Hideo Kojima’s shock departure from Konami may have happened more than half a decade ago, but after-effects from the split are still being felt in the industry today. Besides leaving the future of Metal Gear Solid uncertain (Konami owns the IP and has yet to do anything meaningful with it), one undisputed casualty was Silent Hills. The title, intended to be a reboot of the survival horror franchise, would have starred The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus as the player character, with Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro involved as a co-director.
While gameplay of the project never materialized, P.T., a playable demo released in 2014 meant to serve as a proof of concept, quickly became a phenomenon for its genuinely nail-biting atmosphere and masterful level design. Whether or not the finished product would have resembled P.T. in any way, we’ll likely never know, though thanks to a new leak, we’ve gotten further insight into some of the gameplay ideas Kojima and his team were exploring during development.
In a video uploaded to her personal YouTube channel, Rooster Teeth’s Alanah Pearce discusses a number of these features, information she obtained from an individual who was originally involved with Silent Hills.
Perhaps the biggest revelation is that Kojima Productions had explored the possibility of implementing various augmented reality elements into the title via an opt-in system. Those who did would have been sent texts and/or emails presented as haunting messages as well as potentially tricked into thinking their PlayStation console was taking on a mind of its own with faux save data deletion notices or even visual glitches in the system’s dashboard. Pearce notes that while most, if not all, of these ideas were at one point considered, it’s unlikely that they all would have made the cut, likely due to technical or logistical issues.
Regardless, it’s a fascinating insight into the lengths Silent Hills could have gone to push the horror genre forward and yet another reminder of a major missed opportunity. The good news, however, is that the franchise may soon be making a comeback on Sony’s next-gen console. See here for everything we know so far.