On the Subject of Kojima and del Toro on Silent Hills

MintSM

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I've been scanning the general concensus of Silent Hills, and I've seen some complaints towards the directorial choice for the game (one which I am excited for, but that's not the point.)

One I do understand, the fact that Hideo Kojima is one of the directors. This, while I personally disagree with, is valid, as Kojima has shown himself as kind of not that great a writer for serious stuff and will probably just end up putting cutscenes over gameplay. That I get.

But then I've been seeing complaints towards the other director, Guillermo del Toro. I don't really understand the hate towards him; apparently it has something to do with him being unable to deliver the type of horror game we're looking for, but given Pacific Rim and more impressively, Pan's Labyrinth, I don't really get the hate.

I don't feel like asking this on Yahoo Answers is adequate, so I'll ask it here in a place where people seem to have a developed opinion. Thoughts on why this complaint is so prominent, and what are your thoughts on the choice of directors?

PS, Hi Escapist! I like it here.
 

tippy2k2

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Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa...whoa......whoa.........whoa...........whoa.....

People are hating on my boy Del Toro?!?!

I get why people would be wary about Kojima being there (though I'm not but I understand the name has some baggage that not everyone appreciates) but I had myself a mini-happy dance when I saw Del Toro's name attached. The dude is a freaking creative genius when it comes to many things and creature design is one of his strongest skills.

Del Toro's involvement is the only thing that made me pay attention to the announcement for Silent Hill has kind of lost relevance to me after I played...whichever one has you as a soldier. That one. It was one or two games back. I played 1-3 (somehow I missed 4) and then Silent Hill Homecoming but ended up kind of dropping the series as it felt like it fell away from what made it great.
 

Zhukov

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Del Toro: "So, let's get started on this new Silent HIll!"
Kojima: "Silent... Hill?
Del Toro: "Yup. I'm thinking we brainstorm some idea for gameplay mechanics."
Kojima: "Gameplay... mechanics?"

...

I could understand some antipathy towards a movie director making games. Those are different skill sets. Being good at one does not guarantee being good at the other.

Plus, with Kojima stinking up the place, I'm predicting a lot of cutscenes with pitifully bad dialogue.
 

StriderShinryu

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My only issue with Del Toro is that he's relatively untested and inexperienced in making games. I'm willing to give him a chance even if I'm not totally confident.

Kojima, on the other hand, I'm not sold on at all. It's not like he's always made bad games but it's more that he doesn't seem able to really maintain a consistent tone in his games. Consistent tone is very important in horror and when dealing with serious topics/scenes. Kojima has already proven he's not necessarily up to that task.
 

Pink Gregory

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Can't be any worse than any Silent Hill after 4, barring Shattered Memories.

Although I'm game for this, don't expect it to be anything like the originals, because not only is it not the same team that made them, it's not even any component of the same team.

Also immediately assuming that Kojima will make it like Metal Gear is a bit presumptuous, even if you don't like Metal Gear. What I would be concerned about, if anything, is overdoing the gameplay.

Because what gameplay is there in Silent Hill? Shoot gun, swing weapon, walk, run, solve puzzle, navigate. Anything more is unnecessary, I wouldn't even like to see survival elements in a Silent Hill.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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My thoughts are that it can't possibly be any worse than the last 5 or so Silent Hill games, so all they really have to do is not make fart jokes in the middle of what's supposed to be tense moments (I'm looking dead at you Kojima) and they should be fine. And if nothing else, with Del Toro on board at least it's almost guaranteed that we'll get some good monster designs. Silent Hill hasn't had any solid monster design since 3, so it'll still be a step up compared to most of the recent games, no matter how bad the story may or may not be.
 

Remus

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The coolest monster design 4 had going for it was those 2 headed spider orphan whatsits that would make a weird grunting noise at you before they attacked. Beyond that it was generic_Japanese_ghost x 1 million and cherub demons oozing out of the walls. Homecoming was...homecoming. Not great, not terrible, not nearly as creepy as the last 3 titles. The bad ending made the most sense and overall writing was subpar at best. Never played Downpour and skipped Shattered Memories - not a fan of retreads. Writing and creature design - these things are key in Silent Hill and I think Konami had the right idea with who they picked. So I'm looking forward to the next one. Now I gotta play through the P.T. again because it didn't scar me bad enough the first time.
 

matrix3509

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For all the shit Kojima (rightfully) gets for his stories and dialog, people like to forget that he's still one of the best game designers in the world. To me the pairing of Del Toro and Kojima makes perfect sense. Del Toro is an amazing writer and Kojima is an amazing designer. The strengths of one perfectly covers for the weaknesses of the other.

Also, something that cannot be understated is Del Toro's monster design. I mean, Del Too's name these days is pretty much synonymous with amazing monsters. This basically means that you can wave goodbye to the days of insane humans, sexy nurses, and Pyramid Head. That alone is enough to get me interested.
 

Evonisia

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I'm also surprised that del Toro is a target of scorn here. He makes amazing monster designs. The only major problem with Downpour besides how the endings are handled was the poor monster design. It depends on how much he gets involved, but if he writes it, it will be fine. If he creates the monster designs but not the script, then there's some concern to be found because Kojima is a horrible writer.
 

Casual Shinji

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Kojima has about 27 years of game developement under his belt, and Del Toro has... hmmm... right.

Personally I feel Del Toro is about two notches above Zack Snyder. He can make impressive visuals, but that's really it. He's kind of a lousy storyteller and he directs his actors like they're cartoon characters. Yes, even Pan's Labyrinth suffers from this. And that's ofcourse neglecting him never having worked in the field of games ever.

But as I said in the main news thread, Silent Hill is so dead at this point, I wouldn't care if Peter Molyneux and David Cage took a swing at it.
[sub]Christ, what am I saying?[/sub]
 

Something Amyss

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Del Toro is untested in the field of gaming, but I don't think that's enough to hate on him.

Casual Shinji said:
But as I said in the main news thread, Silent Hill is so dead at this point, I wouldn't care if Peter Molyneux and David Cage took a swing at it.
[sub]Christ, what am I saying?[/sub]
You've doomed us all. DOOOOOOOOM!
 

Pink Gregory

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Casual Shinji said:
But as I said in the main news thread, Silent Hill is so dead at this point, I wouldn't care if Peter Molyneux and David Cage took a swing at it.
[sub]Christ, what am I saying?[/sub]
You've doomed us all. DOOOOOOOOM!
The EMEUSHUNS will grow in REAL TIME!
 

Casual Shinji

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Casual Shinji said:
But as I said in the main news thread, Silent Hill is so dead at this point, I wouldn't care if Peter Molyneux and David Cage took a swing at it.
[sub]Christ, what am I saying?[/sub]
You've doomed us all. DOOOOOOOOM!
Oh come one, admit it, deep down you have a morbid curiosity for the final product these two would concoct.
 

Edl01

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All this criticism of Kojima not being able to keep a consistent tone. But the thing is, Metal Gear isn't meant to be 100% gritty realism, it's always been a very silly over the top franchise. I mean I always see this website complaining about games trying too hard to be, "Realistic", so why is it such an issue when Metal Gear doesn't?
The fact is Metal Gear isn't some dark, hardcore realistic franchise, it's a game in which you are a spy who fights a magic 4th wall breaking psychic, a native American with a massive gattling gun who can talk to birds, and your clone brother who pilots a giant nuclear tank. Now in most other games, that would be stupid, but Metal Gear gets away with it because IT doesn't take itself seriously either.

Silent Hill and Metal Gear are two very different franchises, and the idea Kojima is unable to write anything serious is an unfounded claim, considering his one work people are focusing on is one that doesn't take itself completely seriously.
 

DOOM GUY

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Personally, I think the two of them teaming up sounds awesome, and I strongly believe that I'm gonna like it.
 

Gearhead mk2

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I don't get the hate for Kojima on this project. Yeah, his scripts rattle on a bit and he does have some questionable characters coughquietcough, but he has a knack for messing with player expectations and rapidly switching the tone of his works, which would work great in a psychological, mind screwy series like SH. Heck, Psycho Mantis and the Sorrow prove he can even do horror boss fights. The gameplay of the Solid games is restricted enough that the player feels underpowered and has to use their brain, but still manages to give the player enough strength that if force is needed it doesn't get in the way too much, and getting that balance is very important in a horror game. And his stories, even when they do go on, are still engaging and filled with good characters.

As for Del Toro... He's freaking Del Toro, the guy who made Pacific Rim and Hellboy. Nuff said.
 

Something Amyss

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Casual Shinji said:
Oh come one, admit it, deep down you have a morbid curiosity for the final product these two would concoct.
Well, yes. But I want to watch the world burn.

Edl01 said:
All this criticism of Kojima not being able to keep a consistent tone. But the thing is, Metal Gear isn't meant to be 100% gritty realism, it's always been a very silly over the top franchise. I mean I always see this website complaining about games trying too hard to be, "Realistic", so why is it such an issue when Metal Gear doesn't?
I'm sorry, but you do understand that criticism of the lack of a consistent tone in no way indicates people wanted Metal Gear to be a gritty, realistic series, right? They just want the tone to be...consistent. A story can be silly and still be consistent in tone.

Also, all the criticism? You mean, all one people in the thread?
 

stroopwafel

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Casual Shinji said:
And that's ofcourse neglecting him never having worked in the field of games ever.
Not really necessary. I think after many disappointed attempts to outsource the Silent Hill franchise Konami wanted the new game to be developed in-house, and with Kojima Productions being their only studio left who else to pick up the reigns but Kojima? If you followed Kojima's Twitter feed though there were hints for a possible collaboration with Del Toro, so I'm not really surprised.

Now, what Del Toro will bring to the table is obviously his artistic vision. Which doesn't really excite me to be honest, as I think his movies range from 'meh' to merely OK. I like many of Kojima's games but I don't see him making a horror game to be honest. Though, the guy often have interesting ideas you don't see coming so there is a very real possibility the game will surprise. Espescially considering the expertise of KojiPro which can really bring Kojima's and Del Toro's vision to life. They are among the best in the bizz and rivaled probably only by Sony Japan Studios.

On a related note, I thought Downpour was a pretty good game. For some unknown developer from the Czech Republic I think they came closest to emulating what made the original Silent Hill games so great. Not perfect by any means(the running sections were particularly horrid and the creature designs were lacking) but you could tell the developers were big fans of the franchise by the way they tried to recreate that particular, subdued and eerie Silent Hill atmosphere. They almost succeeded. Almost. :p It was still definitely miles better than Homecoming. Too bad they're out of business though.
 

Post Tenebrae Morte

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Remus said:
The coolest monster design 4 had going for it was those 2 headed spider orphan whatsits that would make a weird grunting noise at you before they attacked. Beyond that it was generic_Japanese_ghost x 1 million and cherub demons oozing out of the walls. Homecoming was...homecoming. Not great, not terrible, not nearly as creepy as the last 3 titles. The bad ending made the most sense and overall writing was subpar at best. Never played Downpour and skipped Shattered Memories - not a fan of retreads. Writing and creature design - these things are key in Silent Hill and I think Konami had the right idea with who they picked. So I'm looking forward to the next one. Now I gotta play through the P.T. again because it didn't scar me bad enough the first time.
If you get a chance, play shattered memories. It is not a retread, it isn't even the same silent hill universe as the first one was in. They only use the names of Harry mason, dahlia, Cheryl, and such to both provide a sense of familiarity for past players and other feelings. It is a beautiful, expertly written story with fully fleshed out characters, subtle moments, foreshadowing, and a respect to the series it is a part of. Multiple playthroughs are a must to fully grasp all of the symbolism and such.

Downpour is quite good as well, with a great story focused on how far a man will go for revenge and how it degrades him. Both shattered memories, downpour, are in my top 3 with sh 2'as well.