Masahiro Ito was the art director and monster designer for Silent Hill 2 and 3. His work on those two titles have defined the look of the series. A fan showed him some screenshots comparing the original PS2 titles he worked on with Konami’s new HD re-releases, and he was surprised at how different the game looked. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a pleasant surprise.
Left is the HD re-release, right is the original PS2 version. Notice the lack of volumetric fog in the HD version, which lets you see the edges of the game world that the designers never intended players to see.
According to Siliconera, who translated Ito’s tweets, he stated that the new screens looked “poor” and initially didn’t believe that the comparison screens were taken from a complete, finished version of the HD ports. Upon being told that the screens were indeed from a finalized, retail copy of the game, he replied with an emphatic “OMG.” Ito went on to state that he hopes new players to the series realize that the HD “remasters” of the game are not accurate translations and he hopes that people don’t assume the original versions of the game looked that bad.
I’m a huge fan of Silent Hill and the sheer sloppiness of the Silent Hill HD Collection caught me off guard. Sure, certain elements look better, but overall the whole product smacks of laziness; I don’t know how they thought they could get away with porting Silent Hill 2 and neglect to put in the effects for one of the game’s key atmospheric elements — the fog — and think that the game would still look and feel the same without it. The HD Port is filled with bugs and inaccuracies (especially on the PS3 version,) and the quality of the ports is a real insult to already long-suffering Silent Hill fans.
Obviously Konami put much less effort into these ports than they did with the fantastic Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and it shows. Here’s hoping they don’t half-ass the upcoming Zone of the Enders HD Collection.