Silent Hill, let's face it, is in a mess. Once one of the most pioneering and narratively powerful series around - not to mention the most genuinely unsettling horror franchise in gaming - its decline has been a long, sad and winding tale of persistent neglect and eroded status.
Since disbanding original in-house developer Team Silent, Konami has passed the series around from new home to new home like some weird troubled orphan, never allowing it to find the right familial fit or long-term stability needed to really flourish. Thus, Silent Hill now resembles the kind of orphan whose adoptive parents have a habit of mysteriously disappearing just before their house burns down. And that's a tragedy.
But there is now hope for a happy ending. The perfect guardian for Silent Hill might - just might - be knocking on the door, in the form of benevolent old Uncle Hideo Kojima. Konami's most famous stalwart star, he now seems interested in helping Silent Hill.
He's potentially its most suitable, understanding benefactor yet, and what's more, he brings an extended family of friends who could be an unbelievably positive influence.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, the facts. According to his Twitter feed, it seems Koj recently watched the first (really rather decent) Silent Hill film in preparation for its incoming sequel. And it seems he was mighty impressed with the series' potential (aesthetically and atmospherically at least) in conjunction with his shiny new next-gen Fox Engine technology. Tweeteth Koj:
"Silent Hill movie that I borrowed from Murashu as the next sequel is coming out. It would be a scary game if we make Silent Hill game on FOX engine."
"Silent Hill is in closed room setting and doesn't require full action so that we can focus on the graphic quality. Enemy doesn't have to be a lot or move fast. It only requires scariness by graphics and presentation. As being a creator making action game in open world, such game is very enviously attractive. Wish someone could create this on FOX engine"
Simple thinking out-loud? Coded hint that he's working on something? I don't know, but either way this is a damnably interesting idea. Because when you extrapolate the (very real) possibilities around this one, the idea of a Kojima-managed Silent Hill project becomes one of those too-perfect-to-happen ideas that have a habit of actually happening when you least expect it. Allow me to break this down.
If the experimental excesses and granite-heavy pathos of the Metal Gear Solid series have taught us anything about Kojima, it's that he likes swirling, surreal, existential narratives grounded by affecting characterisation. He also loves screwing around with planes of narrative reality and royally messing with the player both inside and outside of the game. Philosophically, all of this is pure Silent Hill. At its best.