A revised AI and a slightly older protagonist will be present in Silent Hill 2 Remake.
Masahiro, the game’s artist, and Motoi Okamoto, the producer of Silent Hill, gave an interview to IGN Japan about the upcoming game at Bloober Team. The duo talked about how the combat was redesigned to recreate the AI from scratch: “We’re improving the combat design, something that received a lot of feedback in the original. Doing so would be difficult without changing how the monsters move and act, so we’ve tried to respect the original designs while adding fun and new combat to the remake as we improve several enemies. I think the Silent Hill 2 remake has ended up as a more interesting experience than the original,” said Ito. “We’re remaking enemy AI from the ground up to be designed to allow players to enjoy the combat. Bloober Team’s love for the original is strong, so they’re not going to add new enemies. They are looking at fine details that can help make combat fun, which means changing AI or small design elements. It might look the same, but it’s different when you look closely. They did a good job throughout the game,” Okamoto added.
But why is the second Silent Hill getting a remake and not the first (which came out in 1999 for PS1)? Okamoto explained: “When we thought about what Silent Hill’s identity is, we concluded that it’s the true psychological horror of the series. And when you ask people what true psychological horror is, just about everyone will tell you Silent Hill 2. We decided that if the brand’s identity is true psychological horror, we needed to start by remaking Silent Hill 2. There were, of course, some people inside the company who thought it would be better to start with 1, but I wanted to start this project with something that symbolizes this identity.” Except that the events of the first part are alluded to in the third (the protagonist is the baby that appears in the good ending of the first game)…
Silent Hill 2 Remake also adds motion capture (the original had none), and its protagonist James Sunderland will be older than in the 2001 original. Okamoto explained, “We’re using motion capture to capture the actors’ bodies and facial expressions. We’re using performance capture to simultaneously record the actors’ bodies, facial expressions, and voices, incorporating their raw expressions and performances into the game. This has made possible a level of complex emotional expression that wasn’t possible when making the original. Though the trailer does go out of its way to feature many bombastic scenes, the game is full of moments with more subtle performances. After speaking with Mr. Ito, we decided to raise James’s age in the game a bit. This is partly because fans from 20 years ago are older now and because the average age of people who play video games has risen too. We want to depict a more mature James who has had to suffer through more in his life, and to do that, we raised his age, though only by a bit. If he looks older to you, it’s not your imagination.”
Okamoto also said he would like to see more indie developers submit Silent Hill pitches to Konami. Silent Hill 2 Remake is coming to PlayStation 5 and PC, and no release date is known.