Is the next Silent Hill a first-person shooter? The internet sure as hell thinks so right now, and debate is already raging on sites from Destructoid to GameGrep to 1up to Kotaku to relyonhorror about whether the change would be good or bad for the series. It certainly seems believable; the series has been trending toward action for some time now, with games like Silent Hill: Homecoming and Silent Hill: The Arcade trading slow-burn fear for sudden scares and accurate gunplay. But is there really any meat to this story, or is everyone getting worked up over nothing?
Above: Pyramid Head doesn't care, so long as he gets to keep holding that gun
Sure, lots of blogs and news sites are reporting on this right now, but the news didn't originate with them. Nor did it originate with GameGrep, to which several sites have been linking. If you follow the links, they ultimately trace back to one source: this news post on FPSTime from last week, which in turn says the news that the next Silent Hill would be an FPS came from Gamasutra and a PDF found on Big Download.
Above: An image from the alleged PDF, taken from here
The problem is, neither the alleged original statement by GamaSutra nor the original PDF are linked to in the news post. After a quick search of both sites, it turns out the PDF - linked to in this Big Download story - has apparently been yanked from the web. While that seems like a sure sign that Something Is Up, all the image really says is that developer Vatra is capable of creating FPS and action games. Nowhere does it directly say that either of the two projects in development (which have since been revealed as the next Silent Hill and Rush'N Attack Ex-Patriot) are an FPS.
At that, the most recent reference to Vatra on Gamasutra says only that the company is developing the next Silent Hill, and has no mention of the words "FPS" or "shooter" at all. Vatra's own site, for its part, says only that the company is working on "two unnanounced titles" (which have since been announced). Other than that, there's no reliable source that suggests the next Silent Hill is an FPS, despite nearly every gaming outlet on the planet posting a story that says just that. It could also be that Vatra asked for the PDF to be pulled after this news broke, hoping to cover its tracks so its E3 reveal of a new first-person Silent Hill can still have some impact.
So what does all this mean? It's certainly not unlikely the next Silent Hill will be an FPS, but it's also possible someone made a connection that wasn't there (maybe spurred on by the terrifying announcement of an XCOM FPS) and the internet ran with it. With no official word from Konami or Vatra, we'll just have to wait and see. Either way, one thing is certain: the news prompted seemingly everyone to create their own silly mockups of what a Silent Hill shooter would look like (including us!). Our own effort is above, but here are a couple of the better ones from other outlets:
Above: From Destructoid
Above: From 1up
April 21, 2010