Games Com: Face your fears in Silent Hill
Konami explores the dark side of the player’s mind by utilizing a new & innovative psychological profiling system in Silent Hill®: Shattered Memories
Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH has released more details on the elaborate psychological profiling system at the heart of its new Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for Wii, PlayStation®2 and PSP®(PlayStation®Portable).
While the new game borrows key plot and setting elements from the original PlayStation game, this re-imagining begins with a visit to a psychiatrist, who asks the player to answer a series of questions. From here on in, their every movement, reaction and response is monitored and the game tailored accordingly.
For instance, if a player dashes from location to location, the game will present different reactions from people and situations than if a more considered approach is adopted. Characters may appear more hostile, for example, and less willing to help with the game’s ongoing mystery of the hero’s missing daughter. Similarly, if the player comes across as overtly flirtatious or, at the other end of the scale, stand-offish and reserved, those they meet will dress differently, and also adjust their behavior.
This means that Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a game that will be different for everyone who plays it. At its heart, the mystery of main character, Harry Mason’s missing daughter Cheryl remains, but the game is centered on the notion of family relations, and subtle plot elements and situations in the game outline a series of circumstances related to Harry’s plight.
During the game, an all-new bespoke Wii control system allows the user to fully interact with their surroundings, and explore the sprawling town of Silent Hill. A mobile phone doubles as a GPS unit, and can also be used to stay in touch with those you come to meet, and receive mysterious messages related to Cheryl’s disappearance. For the first time ever in the series’ history, Silent Hill is presented as a genuine location, inhabited by believable characters each driven by the evil undertones they live within.
The series’ renowned horror elements are delivered in nightmarish sequences, where the world around the player is gripped by ice, and where misshapen creatures – again inspired by elements from the player’s psychological profile – relentlessly chase and attack until the world unfreezes. This frozen nightmare can appear when least expected. Harry is unarmed, so is forced to use all his wits to escape his pursuers, which maximizes the suspense and feeling of helplessness, creating a truly unique horror experience.
Konami is also releasing Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for PSP® and PlayStation 2, both of which will feature a more familiar control system, but will include all the other additions mentioned. All three versions are being developed by Climax, the team behind the acclaimed Silent Hill: Origins for PSP® and PlayStation 2, and will also feature an all-new soundtrack by series composer Akira Yamaoka.
“From the very beginning, we planned to re-invent the horror-genre, getting deeper into the player’s minds and taking a new approach for videogames,” commented Tomm Hulett, Producer of Silent Hill Shattered Memories for Konami Digital Entertainment. “The development team took a long time studying all kinds of psychological elements, and created a unique system to monitor all player actions – even small things like how long an object is looked at. The result is a diverse experience, which adjusts itself all the way through the game and creates a story-driven experience like never before in any video game.”