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SILENT HILL: Ascension
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Silent Hill: Ascension is weird, confusing, and messy—and worst of all, it's boring

Silent Hill: Ascension is weird, confusing, and messy—and worst of all, it's boring

6K View2023-11-08
I’ve spent hours messing around with Silent Hill: Ascension, and I’m still not sure who it’s for or what it’s trying to be. Not only is the plot is paper-thin, but it’s just not engaging enough to serve as a standalone story. There's not enough interactivity to make it feel like an actual game. It makes couple obvious references to previous Silent Hill games, but it doesn’t even feel like a satisfying piece of fanservice.
More than anything else, it comes across as side content. I’d get what Ascension was going for if it was a marketing campaign for an upcoming game, or if it was bonus content for a proper Silent Hill TV show, but it’s supposed to be a standalone property, which is absolutely baffling.
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Why did Konami attach the Silent Hill name to this? Who were they trying to appeal to? It feels like a cash grab, but it seems too weird and confusing to bring in any money. This is the first Silent Hill game in ten years, but it's too dull and messy to attract anyone that actually loves the series. Konami hasn't exactly been protective of the Silent Hill franchise in recent years, but this feels like a step too far. 
If you haven't subjected yourself to Ascension yet, here's how it all works. The story is told via short, poorly-animated CGI videos. These videos can be watched at any time, but new videos air live. Participants can watch episodes together and share comments and feedback via a Twitch-style chatbox.
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Or at least, that's how it's supposed to work. Unfortunately, Silent Hill: Ascension launched without any sort of chat filter or comment moderation. This went about as well as you'd expect, and after a few too many inappropriate comments about Pyramid Head, chat functionality was disabled. Now, the live chat is just an endless stream of Silent Hill-themed emojis.
Chat boxes usually aren't essential to games, but Ascension is designed to be community driven. See, after a new episode airs, viewers are supposed to vote on what happens next. What's the fun of voting if no one can comment on anyone else's choices or try to sway people to their side?
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It doesn't help that most of the choices just aren't very interesting. Ascension occasionally asks players to make life-or-death decisions, but most of the time, the stakes aren't very high. Is anybody that invested in how a character punishes a child, or what a character does after a funeral?
And even if players are interested, will they care enough to spend real money to determine the final outcome? See, Ascension votes are cast using an in-game currency called Influence. There are a few ways to earn Influence, but if a player really wants to have an impact on the game's direction, they need to drop some serious cash.
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It would be one thing if people could make decisions for fan-favorite Silent Hill characters, like Heather Mason or James Sunderland, but everyone in Ascension is completely new to the series. The cast is incredibly dull, the plot is just as boring, and for the most part, the decisions feel like they don’t actually matter. Even if the only goal is to make money, the concept feels half-baked.
I love choice-based games, and I love Silent Hill even more, but Ascension is a failure in every way. The story isn't compelling, the characters aren't engaging, and it isn't fun to play. The visuals are terrible. There are no interesting community interactions. The monetization feels incredibly predatory. At the end of the day, what is Ascension doing besides making people angry?
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Konami has neglected the Silent Hill Franchise for a long time, but now, they have some amazing-looking games in the works, The upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake seems very promising. Silent Hill f and Townfall both look like genuinely terrifying games. It seems like Silent Hill is finally on the right track. I just hope that Ascension doesn’t take the franchise off the rails.
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Kef
Kef
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2

Absolutely brutal, but what a great read. Another classic "What was Konami thinking" moment.

2023-11-08

StaggerLee
StaggerLee
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Damn! Sorry to hear ascension was so awful!

2023-11-09

Blazeiumus Samrauius
Blazeiumus Samrauius
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I'm confused

2023-11-09

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