I’m not particularly enamoured by the PS5 or Xbox Series X. This isn’t because they’re bad – it’s way too early to make a call on that. It’s just because like every console before them, as a PC gamer with a top-end rig, I’ve enjoyed pretty much all the “new” tech and features they’re bringing to the table for quite some time.
Ray tracing? Cool, but I’ve had it since the first-gen RTX cards launched. Superfast SSD speeds? The PS5’s is being marketed as “the fastest” ever, but again, I’ve had a Samsung M.2 for years now, and it’s more than good enough.
Exclusives? Meh. Any Xbox One exclusive is going to land on the Windows Store at the same time, and if the PS4’s record with No Man’s Sky and Nioh is anything to go off, I’ll just have to wait a little longer before they arrive on Steam.
This is why I’ve always said I’m more excited about proper innovations, like GeForce Now-style game streaming, or the prospect of a free gaming focussed Xbox OS for PC than a new pre-made lump of plastic to play games on.
But last week, I discovered there’s one key thing that could turn me into a convert for the next generation PlayStation: a new Silent Hill game. The epiphany moment came when a fresh, semi-credible, leak broke suggesting that not only is a new Silent Hill in the works for the PS5 but that it’s being made by the all-star team behind the original.
For young gamers, this may not mean a lot. An entire generation that’s old enough to drink and vote has grown up since the first PlayStation and Silent Hill came out.But for those that remember it, the first and second Silent Hill are iconic games that helped cement survival horror as a genre and continue influencing it to this day.
This is because Silent Hill was a much more open and nuanced horror game than the competing Resident Evil franchise. It put you in the role of a father Harry Mason as he desperately searched for his lost daughter in the spooky, deserted town of Silent Hill.
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The premise may sound basic, but the way the original team executed designer Keiichiro Toyama’s unique vision made it an entirely unique and to this day terrifying experience.
The fog ridden streets held a permanent threat that made you dread every step into the unknown. Then there were the horrific, almost Lovecraftian monster designs. Forget Resident Evil zombies – it’s Silent Hill’s Grey Children and Puppet Nurses that haunt my dreams to this day. Then there was the sound, that oh-so-eerie sound. Even now Akira Yamaoka’s almost Twin Peaks-like soundtrack is one of the best and most haunting you’ll find in any horror game.
As a result, regardless of the hardware it runs on, any game that gets this team back in the room, let alone on Silent Hill, is going to have me reaching for my wallet. The only downside is that this time, it’ll likely see me hit the checkout with a £400-plus console alongside the game.