Back in 2010, Guillermo Del Toro had announced a horror game, intended as a series, called INSANE, to be developed by ‘Saints Row’ studio Volition, owned by THQ. If the mere idea of Guillermo Del Toro (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH) crafting his own interactive horror experience doesn’t get you at least mildly excited, then I don’t know, maybe you hate video games. Sadly, that game was unceremoniously dumped two years down the line, and my hopes for a genuinely interesting new horror game went down the drain.
Two years have passed since that fateful day…
At the European E3 known as GAMESCOM, Sony announced a heretofore unmentioned game called PT, by way of informing the audience of a demo (or, in their words, “playable teaser”), similarly titled, on the PS4, that was immediately available to play. The demo, though, didn’t reveal much at first glance, acceding little to immediate playing besides a vaguely familiar nightmarish quality. Eventually, though, players pierced the multiple layers of cryptic puzzles and revealed that the “demo” was a teaser for SILENT HILLS, a new entry in the series. And, accompanying that revelation, came the reveal of two names and a face involved in the production: Guillermo Del Toro, METAL GEAR SOLID creator Hideo Kojima and THE WALKING DEAD actor Norman Reedus, who would be “starring” as the protagonist, or so the teaser promised
Interestingly, news had dropped last March from THQ, claiming that INSANE was, in fact, still alive. Is SILENT HILLS the result of that? It’s possible, since none of the developers listed in the teaser’s credits are recognizable by name, and given that the prior game, SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR, was developed by a relative unknown, I doubt it’s coincidence that the rebirth of Del Toro’s video game project was announced just a few months prior. All speculation aside, what matters is that Guillermo Del Toro is involved with the SILENT HILL franchise, and that gets even a jaded ex-gamer like myself excited, because Del Toro proved twice with HELLBOY and THE STRAIN that he knows how to take the heart of the source material and forge it into something new that is both unmistakably his yet retains all the appeal of the original. Then, tack on the incredibly valuable experience and energy that Hideo Kojima imbues into everything he touches, and you’ve got a sure-fire formula, assuming these are more than just names.
Norman Reedus, though? Eh, I can take it or leave it. I’m not really fond of him as an actor and if there’s anything we learned from the ill-fated, Ellen Page-starring BEYOND: TWO SOULS, it’s that all the polish and high-tech capture software, even paired with a great performance, can’t save a poorly made video game. Still, at least this gives Kojima and Del Toro a solid financial base to bet on, since having the face of Daryl Dixon prominently displayed on the video game box will move at least a modicum of units, and if they know they can take risks, that’s even more exciting. Check out the teaser footage below and tell me you’re not intrigued as well: