads spin) but I do think future developers can take a page and try new things.

We like the old Silent Hills because they're familiar and formulaic. We're all afraid of change but if we want the franchise to survive past Downpour then we need to encourage them trying new things.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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Not so much killing as it is just kind of making the series stale. I do personally believe that Team Silent did SO much better on the plot-line, character designs, and the overall atmosphere of the series. (Well, duh. Because they're the ones who made the game, right?) Ahem, anyways, I haven't been liking the American developers for the recent games that have come out, especially this one. It seems that they don't have a good grasp of what truly makes Silent Hill scary. I miss the days when I was actually afraid to play those games in the dark, but now it's just gotten kind of cheesy.


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Historical Society Historian
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^While I agree that nobody has been able to make a disturbing scary silent hill game since team silent left i gotta say you're about it being American developers not understanding. Climax is a British development team.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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Opps, sorry about that misunderstanding. I kind of wrote that in my 'ranting' mood. Nonetheless, whatever developers are releasing the newer games, it still doesn't quite live up to my expectations of Silent Hill. Nor will it ever, unless Team Silent was to just get back together, which will probably never happen. :(

I get the impression that some of these developers, specifically, Vatra Games, are a little cocky. I saw a video of them presenting Silent Hill Downpour, and they acted like they were the 'Kings' of SIlent Hill. It was sort of irritating to me, but hey, that's just me. I mean it's refreshing to have a new style to Silent Hill, but I feel that they're not keeping the same creepy atmosphere that makes Silent Hill such a great game.

I also felt that Shattered Memories, while interesting in some aspects, was a little awkward in its story line, as well as its characters. I wasn't a big fan of Silent Hill's icy alternate dimension, either.


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New rule: Anyone who directly states that they won't be satisfied until Team Silent gets back together doesn't get to have an opinion on the newer Silent Hill games.

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^Don't listen to people like that, Honey. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. I would love to see someone who is not Team Silent do a good Silent Hill game, and it hasn't happened yet for me either. But let's not pre-judge Downpour, let's wait for it to come out first.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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I am not entitled to express my opinion even though I have played the newer games to date? I play the newer titles to the series to see whether or not I like them, just as any fan of Silent Hill would.

I really do not have any issues with new developers making the games, but I'm just trying to say that there has been a pattern with the new games that I haven't found AS satisfactory.

Yes, it isn't the same without Team Silent, but I clearly stated that they are probably never going to go back to making new games for the series.I live here in Minato with my father and we're actually not very far away from Konami Headquarters, so word here about what they are currently doing spreads kind of fast. The news about their departure from the series was saddening to me.

I will admit that there are some things about Shattered Memories that were rather interesting, however, I just don't like it as much as the previous games. Compared to this game, I like Origins and Homecoming a lot more.

The lack of variety of monsters in Shattered Memories did it in for me, and how some of the characters were 're-done'. It just didn't capture, or inspire any sort of fear into me, or many of my friends for that matter.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is This Game Killing Silent Hill?

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Tillerman wrote:
^Don't listen to people like that, Honey. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. I would love to see someone who is not Team Silent do a good Silent Hill game, and it hasn't happened yet for me either. But let's not pre-judge Downpour, let's wait for it to come out first.


Thanks, I'll try not to. :lol:
I am going to give this game a try, and I am hoping it doesn't disappoint. The graphics look really good, as well as some of the characters I've seen so far.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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^Remember not to double post, Honey.

Aura's being blunt, but it's sort of true. Not that you shouldn't have an opinion, but that it's pointless to say that you won't be satisfied unless Team Silent will get back together because it will never happen. It may be sad and very disappointing, but it's a fact everyone needs to come to terms with, especially since each of the first 4 Silent Hills were developed by very different people under the name of Team Silent; it wasn't the entirely same dev team every game, though there were a few key individuals.

Konami's just trying different developers until they find one that works for the series and the fans, I think, which is why SH keeps getting bounced around.

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Historical Society Historian
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xoxsnoof wrote:
^Remember not to double post, Honey.

Aura's being blunt, but it's sort of true. Not that you shouldn't have an opinion, but that it's pointless to say that you won't be satisfied unless Team Silent will get back together because it will never happen. It may be sad and very disappointing, but it's a fact everyone needs to come to terms with, especially since each of the first 4 Silent Hills were developed by very different people under the name of Team Silent; it wasn't the entirely same dev team every game, though there were a few key individuals.

Konami's just trying different developers until they find one that works for the series and the fans, I think, which is why SH keeps getting bounced around.


This. People seem to think that Team Silent was one set team that did all the first three (if not four) games, but the fact is that they were not.

Also, I'd like to ask, how is Vatra being cocky? Everything I've seen from them is saying "We understand [this], and [this], and [this], so we think that we can make a great Silent Hill game. Besides, it's not good business to say "we can't make a good one"."

Also, re: bouncing developers - I'm pretty sure Tom Hulett, producer of Shattered Memories, is also part of Downpour's team, even though it's Vatra and not Climax working on it.

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Yuki wrote:
This. People seem to think that Team Silent was one set team that did all the first three (if not four) games, but the fact is that they were not.


True, but it's not like the team was completely changed in between each game either. Some members stayed on, others left. I think that the evolution of team members working on the game was a lot more smooth and natural between the first 4 games than it was after that, when all of a sudden the games were thrown around to random studios. Of course, they still had Akira, so it wasn't completely random, but I think you have to admit that the first 4 games of the series have a consistency to them that is missing from all later games. So it's absolutely no wonder that the fanbase would become disenfranchised.

I personally don't think that any of the games after 4 were up to par, so I can understand why someone would lament "Team Silent's" absence. Actually, forget "Team Silent..." I just lament that the games aren't done in house at Konami anymore. But putting that aside, I still try to stay open minded about the newest game. I have heard some things about it that sound interesting, and I have heard some troubling things... we'll just have to wait until it comes out before making a judgment. But it's totally understandable that anyone would be keeping their expectations low at this point.

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I'm still waiting for someone to say that they wish Keiichiro Toyama returned to Silent Hill. Oh, how the hilarity would ensue.

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