Silent Hills, that would-be Frankenstein’s monster of creative powerhouses, was the last game I was ever truly hyped for. I was hyped because it was almost impossible to anticipate anything but greatness when it came to the names on the package.
What I suspect is the reason behind so much disillusionment with respect to the hype of modern AAA titles, is that the quality is decreasing with corporately asserted and corporately timed releases. It’s evident in the hefty delays we receive with our Arkham Knights and Watch Dogs, these delays occur because the studio could not fit the deadline they were made to make, which is not indicative of a self-motivated studio who are sure and passionate of their own progress, but rather indicative of a hamster-wheel studio who have been told ‘another one of what you did before- but this time different- and preferably by this date’ would probably sell. Development by quota will always be worse than development by an instigating creative motivation.
Considering that, during P.T’s inception, Konami were already beginning a deviation from AAA console titles, I doubt that the effort to revive the Silent Hill franchise was instigated solely from Konami. I want to believe- have to believe that it was the most- just- cool of circumstances: two spectacularly successful friends (and, as was posthumously revealed, Junji Ito as well) from two languages just wanted to create an innovative and most notably impressive testament to the one thing that can link them across oceans: horror. And that’s cool, maaaaaan.
For almost every Metal Gear Solid title since 3 Kojima had made incrementally more serious statements about his intention to leave Metal Gear development, he initially swore that he would give the reins of MGS IV to a narrative collaborator of MGS III, but after extreme negative backlash to the extent of death threats (gamers are nice people), Kojima was either personally or corporately pressured into reluctantly assuming the role of lead director for the previous console generation’s first title. There’s a conspicuous and incremental dosage of self-hatred and dispassionate craft that can be found in the series after the would-be coda of MGS III. Silent Hills would have been Kojima’s first title that wasn’t in any way a corporate or personal obligation, his first development in years, perhaps in a decade, that didn’t have an abrasive effect on his own creative impetus. It’s apparent even inside the series that Kojima was striving for a deviation from what would have been his perfect trilogy. Compare the latest Metal Gear to that of the original three titles and the differences- mechanically and narratively- are drastic. Kojima has been creatively trapped inside this venerated series for almost three decades now, with a company that could only seem to support him financially. Similarly, Del Toro, an avid gamer, has been denied twice now his mark on the industry, firstly after THQ’s cancellation of inSANE, and now with the terse abortion of P.T.
So, should we be excited that Del Toro and Kojima are holding talks together at the DICE summit? Should we be excited that Kojima is ‘Giving [an] update about [his] own company‘ to Reedus, that company being entirely independent with infinite creative agency?
Oh, sweet Goddess of Justice, Dike! Sacred nectar of the Gods, Iustitia, I call upon you!
Yes, please, yes, get hyped, get hyped for a culmination of horror’s finest minds, and with Sony’s full support of the new Kojima Productions. If now is not the time, when is? When is, I ask?