Horror game giants Silent Hill and Resident Evil have come out swinging this week. Konami and Capcom both had online presentations for each of their respective series that gave us a peek behind the curtain of what’s next, whether that was announcing new games and a film, or showing more of what we already knew was on the way. One of these presentations clearly, in my opinion, did a much better job of winning over its intended audience though.
Before diving into it, Konami’s new Silent Hill games are clearly in a much earlier stage of development that Capcom’s Resident Evil Village DLC and the Resident Evil 4 Remake, so I’m purely looking at these streams in terms of being effective presentations, and won’t be judging them on gameplay footage alone, as that would be unfair.
Resident Evil absolutely schooled Silent Hill though, really. The overall production value and pacing of Capcom’s presentation lends itself to a much better experience than Konami’s slog of a showcase. While Konami isn’t the key developer on any of its upcoming projects, it did host the showcase, which lasted for 35 minutes; Yet despite only being about seven minutes longer than Capcom’s, it felt like an eternity.
I understand Konami didn’t have much to show, but that only makes me question why the company opted for so much talking. The Silent Hill 2 Remake and Silent Hill F trailers looked stunning, so instead of drawing focus to them there was just downtime of people on a green screen saying what mostly amounted to nothing. So much of that could’ve been cut.
By far the worst offender was Silent Hill: Ascension. It’s being touted as a “new interactive video streaming experience,” and not once did Konami explain what that meant despite talking about it for five minutes. The concept sounds cool, but if you don’t want to say too much, they don’t say anything you don’t need to. You can shape canon, watch with friends, and make decisions, but what that actually means remains a mystery, which turned an interesting idea into a deflated balloon.
Worst of all was the ‘quote’ from J.J. Abrams, which read like his assistant penned it at 3am.
“Genvid’s experience presents a wild, epic, and innovative new way to immerse yourself in the horrors of Silent Hill.” If the study of plain English has taught me anything, that’s a whole lot of nothing.
Again, I don’t want to besmirch any of these games themselves, Silent Hill: Townfall seems very interesting, and the trailer and behind-the-scenes look didn’t outstay its welcome. That said, Capcom did it so much better.
The Resident Evil showcase was framed by someone walking around a giant hall with Resident Evil Village’s The Duke narrating each game showcase. This showed so much more creativity than just some people on a green screen and, while Capcom did show off some talking heads, they acted as an addition to what was being shown and didn’t feel like a substitute for time.
Resident Evil did also have the distinct advantage of not being a series’ return after a long decade, and was instead able to focus on already announced games, but that just makes me think Konami should have trimmed their showcase if they didn’t have much to show. Not having much is absolutely fine, but don’t grind your showcase to a halt if so.
I don’t think Konami’s showcase is a bad omen for the return of the Silent Hill franchise to be clear – those games are all clearly early in development (the movie just seems to be concept art at the moment too) and the trailers for each were actually really good. It’s just a shame that focus was pulled away from them to spend too much time on talking heads of little substance, instead of the showcase being leaner and meaner with what Silent Hill stuff could be shown.
Both Silent Hill and Resident Evil are going to be coming out swinging in the near future at least, and hopefully we get some healthy competition between the two that pushes them to be better. That’d be good for everyone.
If you want to know more about these games, we’ve got the Resident Evil 4 system requirements for you, and it looks like you want be able to pet the dog in the remake either. We also have the Silent Hill 2 remake system requirements, and a breakdown of Konami’s event too.