A lot of us have been dreaming of a new Silent Hill game. But would a new game really be a dream, or a nightmare?
Game Rant recently published an article on the analog technology used in the survival-horror game franchise, Silent Hill. This got me to thinking of what a modern day Silent Hill game would be like and what technology would be featured.
In the earlier Silent Hill games, the main character is equipped with two major items: the flashlight and the broken radio.
The flashlight is used for—you guessed it—shining a light into the impending darkness. The radio, however, had a much spookier quality behind it. When the character approached a swarm of terrifying humanoid creatures, the radio began to go off. Sounds of static interference blared as a warning that you were getting closer and closer to the threat, and as you moved further away from the threat, the radio noise died down. The sound is still burned into my memory.
So, if Silent Hill was made today, instead of carrying an FM radio to alert the character of monsters, my pitch is that they could have one AirPod in their ear at all times. This could be connected to the iHeartRadio app on their iPhone and give a much more amplified static signal to the character in danger. As far as a WiFi and data situation, Silent Hill could erect a cellphone tower, which could be a major destination point in the game, to be able to make a call to a loved one for help.
The iPhone could play a much bigger role in itself. The handheld flashlight could be replaced entirely by the phone’s flashlight, nestled into the character’s shirt pocket and illuminating the dark, dreary pathways of Silent Hill.
Another popular item in the games are the rusty old keys used to unlock doors that usually lead to gory cutscenes. While keys are still very much used today, keypads and scanners are becoming more common. A punch code written on a piece of paper placed inside the mouth of a janitor’s corpse, maybe even written in blood, is much more intense than Mailbox 142 with an old dollhouse key inside of it.
Facial recognition is also used for unlocking doors and devices today. I can envision a puzzle where you have to locate the body of the hotel manager and use his sunken face to unlock the phone you found in the first floor lobby. Maybe the door code to the next level would be saved in that phone, too, with some unsent text messages saying, “They’re coming for me, Beth. Tell Sarah that daddy loves her…”
Finally, let’s slap a Fitbit onto the protagonist’s wrist. This could monitor character health in a much more detailed way, as opposed to the blood-red tint to the screen when the character is near death. It could also monitor heart rate, which could add to the intensity of the game experience. The sound of a heartbeat increasing faster and louder makes me paranoid, and would definitely have me white knuckling the controller. The wearable smart device could be something that automatically notifies you, so you don’t need to constantly check your health screen to know when your character needs to chug a health drink or use a first aid kit.
Whether a new Silent Hill game is in our future or not, there are definitely some futuristic takes that could be implemented into the gameplay. Here’s to hoping that this nightmare comes to life.