"Silent Hill: Homecoming" is a tough act to follow, but everything we've seen from the new developer's follow-up "Silent Hill: Downpour" is looking promising. One thing it won't feature, however, is multiplayer. Which isn't too surprising since the series has always had a single-player focus. What is surprising is news that Konami is toying with the possibility of a multiplayer "Silent Hill" game.
A new interview with "Downpour" developer Vatra Games in the Italian Xbox 360 Magazine, re-posted on the Hell-Descent forums (via Joystiq) reveals the news. Vatra art director Radek Marek confirms that there will be no multiplayer in the upcoming "Silent Hill" game, but the way he answers the question is rather compelling.
"At the moment there will be no multiplayer modes in 'Silent Hill: Downpour,' but konami are investigating a separate chapter devoted entirely to the Multiplayer. We do not know the details but it should be an XBLA title that most players have to survive in the town of 'Silent Hill.'"
"A separate chapter," he says. Recent "Silent Hill" games exist unto themselves, painting a larger picture of the titular town without necessarily threading together core story elements from past entries in the series. This "new chapter" would presumably move in a similar direction, but the question that I'm sure everyone is asking is, how will multiplayer work in a game like "Silent Hill"?
There are unfortunately no answers on that front, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate. The key to the horror component of the "Silent Hill" survival horror formula is built around the personal experiences of the main character, which inform the way the town's evils take shape. With a group of players in the mix, this would obviously have to change somewhat.
Might we expect a "Left 4 Dead"-style checkpoint race, in which you and a group of your fellow explorers must avoid the baddies while making your from A to B? Or perhaps a more competitive approach, in which teams of humans face off against teams of monsters?
Survival is a fundamental focus of the series, with players constantly having to manage a severely limited supply of resources as they work through the story. "Left 4 Dead" is similar in that regard, but players always have an unlimited supply of pistol bullets to fall back on. I've got to believe that this wouldn't be the case in a multiplayer "Silent Hill" game. The thought of running around the town and having to manage survival in flight situations with two or more people instead of just one is certainly tantalizing. How would you want a multiplayer "Silent Hill" game to play?