Who cares about Silent Hill 2? Not Konami, who tossed the game’s source code like a bogey-encrusted bag of pachinko balls.
Thankfully, Mike Drucker is here to pick up the slack and while it’s too late to pick through Konami’s bins, his book, simply titled Silent Hill 2, does the next best thing. The fourth title in Season 5 of Boss Fight Books’ gaming series, Silent Hill 2 delves into what made Konami’s survival horror so appealing. It discusses how it came to life and how it all went horribly wrong with the Silent Hill HD Collection.
The book is at its best when Drucker plunges into the psychology of Silent Hill 2. He advances some theories that, even though I’ve played Silent Hill 2 so, so many times, never once occurred to me. I always knew that Silent Hill 2’s Abstract Daddy was a horrifying manifestation of Angela’s abuse, but it wasn’t until I read Drucker’s book that I understood the real meaning behind the monster.
There’s also a wealth of behind-the-scenes information and other analysis; some small part of me hoped the author would hunt down whoever binned Silent Hill 2‘s source code and make them answer for their crimes against video game history – but that wasn’t a particularly realistic expectation. Even when recounting Silent Hill 2‘s plot, Drucker shines a flashlight on things you may have overlooked.
Take protagonist James’ encounter with Laura. From the inside, she’s a stepping stone on James’ quest to find his wife. You overlook his attitude to her because she’s got information you need if you’re going to ‘win’. But, as Drucker points out, James is a grown man yelling at an eight year-old which should tell you there’s something not quite right with him.
Drucker’s book isn’t perfect; there are definitely a couple of snippets of information from the Silent Hill 2 ‘Making Of’ I felt could have been included. It also ends a little too abruptly, as if the author has been shoved off a hospital rooftop by the manifestation of their own psyche. But if you’ve got fond memories of Silent Hill 2 or you just want to know about the fuss is all about, it’s a must-read.