- Silent Hill: The Short Message marks a major event for horror fans, delivering the first new Silent Hill title in over a decade to bring the franchise into the modern era.
- This new PlayStation-exclusive title features a first-person camera, a time-jumping narrative, and explores modern problems like social media, making it feel like the Silent Hill version of Resident Evil 7.
- The title serves a twofold purpose, diving into the power and anonymity of social media messages while also sending a message of kindness and caring to those who are struggling or dealing with loss.
This week’s PlayStation State of Play featured a variety of in-depth looks and surprise reveals, including an update on the Silent Hill franchise. However, few could have expected PlayStation and developer Konami also to announce a brand-new, PlayStation-exclusive title, Silent Hill: The Short Message. From the moment its nearly two-minute announcement trailer began, the title appeared unlike any before it. To the delight of fans, the trailer’s ending revealed that it would launch for free immediately after the presentation. The Short Message‘s launch is a major event for horror fans, as it delivers the first new Silent Hill title in over a decade. Moreover, Silent Hill: The Short Message‘s unique approach to storytelling, gameplay, and psychological horror marks a new generation for the franchise, bringing its signature style into the modern era.
Following its announcement trailer, Silent Hill: The Short Message was explained in greater detail by producer Motoi Okamoto. Addressing fans directly as part of the presentation, and later via the PlayStation Blog, Okamoto described the title’s conception. He described Silent Hill: The Short Message as the first in a wave of Silent Hill titles meant to revive the series. To initiate this modern era, he states, Konami thought it important to release a contemporary title, in which the protagonist navigates a host of modern problems, and the horrors that can result.
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Silent Hill: The Short Message Marks the Series’ Entrance into Modern Survival Horror
Silent Hill: The Short Message started as an experimental project, in which Konami tried and tested various new ideas in partnership with another developer Hexadrive. What resulted, and has now been released, is a title that feels modern from the inside out. Featuring a first-person camera, terrifying set pieces, and a fresh protagonist, said title feels like the Silent Hill series’ iteration of Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour. Additionally, the title incorporates a time-jumping narrative in which its protagonist relives devastating moments of trauma, as well as intermittent acts of kindness.
Playing Silent Hill: The Short Message feels unlike every other Silent Hill title. From the outset, it incorporates much of what makes modern survival horror so personal and terrifying. Players navigate Anita, the protagonist, through an otherworldly space, in which she utilizes her phone for various tasks. The phone’s presence is a double-edged sword, as it is also key to her trauma. Anita is on the brink of total and utter anguish, and her journey forces players to face one of the real world’s most difficult and dangerous playgrounds for today’s young adults – social media.
Silent Hill: The Short Message’s Title Solves a Twofold Purpose
While many fans likely assume Silent Hill: The Short Message’s title is a reference to its overall length and free-to-play status, Motoi Okamoto shares that its purpose is far more profound. He states that the team at Konami spent a lot of time analyzing the experience of today’s youth, before settling on the concept of social media. Particularly, they wanted to explore the unique anonymity and power of social media messages, and how any post, though powerless alone, can completely overwhelm an individual with the crushing power of hate when delivered en masse. Silent Hill: The Short Message, he concludes, is a message from the developers to those who are struggling or dealing with loss, and stands as a gesture of kindness and caring so that they do not cross the brink of despair.
Silent Hill: The Short Message is certainly not the title many believed would ring in the new era for the Silent Hill franchise. With so many new titles and experiences already announced, The Short Message‘s shadow drop was a pleasant surprise. It also reshapes the narrative of the Silent Hill franchise, as it emerges onto the modern landscape. While the franchise has always dealt with psychological horror, Konami has begun its new wave by offering an olive branch to those who suffer in real life. With Silent Hill: The Short Message, Konami has not only marked a new generation for the Silent Hill franchise, but for how psychological horror should be treated and explored in the modern landscape.
Silent Hill is a series of survival horror games best known for its original trilogy. The first three games stood out with how atmospheric they were, along with their engrossing storylines that were often told through symbolism and metaphors.
Silent Hill 2 is set to be remade by Bloober Team, a game that could reignite the franchise.