I've seen this thread around for a while but never clicked on it, partly because I find it a little pointless to worry too much about what "could be." But I finally figured I'd come in and drop a comment.
I'm not a huge fan of the idea of it being entirely open world. I like there being some exploration and optional areas to check out- Silent Hill has always had that and it's always been nice. Having a little bit more of it would be perfectly fine. But I don't really want "open world" for a few reasons.
I don't tend to play many RPG type games with their notoriously time-consuming open world kind of gameplay largely because I simply do not have that kind of time. And I certainly don't think Silent Hill needs to become that.
While I enjoy the ability to explore the environment some and to discover some things, maybe complete a few little optional quests (when they're not entirely pointless), I don't really want to just be thrown into a fake world and told "Here, have at it." I like there to be a point to it all, a focus, and some guidance. I like to maybe do a couple or few things along my way, but not for the experience to be as much based on openness and sidequests as it is on the main story/goal.
When the sidequest kind of things become really numerous or time consuming in games, it becomes a bit ridiculous to me. Some of the sidequests in Downpour were great, but only some of them. I've completed all of them and I find it a better experience to play through the game skipping most of them, only doing a few that are scary/eerie in nature. Downpour also did not need as much exploration as it had. I've always felt like I wanted to check out every nook and cranny of SH games, and enjoyed doing so, but in Downpour it was downright tedious. Exploration in SH games should (in my opinion) be limited, and should most of the time lead to finding useful things, eerie/twisted things, or interesting things, which could perhaps flesh out the story a bit/add some interesting details.
I'd rather get more out of the time I spend on the game, and have better quality and more interestingness (I know it's not a word) to the areas we do explore, rather than a bunch of houses & rooms that are all alike, etc.
I couldn't completely damn it being open world until I saw what it was like in the game. But those are my concerns.
Its Gone Now wrote:
I wouldn't really want there to be too much freedom though as you would lose a lot of what most people like about the series, e.g. It often feels like (in the earlier ones esp) that the Town itself is ushering you in the direction it wants you to go and I wouldn't want to lose elements like this.
I kind of agree with this as well.