Bloober Team, maker of the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake, is getting out of your head. In a chat with Engadget, studio CEO Piotr Babieno said that this month's release of Layers of Fear—a UE5-ified remake of the original Layers of Fear games—marked the conclusion of "the era of making psychological horror games". Going forward, Bloober is going to instead focus on "mass-market horror," which it anticipates will bring in a much larger audience.
In plainer terms, that means Bloober is getting away from vibes-heavy, mid-budget horror walking sims and into more action-focused, player-driven stuff. In the past, the studio "focused on the story … focused on the mood … focused on the quality of graphics and music," but it didn't spend "a lot of attention on the gameplay mechanics," says Babieno. That's all about to change, apparently, as part of a process that will see the company transform into "Bloober Team 3.0".
If Layers of Fear was the last hurrah of Bloober Team 2.0, then the Silent Hill 2 remake will be the first showcase of the studio's new philosophy. "We decided that our next titles should be much more mass-market oriented," said the Bloober CEO, "We’d like to deliver our ideas, with our DNA, not by environment or storytelling, but by action," Babieno told Engadget, "so all of our future titles will have a lot of gameplay mechanics. They will be much bigger.”
So prepare for a Silent Hill 2 remake that prioritises action over vibes, I suppose. I have to admit, I'm more than a little sceptical about this. For one thing—though I've never played it personally—it's my understanding that Silent Hill 2 is beloved in large part precisely because it's so eerie and atmospheric. For another, the gameplay-heavy sections of Bloober's prior games (I'm thinking specifically of the tedious autofail stealth sections in Observer) haven't always been a great time.
But perhaps my fears are misplaced. After all, our Layers of Fear (2023) review scored the game 90%, calling it "easily the best game Bloober Team have put out yet". That was Bloober Team 2.0, though, who knows what Bloober Team 3 is capable of?