The debut of Silent Hill Ascension, the new interactive series – or game, it’s hard to tell – from Konami, Genvid Entertainment, and Dead By Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive, has finally been released, and fans of the show are being incredibly critical of the in-game currencies, TV show battle pass, and less-than-desirable quality of the show itself. So I dived into Ascension, and the horror definitely didn’t come from the creatures of the night.
Before I get into my own thoughts and fan reactions, here’s how Silent Hill Ascension works: You sign up for free and can watch multiple short videos that encompass micro-episodes of a TV show. You then use Influence Points (IP) to vote on multiple decisions a character can make, almost like a collaborative Telltale horror game.
There’s been one decision made so far, which won 50% of the three-way vote, and another active decision that expires later this week that also already has 50% of the vote favoring one of its three choices.
Without even talking about the actual content of the Silent Hill Ascension show itself, which is impossible to call a game or a show at this point, navigating and understanding just how this all works is the true nightmare. I started with over 2,000 IP and got more for logging in and watching the show as daily and weekly goals, but you’re also met with ways to buy IP for upwards of $20, and a $20 battle pass that gives you cosmetics for an avatar and a series of stickers and further IP rewards – watching and voting is free, mind you.
Why an interactive TV show needs a battle pass is beyond me, and it just adds to how the interface and inner workings of Silent Hill Ascension feel impossible to understand and navigate. On top of that, you can wager as much IP as you want for each decision you make regarding character actions in the show, so you could just spend loads of money and pump it into one decision if you so choose.
I’m not alone in being baffled by Silent Hill Ascension either, as the Silent Hill subreddit’s mega-thread on the show has a lot to say about how it’s unfolded so far. “It’s hard to watch this happening. Hopefully, it isn’t a sign of things to come,” says one user. “I cannot believe this is what Konami chose to revive Silent Hill with. The franchise should’ve stayed dead if this is what they think is acceptable,” says another.
The live chat function is a total mess during live showings according to players too, as you can boost comments during the premiere with no filter (at least initially), which leads to the exact type of comments you’d expect.
“Everything about this is exceptionally horrible,” another user in the Reddit thread adds. “The stilted animations, weird pacing, cardboard characters, subpar voice acting, shoehorned Silent Hill ‘vibes,’ meaningless choices… and that doesn’t even encompass the horrifically bad format it’s being presented in.”
There’s even a “Cameo Contest,” where you can spend 600 IP to have your goofy-looking avatar potentially appear in the show as a speaking role in multiple scenes, one scene, or just the background. It’s not even guaranteed either, the show’s hub admits that using a ticket for this only gives you a “chance” of being in a scene.
The whole show just feels stuffed with live service elements designed to bleed you dry, which coupled with atrocious navigation and a confusing number of ways to spend your currency while watching a show, makes Silent Hill Ascension a confusing mess. You’re watching a show, but it’s dressed like a game that wants to dominate your life, even though it’s not interesting enough to do so.
Konami has previously said that Silent Hill is on offer to anyone with a good pitch, and if this is what Konami defines as a worthwhile addition to the series, maybe it shouldn’t be.
As the first experience in a line of Silent Hill projects that are reviving the series, Ascension has got the series’ return off on the wrong foot. If you want to navigate through the interactive show for yourself, you can sign up for free on the website.