Silent Hill reaches a whole new level of horror as Konami brings to us perhaps the most blood-chilling, psychotic thriller ever to reach the Sony platform. Resident Evil? Parasite Eve? No contest. Silent Hill grips the darkest part of the gamer’s imagination in a way that no game has before.
Trust me when I tell you that this game will help you understand every aspect of the word ”fear.”
Harry Manson, writer and protagonist, lost his wife to a disease that left a shadow over his soul. His daughter, Cheryl is the only bright spot in his life. Harry prefers to take late vacations with his daughter. The two decide to head down to a seemingly quiet resort for a nice family outing.
Harry and Cheryl are enjoying a peaceful late night drive on their way to Silent Hill when suddenly a dramatic change of events takes place. As Harry’s jeep speeds down the highway, a young girl appears in the middle of the road from out of nowhere. Given a little time to react, Harry attempts to avoid the girl by making a hard turn out of the way.
His car spins out uncontrollably and he loses consciousness. A little while later he awakes and turns to check on his daughter only to find that she’s missing from the vehicle. Seeing the town up ahead, Harry unknowingly sets out on a search to find his daughter and an experience he won’t soon forget.
From the time you enter the town of Silent Hill, your field of vision will be severely limited by either dense fog, dim lighting, or a surrounding blanket of darkness. This kind of effect adds to the suspense of the game as it constantly keeps the gamer in an alert and poised state of mind throughout the adventure. Anticipation becomes your worst fear as you wonder what foul beast, hideous freak, or hell hound will jump into your field of view next.
Silent Hill’s finest attribute is in its unique realism factor. Harry Manson is just your normal everyday guy whose found himself in an overwhelmingly hostile situation. Throughout the game his main weapon of protection will be a small handgun. There are no treasure chests filled with bazookas, machine guns, flamethrowers and the weaponry you see in most games of this format. And Since Harry has no special training in shooting a gun, his skill is quite limited. His accuracy is clearly dependent on distance, so your best bet is to allow enemies to move in a bit close to get off a sure shot.
Henry also stumbles across a couple of other handy items during his adventure like a flashlight and pocket radio. The flashlight is an absolutely essential item when it comes to fighting and searching for pieces to the puzzle. However, since creatures are attracted to light as well as sound, you’ll want to use it wisely.
The pocket radio may be broken or just not receiving any broadcasts. All you hear is white noise. However, for some reason it becomes louder when enemies are nearby, making it a very important item.
A good tip to keep in mind is that Harry is definitely no superhero. While he tends to hold his own in most hostile situations, you should try to avoid needless confrontations when you can. Remember his aim is off, his ammunition is limited, and there are some creatures in the game that seem to be faster than him. Use your head and keep the energy drinks handy and you may just get Harry through this one.
Besides the great cinema clips throughout the game, the sounds will make you think twice before walking around a corner and always give the gamer an eerie discomforting feeling. There were many times I thought I was a goner. Nothing is more intense than finding yourself in a dark room or corridor left only to hear the sound of a hungry demon. This game is loaded with spooky sounds that help keep the adrenaline level peeked.
The control in Silent Hill definitely takes some getting used to. Maneuverability isn’t the greatest when your being attacked in close quarters by multiple monsters and at times the camera angles throw your aim off a bit. Still, while the control may be annoying you get used to it after a while.
A special added bonus to the game is its Dual Shock feature. If you haven’t played it with the dual shock controller, go out and buy one now. The controller beats like a heart when your health starts getting low and its responsiveness makes the game jump out at you.
Silent Hill is no doubt one of the most classy horror games I’ve played. It’s loaded with tons of spine-numbing features and just like the best of the horror movies, you never know what’s gonna happen next. Not to mention it also has cool multiple endings.
Minus a few quirks, Silent Hill is a well-balanced game that’ll please any dedicated Resident Evil or Parasite Eve fan. I give this game 4 Â½ out of 5 GIN Gems.