November 2, 2023
In a shocking turn of events, Silent Hill fans are left crestfallen as the highly anticipated game, Silent Hill: Ascension, proves to be a far cry from what they were hoping for. GameCentral‘s review-in-progress has shed light on the dismal state of the first new Silent Hill installment in over a decade.
The game, developed by Genvid and inspired by interactive film concepts like Netflix’s Bandersnatch, attempts to engage players through a ‘massively interactive live event’ format. However, Silent Hill: Ascension’s execution falls flat, leaving players disillusioned and frustrated.
Ascension, which runs exclusively through its website and smartphone app, introduces players to a convoluted narrative split between two characters: Rachael in Pennsylvania and Karl in Norway. The gameplay relies heavily on multiple-choice decisions, reminiscent of Choose Your Adventure books, but with a twist: players have up to 24 hours to make choices, requiring the expenditure of hard-to-earn influence points. This system quickly transforms the experience into a pay-to-win debacle, where microtransactions dominate decision-making.
One of the most glaring issues pointed out by GameCentral is the lack of depth in character development and the absence of the eerie atmosphere that Silent Hill is renowned for. The game’s abrupt transitions and disjointed storytelling fail to create the immersive experience fans had hoped for. Even quick-time events (QTEs), a staple of many interactive games, feel out of place and uninspired in Ascension, diminishing the legacy of the Silent Hill series.
Visually, the game’s animation leaves much to be desired, with subpar CGI and inconsistent voice acting. Despite its claims of interactivity, Ascension feels more like a poorly executed movie than a true video game, leaving players questioning why real actors were not utilized instead.
While Silent Hill: Ascension is technically free to play, it heavily pushes in-game purchases, offering a Founder’s Pack for £20, including a battle pass and influence points. However, the unpredictable nature of decision-making, combined with the chaotic online environment, makes it uncertain whether players’ choices will have any real impact, even after spending money.
The game’s launch on Halloween was marred by technical issues, including website outages due to overwhelming traffic. From a business perspective, this may be a success, but for devoted Silent Hill enthusiasts, Ascension’s release has been nothing short of a disaster.
In summary, Silent Hill: Ascension has missed the mark entirely, leaving fans disheartened and disillusioned. With its jarring gameplay mechanics, lackluster storytelling, and blatant emphasis on microtransactions, the game stands as a stark departure from the psychological horror masterpiece that the Silent Hill franchise once represented. As players continue to express their disappointment, it remains to be seen whether Konami will address the concerns and salvage the series’ reputation in the future.