‘THE MEDIUM’ DEVELOPERS “WOULD BE HONORED” TO WORK ON NEXT ‘SILENT HILL’ GAME
Bloober Team’s dual-reality horror game, The Medium, is unapologetically similar to Konami’s classic franchise Silent Hill. The Medium launched in January after much anticipation, especially from Silent Hill fans who recognized Bloober’s shared love for their “special place.”
Dominika Stala, Bloober’s lead level designer joined VENN to explain how the foggy town inspired their process and why a romp through The Medium’s spirit world may help scratch that itch.
“Silent Hill is a beloved series for many people at Bloober Team, especially Silent Hill 2,” Dominika Stala, Bloober’s lead level designer, tells VENN. “We all love James’ history and how it evolves, without judging the main character and what he did — merely presenting his actions for the player to decide about it.”
“When we made The Medium, we wanted to show different points of view,” Stala says. “Not everything is black or white, and sometimes what is good for one person might be a bad choice for someone else.”
Set in Poland, players control a woman named Marianne who returns to her hometown to grieve her foster father. Her psychic abilities are tested when she discovers a link between her nightmares, the spirit realm and an abandoned resort.
Unlike Silent Hill’s Otherworld, the spirit world of The Medium is explored simultaneously with our own. Marianne’s powers allow her to move freely between the two planes in a split-screen gameplay experience that offers unique challenges and unworldly enemies. In addition to Konami’s iconic fog-and-monster-filled ghost town, The Medium’s game’s visual aesthetic was “strongly inspired” by the paintings of Polish artist, Zdzisław Beksiński’s paintings.
“Silent Hill is well-known for its disturbing atmosphere and questions it asks players throughout the game,” says Stala. “We wanted to let players feel the isolation and loneliness and to also allow them to think and make their own judgments about characters that the player encounters during their playthrough.”
The Medium shares more in common with the Silent Hill franchise than its appearance and tone. Akira Yamaoka and Arkadiusz Reikowski co-composed the soundtrack, creating an audio landscape for the real and spirit worlds, respectively. Yamaoka enlisted long-time collaborator Mary Elizabeth-McGlynn to provide vocals. The Maw, a horrifying creature born out of tragedy, is voiced by Tony Baker, who voices James Sunderland in the Silent Hill 2 HD Remake and played the bass in several live performances of the Silent Hill Band alongside Yamaoka and McGlynn.
“With Akira on the team, we thought it would add a great touch for The Medium—that we will be able to create a similar atmosphere of isolation and fear, where silence is just as scary as the noises,” Stala says.
After several delays, The Medium launched in January to positive reviews while many fans compared it to Konami’s horror classic. It has been six years since director Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills project was canceled. Since then, fans have been caught in between constant hope and disappointment as rumor after rumor promises a new game that never seems to materialize. One of the most recent developers rumored to be taking on a Silent Hill reboot or sequel is Bloober Team.
Bloober, however, is keeping a tight lip on whether any of these rumors have merit, saying only that they don’t know what the future brings. “If we’ll ever get an opportunity to make a new Silent Hill game, we would be honored to do so,” said Stala.
Photo courtesy of Bloober Team