Silent Hill: Ascension was finally released last Tuesday (31), closing the busy month of October and also Halloween. Despite the iconic date, and undeniable weight in the franchise’s name, his debut was marked by a bitter and turbulent reception from the public. With little information released before its release, the title promised little — and delivered even less.
Therefore, first of all, it is worth contextualizing a little about the unusual proposal for Ascension. Designed for cell phones and browsers, the title proposed to be an innovative experience for fans of the franchise, by offer the opportunity to “participate” in your narrative through choices. Its gameplay, quite inspired by titles like those in the franchise The Dark Picturesallows you to change the course of events in a very cinematic way.
However, unlike inspiration, players can just watch and voteas in a gameplay without narration from your favorite streamer. To participate, it is necessary to obtain Influence Points, which can be both purchased and redeemed, in smaller quantities, in small and crude mini-games. All the dynamics are packaged in an interface very similar to Twitch, but packed with information, complete with chat and themed emojis.
Yes, it is possible to “play” during the narrative, but only in “Collective Quick Time Events” at the end of each episode. On first viewing, the commands did not work as they shouldfrustrated the players, and caused a character to permanently fail.
Silent Hill Ascension’s polluted interface.
Depending on each player’s suspension of disbelief, it is even possible to get excited about the proposed Silent Hill Ascension, but it is not difficult to imagine the thousands of problems that could occur. To begin, The voting system is divided into three categories, “Redemption, Suffering and Damnation”, which evidently influence players just by their suggestive definition. Throughout the narrative, characters will have bars for each of these elements, influencing their eventual ability to alter certain challenges.
All The experience sounds like something “pay to win”, considering the few points that can be obtained in the game and the purchasing possibilities. Essentially, the best paid choice is the defined one, but assuming this was still valid, there is little transparency in this dynamic. In the decisions presented, certain alternatives already appeared with many votes, generating questions in the audience about their legitimacy.
While players were trying to understand the “gameplay”, another problem occurred: the chat. Without any moderation, the interaction section quickly became full of trolls, protests, insults and derogatory memes of various types. Among the clutter, cold messages appeared every now and then, looking like a robotic interaction to fill space, reinforcing the idea that the experience might not be as authentic as it promised — after all, It’s strange and convenient that certain viewers have the same first and last name as iconic characters from the franchiseright?
Conspiracies aside, there is another highlight in Ascension: the possibility of appearing in a “camera” with your own character. In addition to the horrendous graphic representation, second only to the createable characters in the franchise Dark Souls, there is little to comment on the function. Finally, and perhaps the developers’ biggest incentive to play: the entire experience will be canonical and will be included in the official narrative of the franchise.
And the Story of Silent Hill Ascension?
Even threatened by trollsprotests and a regrettable gameplay experience, it is still too early to say that the story presented in Silent Hill Ascension it is objectively bad, as a contained experience. Although, When considering the elements established in the main games in the franchise, problems not only appear, but in droves and quickly. In this release, there is little of the intriguing atmosphere previously established, in addition to a much more action-oriented pace on screen.
Several elements beloved by longtime fans are challenged, such as the Silent Hill town’s own relevance. Located in some region of the United States, the place is no longer a “focus” in the plot of Ascension, since one of its cores takes place in Norway. Closer “to home”, the other narrative focus is on yet another suspicious cult, this time, from the perspective of its members.
With graphics that honor the iconic Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, to the dismay of spectators, Ascension it just rehearses beloved concepts in the franchise. There is a narrative line inspired by the events of Silent Hill 1 It is Silent Hill 3 with a protagonist tormented by the supernatural, while another protagonist deals with a resentful wife on her deathbed, just like in Silent Hill 2.
Dispensing with the psychological appeal that each individual sees the city in a unique waywith an aesthetic and threat that reflects his own troubled mind, the most recent title bets on the usual industrial and rusty look — something that, despite being canonical, does not even apply to all games in the franchise.
Even appropriating so many elements renowned in the franchise, Ascension fails to promote an authentic or intriguing experiencewhich makes the player even remember silent Hill. During the first episode, lasting around 30 minutes and full of long breaks, the viewer is bombarded with expository dialogue, shallow and devoid of any emotion. Unlike other titles in the franchise, which present the threat slowly and with a lot of suspense, for example, the new narrative features monsters of different types in the first few minutes of viewing — greatly reducing its appeal.
Above all, there is an uncomfortable obviousness in the choices offered, which despite the categorization, do not seem to influence anything. There is no feeling of mystery and purposeful confusion present in other games in the franchise, created by the dense psychological narrative and mythology of its own. In Ascensioneverything seems hastily rehashed, be it the script, the animations or the voice actors.
Silent Hill Ascension is scary, for all the wrong reasons
With all the problems already mentioned, It’s hard not to define Silent Hill Ascension as a predatory experience and even suspicion — even if it didn’t carry the weighty name. The situation is even more regrettable when considering the promise that Konami would be “returning to its roots” by reviving beloved franchises like this and Metal Gear Solid, after years of neglect. Of everything, the title presents itself as the biggest disrespect to fans since their pachinko machines — traditional in Japan, mixing elements of gambling and narrative.
Yes, you did not read it wrong. In the last ten years, most fans of silent Hill could try was: the canceled PT (Silent Hills, by Hideo Kojima) and numerous themed gambling machines. If the offense wasn’t enough, the company also took advantage of fans’ excitement to create marketing campaigns for licensed products, such as skateboards and other equipment far removed from the gaming world.
Silent Hill 2 pachinko machine.
In this sordid context, Ascension is the most recent title in the franchise to be released, being the first in its “resurrection”. Considering that the anticipated remake of Silent Hill 2 is one of the next releases, the future of the franchise appears to be on a somewhat tortuous path. Until then, all you have to do is wait or watch the experience. scary by Genvid — although play Alan Wake 2 be a much better alternative!
Even with the controversial debut, Silent Hill Ascension It will be an experience with daily episodes, up to 45 minutes long, for six months — exploring the varied directions that the story could take, at the end of the canonical conclusion. You can follow it via the official app (Android and iOS) or directly on the website, at 10pm Brasília time.
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