The new PS5 Silent Hill made me angry like few games, but in the end it lived up to its billing as the best portrait of depression I’ve ever seen – Silent Hill: The Short Message

HexaDrive, a free PS5 game published by Konami, tackles dangerous topics such as harassment and abuse.

It was Wednesday evening, January 31st, and Konami took center stage during State of Play with a double dose of Silent Hill, but there was only one that caught my attention. Short message, terrible experience overall 90 minutes – I hope it lasts two hours – on such a transcendental topic as harassment, depression And mental health. I came to him not because of the “morbid” approach of the Japanese to these issues, but from the innate curiosity of a person who suffered and is suffering from depression; finally being in a controversial game that goes beyond the experience free first person horror game And visually overwhelming.

I didn’t want to start this little (I hope) piece with “how bad depression is” because even those who haven’t suffered from it know that it’s redundant at best and doesn’t accomplish anything; Burden you even less with my personal experiences, because depression, although it has easily recognizable patterns, is experienced in such different ways that they contribute even less to the text. I just want to say that, indeed, for a person undergoing treatment in the past, present and future, the “Short Message” does not work for give visibility mental health, but it nonetheless gave me the best, most human insight into depression I’ve seen in a long time. And yes, personal experience says a lot here.

In this post we delve into the plot of Silent Hill: The Short Message with a SPOILER ALERT.

What is Silent Hill: The Short Message about?

In fact, if you’re expecting something directly related to Silent Hill, The Short Message isn’t for you. In fact, independent rate from HexaDrive – which is responsible for the development thanks to the Konami publication – follows the idea “we must move as far as possible from the pillars of the saga in order to seek new horizons”; or what is the same thing, horror, blood and fog, a lot of fog. Gone was this narrative, deeply rooted in the psyche of the characters and centered on a North American city.

Here we go to GermanyGermany, halfway between the unreal and the tangible, where after years of collapse, crisis and very low birth rates, Covid-19 has finally hammered the final nail into the city’s coffin Kettenstadt. Depression rates are rising at the same rate as unemployment rates, and young people with no choice are seeking redemption through suicide, almost as a common and almost habitual act in German cities.

Kettenstadt is a collection of things that influence today’s youth, but confined to the same city. The truth is that not only does it not contradict history, but it gives it life, because there really are such places; cities or regions so chastened by the tide of achievement that eludes them and drags down all those who live there, bringing out the worst in them along the way.

So and how Anita17-year-old girl, we will be locked in a noose in the villa, the meeting place for the youth of Kettenstadt and where the Maya’s suicide, our friend. A prison with its own life and essence that punishes us, where, in principle, everything is aimed at finding out the reason for Maya’s suicide, and turns into speculation about very intimate overcomingsomewhat wrong, but good intentions in the end. Of course, if you’re looking for a powerful gaming experience, you won’t find it in combination walking simulator and an interactive adventure.

A very stereotypical portrait of depression…

With that in mind, the adventure revolves around one location in PT, inherited and transported to Germany – without Reedus and Kojima – but with mental problems as a common thread. The Japanese team isn’t an exact portrait: it takes every cliché that once influenced computing in the ’90s (like those hackers who brought the world to its knees with a button) and takes them to the next level. Earth bullying. Verbal harassment with insults such as “nerd”; uncharacteristic teenage conversations in which Anita is accused of not uploading “sexy photos” to social media; or inspiring talks And sweetened straight out of a teenage fantasy on Wattpad.

This is what bothers me most about a work about depression that ends up being so limited in a higher-licensed product and reduced to a narrative that’s only 90 minutes long. I needed more tragedy Anita, Mayan And Amelia – the third friend in a group of three, and he’s so important to the story that I’m sad I wasn’t able to play the piece for 5, maybe 6 hours to enjoy it -. A short message wants to say a lot in a short time and ends up reducing depression to mere outbursts of what it seems to believe “teenage losers”although he constantly emphasizes the fact that the environment, the economy and their parents are among the many agents of chaos for the little ones.

There are also good moments: calls with Amelie in the midst of chaos, which is contrasted with the way Anita sees the world – as a thirsty creature devouring her from the inside and from which you escape by following Maya’s example and jumping into the abyss – and reality, very flawed, but so , which escapes the pressure that our main character puts on herself. However, all this sometimes comes to a dead end. “Don’t have time for more? Well, put it sudden ending to this sequence and move on,” seems to be the game implied in many cases.

Short message seems to want to romanticize He drama, depression and reduce it to such a simple factor as “if your parents were bad or society is bad, you have problems,” and this is just one of thousands of facets of depression. You might think that since this is the main plot and the game only wants to focus on one factor at a time, I shouldn’t complain, but it’s all a hodgepodge of things that I should have been more involved with; I needed to see the situation from multiple angles rather than settle on the typical simple answer that I, as a patient, had suffered from for years. Until it comes to an end.

…until it confronts you with reality with its ending

Accumulating ideas halfway between cliche And self-compassion therapy closes the door to witchcraft and opens the window to human drama. Anita, a survivor of an abusive mother who was forced by social convention to have children even though she was not prepared to raise them, reflects this fear of abandonment and that authoritarian relations towards Maya. Anita blames Maya for taking Amelie, her childhood friend, and blames her for never feeling affection for her, but that never happened.

depression tea clouds judgment. What I have suffered will not be the same as what you are suffering or have suffered, and both things are completely fair. adviсe “put on a good face”, “smile more”, “go out more”… they have almost no influence on you, because you think that everything is against you; I know this, and Anita is a reflection of this. Last night I saw my reflection in her. In the wall that had been erected and for which Maya seemed like a hindrance, I passed through it. Maya is like any of those people we love who smile when they see us and want to spend some time with us to disconnect, even if it’s just 10 minutes, from all the chaos in the world; but he has his own demons, which gain strength if we feed them.

Maya eventually committed suicide because even though she had a group of two friends, she didn’t seem to feel comfortable and when everything got the best of her, she couldn’t lean on anyone. It was Anita’s fault, but this is mine. monumental anger. Is “A Short Message” going to end like this? Was all this revenge from the other world? would romanticize suicide when Anita throws herself into the abyss, why is this all that remains? Yes, and I dutifully left the controller on the table, confirming that Anita had said on the phone to Amelie: “I will apologize to Maya when I see her”; until the time has come.

In those moments, I was thinking about the romanticization of Thirteen Reasons Why and how the plot directs sadness at others like a sharp dagger, without forgetting that “sweet taste of revenge,” but it turned out that everything was “Bridge to Terabithia.” . Katherine Paterson’s novel is complex like few others, but it brilliantly explores how delicate life is and how complex people are. A work that clearly shows the power of friendship to escape the world, the drama of human relationships and how, despite problems, there is a goal.

At this point, Amelie tells Anita not to leave; that he needs it; that she’s her only friend and that it shouldn’t end like this, and it doesn’t. There is no “they lived happily ever after” or morality, just how hard it is to make a decision. ask for help. Anita withdrew into herself and took it all out on her friends. I did this until I lost people I loved, and then I realized that they weren’t dishes waiting for me to be in a bad mood; and most importantly, it didn’t have to define my life. No changes happened overnight, it is a difficult journey that I am still making and that Anita still has to go through, but it is the most important step.

The short message ended with me receiving a slap in the face in which I saw my reflection, my little sister who is going through the same thing and who in this case forces me to be Amelie and her to be Anita. No romanticization of the end of the road. A simple text from someone who loves you and says, “Tomorrow we’ll go shopping and talk,” and you saying yes is a step forward. Appreciate it so much, you asked for help and you accepted it, you can handle it, and now the hard part begins, know yourself. The game ends with a very good message: “I just want to understand myself, for the sake of those I love and for those who love me. I want to move forward and not look back.” And although Anita’s change is reflected here as a procedure, it is what I did, what we all did. But then there is no greater value than what you give when you look back and see the path you have traveled.

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