Fans of Silent Hill probably still get a little choked up thinking of the good old days after Konami put a pillow on the series face with the cancellation of Silent Hills. Luckily, the fandom is used to a good struggle and is fighting back: a team of dedicated Silent Hill modders have taken it upon themselves to remaster Silent Hill 2 for the PC.
Considering the widely-panned Silent Hill HD Collection did more harm than good for the 16-year old classic, more than a little love has gone into fixing Konami’s grave mistakes. The Enhanced Edition is a downloadable mod, available at the mod creators website. While the original HD collection contained the game in it’s “purest form” according to developers, graphical and audio issues hindered it to the point of near unplayability when compared to its PS2 forbear. The Enhanced Edition aims to not only rectify these overpriced oversights but upgrade the overall experience with a host of modern, quality-of-life changes.
A video posted by the mod team detailed some of the Enhanced Edition’s key fixes, including support for widescreen and higher resolution gameplay. Fixes to cutscenes – including field of vision adjustments and FMV lighting – are strikingly better when compared to screenshots of the original version. Clipping, camera stuttering, and lighting issues (including dreaded flashlight bugs) that are present throughout the game have also been overhauled.
Coloration and texture issues are also addressed through the Enhanced Edition’s mods, including changes to important cutscenes and boss rooms. No more weird, black lines on character models, white shaders that take away from the darkness, or mood-jarring coloration issues with boss fights. While these issues sound small, it’s their culmination that takes away from what is supposed to be one of the most highly atmospheric experiences in gaming history. The Enhanced Edition takes classic elements, like Silent Hill’s fog, and restores their 2D effects – while also fixing their overall look and feel for a much more dynamic and engrossing environment.
Along with these graphical overhauls, elements like quicker camera panning, faster loading transitions between rooms, and increased draw distance all make the gameplay far more fluid and balanced than even it’s original PS2 version. There are also fixes to area-specific animations, loading screens, and certain game endings that were previously a bit of a mess.
An Enhanced Audio Pack is also available, with noise resolution options, including a Playstation 2 noise filter for those seeking a bit of a nostalgic twist. In-game and menu-related sound bugs have also been fixed; listen in to the video below to hear just how good these higher-definition enhancements sound!
While it’ll take a bit of technological know-how to download and install the files needed to “Enhance” your Silent Hill 2 experience – as well of a copy of the game, of course – it’s well worth it to anyone seeking the cleanest version of (what I believe is) the greatest horror game ever made.
For more detail on the Enhanced Edition and it’s team of modders, check out enhanced.townofsilenthill.com/SH2