Silent Hill 2 remake gets a 14-minute gameplay trailer that actually looks pretty OK

Sony has finally announced a release date for Bloober Team's remake of Silent Hill 2, which will be out on October 8. They also showed a short trailer, but if you want to see more of how the remake will play, the 13 minutes and 49 seconds embedded above show a much more promising slice of Silent Hill 2.

Most of the footage comes from quite early in the game, including a different version of the scene where James finds the radio and encounters the first Lying Figure. Where in the original it played out in an underpass, here it happens inside a house James enters by crawling through a broken garage door smeared with blood in a way that I suppose emphasizes his suicidal foolhardiness.

We also get to see a chunk of Brookhaven Hospital, which James and Maria pursue Laura through. This is our first proper look at the remake's of Maria, and of course the internet is having a normal one about the fact she's showing a few inches less skin than in the original. (The remake's Maria and Angela, seen in the previous trailer, look closer to their concept art.)

There's some more combat, with James demonstrating a dodge move and one of the Bobble Head Nurses parrying with her pipe when he repeats the same basic attack too many times. I'm withholding judgement on the remake's combat until I try it for myself, but I'm not a big fan of the heavy red vignetting when James is injured.

When he heals by drinking a nutrient supplement or jabbing a syringe in his arm, replacing the generic health drinks and health kits from the original, there are actual animations for both. We even see him whip out the map and make a note on it with a sharpie when new information comes up. The last one's a nice touch, but it is a bit jarring to have animations for all this stuff but not for weapon-swapping. James can apparently switch to his pipe instantly by pulling it out of hammerspace. The original's abstraction of going into a menu meant you imagined the actions taking place—actually seeing them makes it more apparent how silly it is for this ordinary guy to be instantly swapping between multiple guns and melee weapons mid-fight.

But like I said, no final judgement yet. The facial capture and performances seem fine, and I really liked the way the scenes with Laura played out. She came off like a believable little girl reacting to a creepy jag-off, which is exactly how James acts.

Silent Hill 2 is already up for pre-purchase on Steam, which comes with 48 hours' worth of advanced access, as is the style these days. You also get a shiba inu mask for James, in reference to Silent Hill 2's infamous secret dog ending.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.