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Guillermo Del Toro Reflects On Silent Hills

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Last month’s abrupt cancellation of the long-awaited Silent Hills devastated fans and developers alike, including Hollywood director Guillermo Del Toro.

“The collaboration between Kojima and myself, the meetings, and the friendship that was developing was beautiful,” Del Toro said in an interview with IGN. We had an agreement on where to go. We had an agreement on how we were going to push the new platforms. We were having a blast.”

According to Konami, the company supposedly hasn’t abandoned the Silent Hill franchise completely, promising that they are “committed to new Silent Hill titles”. However,  it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the full extent of Del Toro and Kojima’s collaboration.

Del Toro describes the game as an atmosphere-drenched horror encounter, an environment that fans of the series are well-acquainted with. While the Silent Hill PT demo appeared simplistic, featuring a nameless protagonist repeatedly walking through the same section of a house, the game’s heavy reliance on atmosphere made it one of the most terrifying horror experiences seen since Amnesia. Del Toro and Kojima’s vision was to use the technology to create a cutting-edge experience – because with Silent Hill, the terror stays with you.

“But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments,” Del Toro told IGN. “We wanted to do some stuff that I’m pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it.”

With two canceled projects under his belt – the first of which was canceled in 2012 – Del Toro remains unsure as to whether or not he’ll be able to complete a game.

“Well, you know, I’ve tried twice and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to the form. In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It’s kind of left me reeling.”

One of the factors that struck Del Toro the hardest was the unforgiving, insulting treatment that Silent Hill PT received at the hands of Konami following the cancellation. The game was removed from the Playstation Store despite its popularity among fans and newcomers to the genre, and players who had already downloaded the game were unable to re-download it if the game was already in their library.

“Honestly that’s what surprised me,” he said.  “It was a sort of scorched earth approach. It was not a gentle and ambiguous cancellation.”

Del Toro and Hideo were addressed directly in a petition made shortly after the cancellation of the game. It isn’t likely that Konami is going to change their minds about the project, but unexpected things tend to happen in the video game development world. Who knows – maybe the company’s brutal shafting of the game isn’t the end of Silent Hill as we know it

“Hideo and I have been in touch,” Del Toro said. “And he knows he would be the only guy I would follow to the ends of the earth on anything. I think if anything can be rescued, I will be more than happy.” 

 

About Deborah Crocker

Deborah is a 22 year old semi-hermit currently plodding through her senior year of college and getting her feet wet in game journalism. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with high fantasy, video games, novels, and Elder Scrolls. When she's not in front of a screen, she enjoys singing and a bit of beading. She's also currently on the hunt for the restaurant with the best cheeseburger.

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