Silent Hill 2 Remake’s Character Models Have Fans Divided

It seems like every time Konami shows off the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake, something doesn’t sit right with fans. It started with the game’s announcement when it was revealed Layers of Fear and The Medium developer Bloober Team would be helming the reimaging of the seminal survival horror title, which did not instill confidence in many fans. Now, after new footage debuted during the latest PlayStation showcase, State of Play, fans are upset again—this time, it’s about the character models, which may or may not butcher the original designs, depending on who you ask.

During the Silent Hill Transmission, the short showcase that immediately followed the May 30 State of Play, Konami gave us a look at 13 minutes of gameplay in the remake. In it (and the State of Play trailer), we see protagonist James and supporting characters Maria and Angela. Let’s start with James, as he is our leading man. Those who are fans of the redesign point out that it looks noticeably better than when first shown during the remake’s reveal.

Those in the dissenting camp, however, point out that James’ new design looks a tad bit familiar—he has a Leon Kennedy vibe to him, down to the swooping blond haircut that just feels a little off in comparison to the original game.

Then there is Maria, a character James crosses paths with throughout the game who is known for her confidence and overt sexuality. Fans are criticizing her new outfit, which is decidedly more demure (and less fashionable, TBH.

As people with a familiarity with the original game have pointed out, Maria’s costume design is extremely important to her character as well as some of the game’s larger narrative beats. What’s disappointing is that Bloober doesn’t appear to have tried to recreate the iconic details of the outfit in a modern way, losing the leopard print and gold jewelry in favor of a bland black dress and a jacket that appears to be the same pinkish color of the original outfit. As many have said, she just isn’t serving in the remake and that feels like a misstep. Even more confusing is that the short look at Return to Silent Hill, a movie adaptation of the second game also in production, showed that Maria will be wearing her original outfit.

But the biggest backlash regarding the footage from the Silent Hill 2 remake centers around Angela, a 19-year-old girl who also crosses paths with James in Silent Hill while they both search for their missing loved ones. Some players are suggesting that she looks uncanny, and bizarrely different, and that her face has lost something hard-to-place that was there in the original game. But the outcry is mostly focused on a few screenshots that show Angela from an unflattering angle.

Of course, there is a vocal minority of people suggesting Angela has been ruined because of woke and forced DEI (or diversity, equity, and inclusion, the latest buzzword amongst reactionaries). It’s an unfounded claim that is all too common in gaming nowadays and removes any chance for actual fans of the series to discuss the merits and drawbacks of the remake.

While the remake does change her design slightly with an updated face model, Angela seems to be the character who receives the most minimal rework. Her outfit and hairstyle remain remarkably unchanged as opposed to both Maria and James. It looks good outside of the choice screenshots people are circulating online. Yet some are arguing that slight changes to a 19-year-old video game character are a major offense, all while flinging around horrible insults while they’re at it.

The redesigns look fine! I think Maria’s is the most disappointing due to the previously stated outfit change, but none of this is indicative of gameplay. We’ll have to wait till the Silent Hill 2 remake releases on October 8 to truly know how Bloober Team’s vision holds up against the original.

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