Maria and Angela’s Character Designs in Silent Hill 2 Remake Have Divided the Fanbase

Earlier this week, we finally saw some more Silent Hill 2 Remake footage, including our first look at Angela and Maria, two of the most important characters in the game. As the remake slowly inches towards its October 8 release, tensions in the gaming community have already started to rise. This is primarily because Maria and Angela have undergone redesigns, significantly changing how the characters look.

Considering this is a remake, the developer Bloober Team has taken creative liberties with the character redesigns. Unfortunately, accepting change is hard and Silent Hill veterans have had the hardest pill to swallow. So, what is up with this entire debate, and how much weight does it hold? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Angela’s New Looks Have Divided Silent Hill 2 Fans

Let’s first talk about the elephant in the room—Angela. However, before I dive into the nitty gritty, let me show you the characters before and after translation. So have a look below:

Now that you know how she looks, it’s time for more context. Even gamers unaware of Silent Hill will see that Angela has undergone quite a few changes in her appearance. Hardcore fans agree that Sandra Bullock inspired the original Angela design in the original game. However, the current design departs from that mature look.

The Angela on the left was this depressed girl James met for the first time at the cemetery. As such, her original design gives us the impression she’s somewhat aged around her thirties. This was incorrect as Silent Hill’s story dictated that Angela was actually a 19-year-old, designed to look sad, considering her past. However, a teenager shouldn’t have had such a well-defined facial structure as she was still growing up as an adult.

Well, to fix that, the developers completely redesigned her look. While she retained her white turtleneck and grey pants, her face was redone to make her look younger. Angela’s new face did carry over her pale and depressed look but softened up the appearance to mirror her actual age.

Unfortunately, this redesign has irked a lot of people. Some players point out how the new look makes her unattractive and “woke.” If you look at the Silent Hill 2 remake trailer posted by PlayStation on X, people in the replies section have complained about it.

Some gamers have even tried to “beautify” her using AI and whatnot. As you can see, the AI render of Angela changes her appearance and applies makeup and tonality, which some, including me, would call an odd choice.

However, not everyone is on the fence. Many Silent Hill veterans even noted how Angela’s new look finally showed her true age. This shocked many users, as they didn’t even know she was 19 until now. A quick look at the r/silenthill subreddit will tell you all you need.

One X user claims that the whole debate around Angela’s redesign is missing the mark altogether. They support her facial redesign and claim that the upcoming remake finally does her age justice.

As someone who has played the original Silent Hill 2 thrice, I find myself echoing the same opinion. The remake finally does justice to Angela’s age. Not only does she look like a 19-year-old, but it reflects the level of maturity and understanding you would expect. As someone who wasn’t aware of her actual age until now, Angela’s redesign really helped some much-needed light on her backstory.

Now that we know the situation with Angela’s modernization in the Silent Hill 2 remake let’s discuss the next thing the Silent Hill fanbase is upset about—Maria.

The Curious Case of the Maria’s Missing Cheetah Print

While everyone was already busy arguing over Angela, another female character had the Silent Hill fanbase up in arms. For those unaware, Maria is a supporting character in Silent Hill 2. Supposed to be a fictional manifestation of James Sunderland’s dead wife, Mary, Maria wears her own iconic outfit.

This includes a flashy Cheetah-printed skirt, a red Cardigan, and a Cheetah-printed Choker. After all, it is heavily implied that this outfit is directly inspired by what Christina Aguilera wore at the 1999 Teen Choice Awards. Since Maria doesn’t exist, her face and appearance are a projection of James’s mind and how he envisions his dead wife to be.

Unlike Angela, you won’t hear much hullabaloo around her looks. It’s the outfit that most Silent Hill fans had a problem with. The main point of contention was how her iconic outfit was swapped for something generic.

She no longer wears the Cheetah-printed skirt and the red top. Instead, in the Silent Hill 2 remake, Maria dons a black dress with darker black prints, which look shiny under light. Her bright red top has also been swapped with a generic red overcoat. Take a look below to see the differences:

This has irked Silent Hill veterans; many claim her clothing ties to the game’s storytelling. X user Hannah, who also streams on Twitch, pointed out that the dress was meant to show James’ repressed thoughts manifesting onto Maria. The dress denotes how he sees his now-dead wife, Mary, applying that to Maria.

However, some gamers tried to make sense of it all. X user VoidBurger points out that maybe this change happened because the Bloober Team might release the classic costume as DLC. After all, recent remakes have done it, and fans might pay the asking price for the costume.

Furthermore, she also assumes the change to the costume on a case where someone might’ve suggested the studio to avoid it over copyright issues or the developers trying to steer away from its obvious raunchy design.

To be fair, this design choice has even baffled me. Maria’s leopard-printed Skirt and red top became her iconic look in the game. Besides the visual aesthetic, Maria’s wardrobe was intentional and symbolized something much deeper happening inside James’s mind.

The town of Silent Hill attracts people with dark thoughts. By the time the game starts, James is already at his lowest point after his wife Mary’s death. As the game progresses, we learn that the town manifests these dark thoughts into reality.

In comes Maria, a character who looks eerily similar to James’ wife, wearing an outfit completely opposing Mary’s conservative dress. It is also implied that this is James’ lust for seeing Mary in such a dress, manifesting in Maria.

Hence, redesigning the outfit to make it safer for modern times defeats its purpose. This brings us to a weird juncture where the story implications get a little murkier.

The Silent Hill 2 Fanbase Is Getting Off-Track Here

Debates are fine. They help people share differing opinions and perspectives. So, being online and seeing players talk about it all was something I expected.

However, I also believe that remakes are supposed to improve upon games and not degrade them into a lesser version of themselves. And that is where the energy should get channeled more than the character’s looks.

One look at the trailers will give some people an idea of the tone the Silent Hill 2 remake wants to take. And that, to a certain extent, concerns me more. The Maria redesign isn’t the only thing to worry about when the Brookhaven section of the gameplay trailer shows signs of the character’s entire personality getting changed.

In it, we can see Maria ditching her stoic and femme fatale behavior for something timid. Sure, in the original game, she does start panicking when James leaves her alone. However, she had that composure amidst the overall situation of a derelict hospital scattered with killer nurses. Over in the brief showcase, she does the exact opposite of that.

Ultimately, Silent Hill 2 is a magical video game, and the remake has big shoes to fill. As things stand, being a Silent Hill fan is tough. I think our expression of the game should be channeled towards expecting a good remake, not over a redesign of a 19-year-old kid and her looks.

But what do you think about this redesign? Are you fine with it? Or do you think things look odd? Let me know in the comments below.

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