However, a new leak for the game by the Australian Classification Board (ACB) have revealed much more than just the game’s existence – we’ve actually learned the majority of the game’s story and content.
Editor’s Note: MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING for anyone interested in the game, as the details discuss plot points within the upcoming game.
The ACB’s report, which has since been taken down, but archived here, discusses Silent Hill: The Short Message’s gameplay as an “exploration‑based psychological horror game” that plays out from the first-person perspective, albeit with cutscenes in third-person as well.
Here’s the complete text from them. Again, spoiler warnings for the game’s plot:
An exploration‑based psychological horror game in which players control characters in an apartment building called The Villa in modern‑day Germany. The player assumes the role of a young woman, Anita, who must explore The Villa through first‑person gameplay in order to collect clues and uncover what has happened to her friend. Anita is exploring a bathroom environment which features a bathtub filled with bloody water, blood‑splattered tiles and a razor blade on a bloodied sink. Upon examining a razor, Anita experiences a flashback. In a cut‑scene depicted through a first‑person point of view, a voice yells, “This is all your fault! Bad things happen because of YOU!” and a hand holding the razor enters the frame. The character’s left arm enters the frame with horizontal scars evident across the character’s wrist. The scene cuts to a black screen before the razor makes contact with the character’s wrist.
The following shot features an image of the character’s left arm with old and fresh scars. In a cut‑scene depicted through a mixture of third‑person and first‑person shots, the player character stands on the edge of the building’s rooftop, looking down. It is implied that Maya committed suicide by jumping off the ledge of the rooftop. The player character, in a distressed state of mind, speculates that she will never compare to Maya. Echoes of her mother’s abusive tirades are heard in the background as Anita prepares to jump and says, “Maybe I can be like her… Here goes…” In a first‑person shot, her feet are seen near the edge of the ledge before, in a third‑person shot, she steps off and begins to fall.
Throughout the game, cut‑scenes depicting self‑harm and suicide are followed by black screens which feature white text encouraging players to seek treatment and help if they are at risk of self‑harm and suicide and to offer support if they see people around them struggling. In the Board’s opinion, depictions of suicide and self‑harm within the game occur in the broader context of discourse exploring issues revolving around mental health which encourages players to seek help or offer support to those in need. As such, the impact of the depictions does not exceed strong in impact and can be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification.
Currently Silent Hill: The Short Message has yet to be officially announced. Coming from this – its release date and platforms are still unknown as of this writing.