Konami Explains Why James Looks Different in Silent Hill 2 Remake

Image: Bloober Team

In October, Bloober Team revealed that it was developing a remake of Silent Hill 2 that would feature an older-looking version of protagonist James Sunderland. Silent Hill series producer Motoi Okamoto has now elaborated on that artistic choice, telling IGN Japan in a new interview about how the character was redesigned to reflect the average age of today’s gamers, including those who grew up with the original game, which first released in September 2001. Silent Hill 2 concept artist Masahiro Ito also suggested that there was a technological reason for the change, explaining how modern hardware is now sophisticated enough to render detail that can accurately depict the age of a character.

From an IGN interview:

Okamoto: “After speaking with Mr. Ito, we decided to raise James’s age in the game a bit. This is in part because fans from 20 years ago are older now, and because the average age of people who play videogames has risen too. We want to depict a James who is more mature and has had to suffer through more in his life, and to do that we raised his age, though only by a bit. If he looks older to you, it’s not your imagination.”

Ito: “To add to what Mr. Okamoto just said, I personally feel like it’s also our way of emphasizing that this is a remake.

Okamoto: “You couldn’t depict skin in a nuanced way during the PS2 era. Everyone ended up looking younger, or at least had smooth skin. Now that we’re in the age of the PS4 and PS5, we’re able to better show someone’s exact age, whether that’s someone elderly, someone middle-aged, someone in their thirties, and so on. That’s why we decided to go with a more convincing sense of age.”

Announced during October’s Silent Hill showcase, Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 is described as a “full remake” of the 2001 original that will feature a range of improvements, including 4K graphics and what appears to be support for NVIDIA DLSS. Players can also expect to hear new music from Akira Yamaoka, the composer behind the vast majority of Silent Hill games, including Silent Hill 2 and the first Silent Hill released for PlayStation in 1999.

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