After a long struggle, fans will be able to enjoy both new and original voice acting in half of the Silent Hill HD Collection.
There's no nice way to say this: Voice acting in video games used to be, generally speaking, pretty bad. The inclusion of accomplished voice actors, bigger budgets, and improved sound studios means that modern games often get the best-of-the-best when it comes to characters with speaking roles. The downside, of course, is that when remakes of classic games come around, the voice track is in a precarious position. Leaving the old voices intact might make the project sound incongruous, but recording lines with new actors could be a disservice to the original cast. In the case of the Silent Hill HD Collection, it will feature the best of both worlds. Players will be able to choose between the new, remastered lines or the original ones in Silent Hill 2. Unfortunately, the producers were unable to provide the same option for Silent Hill 3, which will feature only the new voices.
The announcement came by way of the official Silent Hill HD Collection Facebook page. "We're proud to announce that Silent Hill HD Collection will offer an option for original voices in Silent Hill 2," writes series producer Tomm Hulett. "This means fans and newcomers alike can experience the classic horror tale remastered with modern voice performances; as well as the original recordings from 2001." This option will likely please many longtime Silent Hill fans, as well as Guy Cihi, the original voice actor for Silent Hill 2 protagonist James Sunderland. Cihi previously urged Konami to "do the right thing" and include the original voice track not for royalties, but to preserve a piece of gaming history.
Meanwhile, fans of Silent Hill 3 will have to keep their original PS2 discs handy. "Unfortunately," Hullet continues, "due to factors both technical and logistical, Silent Hill 3 will be presented with new voices only." Hullet does not elaborate on this, but many fans in the comments section surmise that this is due to Heather Morris, the original voice actress for Silent Hill 3's Heather Mason, being unreachable. If Morris herself weighs in, things could change, but the game is set to ship in January. Logistically speaking, there might not be enough time to include the original track.
Nostalgic fans of long-running series are a notoriously hard-to-please demographic, but it seems like Konami is doing its best to make the Silent Hill HD collection accessible for both veterans and newcomers. In the meantime, Guy Cihi was kind enough to comment on one of our previous Silent Hill articles; if Heather Morris would like to leave her thoughts here, we would appreciate it very much.
Source: Silent Hill Official Fanpage