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In the late 1990s, horror games were on the rise. The hardware capabilities of Sony’s PlayStation enabled developers to craft immersive 3D experiences that married the atmosphere and shock of Hollywood’s most terrifying pictures with the agency of games – and players couldn’t get enough of them.
Among these titles was a twisted, yet comparatively demure experience called Silent Hill. Developed by a motley crew of talented Konami employees, Silent Hill flipped contemporary horror game tropes on their head, casting the player as an everyman in search of his daughter in a fog-enshrouded town. The game would be well received, and followed up by three sequels on the PlayStation 2 that would catapult the Silent Hill name into horror gaming stardom.
However, shifting interests within Konami would lead the Japanese company to disband the team that developed these early titles, and outsource all future games in the series to studios in Europe and America. While this move would produce some genuine highlights, mixed efforts and a lack of care on Konami’s part would result in Silent Hill gradually becoming a shell of its former self; a legend brimming with potential that always seemed to fall short of its glory days through some issue or another.
This is the rise and fall of Silent Hill.
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