Poor Guillermo del Toro, he seems just as upset as the rest of us that Silent Hills got the axe. He announced at the San Francisco International Film Festival that the game has been cancelled and shared his disdain for the unfortunate news.
If you couldn’t already tell by his past projects — which include Pacific Rim, Hellboy, Crimson Peak, and Pan’s Labyrinth to name a few — he can geek out with the best of us.
This isn’t the first time that del Toro has had a video game project canned. By my count, there are three total — including Silent Hills, of course. And of course, the other two games sounded just as awesome on paper as Silent Hills did.
What Other Games Did del Toro Try to Make?
You should already know what’s going on with Silent Hills by now, but in the off chance you don’t, you can check out my editorial that explores what the game might have been.
The other two games are Sundown, and Insane.
What Is Sundown?
Apparently, Sundown was going to be a post-apocalyptic survival-horror game with — you guessed it — zombies! It was being developed for the Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 by Terminal Reality before it was thrown to the wolves.
It was to follow an unnamed group of characters from when the outbreak first hit until the most horrific moments they experienced. Not much else is known about the game, more importantly about the game mechanics. It could have just as easily been a puzzle title as it could have been an MMO at this point.
When describing the game, the Hollywood Reporter said:
Players will start as a typical person on an average day. As everything goes terribly wrong, in order to survive they must learn to form alliances with various beings and to change their role as each new challenge calls for different abilities. “We want to create a real beginning, middle and end to the game and to each set piece of the game too,” del Toro said. “I want to make some of the atmospheric elements in the game very, very scary.”
Either way, a zombie game from del Toro probably would have been awesome.
Joystiq reported in 2006 that the game was cancelled to make way for two new projects. Years later, del Toro claimed that “Sundown was eerily similar to Left 4 Dead.”
What Is Insane?
It’s entirely possible that Insane is still being developed quietly. THQ and Volition Inc were originally working on the game, but announced it was cancelled in August, 2012. At that time, the intellectual property rights were transferred to del Toro — which means he can still work on it. Later that year, del Toro announced that the game was still being developed, but he’s mentioned nothing about the project since then. That was 2012, and it’s now 2015, you do the math.
Insane was slated to launch on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, and was the first part of a trilogy. According to del Toro, the project was ambitious.
“With this new series of video games, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality. THQ and Volition, Inc. are equally excited to make this vision of a completely new game universe into a reality.”
During an interview with MTV, del toro elaborated further on Insane. According to him, it was a sandbox style game with lots of Lovecraftian elements.
“It’s Lovecraftian, it’s really weird, but it’s Lovecraftian in a very sick way, which I like. It’s truely, truely entertaining. Full of action, but also a very shocking game. And Guy Davis and Francisco [Ruis Velasco]. Guy Davis, to me, is one of the best monster designers alive right now.”
The Guy Davis del Toro refers to is, in fact, the same comic artist that helped him design At the Mountains of Madness. Translation: It was going to be one mind-fuck of an experience.
Yes, it also seems like Insane was another attempt at survival horror. Boy, del Toro really likes the horror genre doesn’t he? Stick with what you’re good at I suppose.
What About Silent Hills?
Finally, we come full circle to the latest cancellation in del Toro’s portfolio, Silent Hills. It was sure to be one of the greats. Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
With del Toro’s track record, I’m curious if he’s eventually going to give up on making video games for good. That’s three failed projects now, and all of them sounded promising. Mind you, there’s no way in hell we can know for sure because we’ll never get a chance to play them.
I’ll tell you what though, I could really go for a Pan’s Labyrinth style game. Let’s hope del Toro gets back up on that horse.