In 1996 Capcom released it's seminal title Resident Evil
to the masses. It's blend of exploration, horror, action, and puzzles put the Survival Horror on the map. Following the release of Resident Evil
, Survival Horror had quickly become a popular genre. Games like Parasite Eve
, Fatal Frame
, and even Capcom's own Dino Crisis
helped made Survival Horror one of the most popular genre's in the nineties. Then came Konami. Not to feel left out, it decided to create it's own survival horror game and what would release would be one of the most unique game for the genre.
LOVECRAFT Don't expect to see anything right in front of you
Released in 1999, Silent Hill
was Konami's answer to Resident Evil
. It had everything Resident Evil
had and more. Where in you are trapped in a mansion in Resident Evil
, in Silent Hill
you are trapped in a small town. This is where Silent Hill
defers from the rest of the games. Silent Hill
doesn't not rely to much on jump scares, horror, or even real action. It relies on fear of the unknown. If Lovecraft decided to make a game based on his famous quote, "The Oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
" then Silent Hill
will be that game. Like much of Lovecraft's writing it does not rely on shocks or gore. The atmosphere is what makes the game scary. Never mind the way the game looks now, not even newer games with much better graphics can creep me out better than what this can. Each time you enter the "Otherworld" the setting changes from light to dark and the rusting on the whole town is unsettling. The only way to help you out is your radio. That radio will become your most powerful ally. When ever it the static starts, run. Don't stop til it stops. Unless you have enough ammo or have a better blunt weapon it's best to just run. The controls does take a little getting used to though. Once you get the handle on it, however, the controls will start to feel second nature. Even when the camera moves out behind your back, it controls the same way as if it was by your back. It's pretty good considering the age. Combat is not really the main focus. When you do have to fight you can move and attack at pretty much every weapon in the game. The only time where you would stand still is for the hammer. In this playthrough I didn't find the rifle. And if it was not for the fact that I got lost and entered the Police Station, I would not not gotten a shotgun either.
I THINK I'VE LOST MY KEYS It's better to run when out doors
I'm going to admit something here, and it will be fixed, I spent 13 years trying to beat the game. I got the game when it first came out for the Playstation in 1999, I picked it up again in 2003, and finally picked it up on PSN to finally beaten it. So I when I played it, I played it on Easy. I know it's not the best way to start a game, but I really wanted to end this. Because of this the next time I play Silent Hill
it will be on Normal. The great irony, if you want to call it that, is that it was one of the puzzles that ended my quest in '99 and '03 was one of the last ones too. The puzzles here are fantastic. It requires you to think and figure how to unlock a door. My personal favorite, which I'm sure is everybody's, is the piano. Besides Portal
, that I'm aware of so far, there have been a complete lack of challenging puzzles in games nowadays. The last game I played that had me completely stumped on a puzzle was God Of War II
. While the puzzle's end result is the same, the way you solve them is different. While most of them are easy, there are a couple that will take a few minutes of solve. It's satisfying to finally solve a puzzle.
IT ONLY JUST BEGUN Lisa Garland
The story is strong enough. You play as Harry Mason. Harry and his Daughter, Cheryl, goes to the small town of Silent Hill
. Following a car crash Harry wakes up to find Cheryl missing. This begins his search for her daughter. This will lead him to several key locations of the town. It includes a school, hospital, lighthouse, and an amusement park. There is both Real and Alternate versions of every location of the game. The "light" world is calm if creepy. The "dark" world is creepy if slightly disturbing. You don't know what will lie ahead behind a door until you go in. He will also meet several characters that lives in the Town. Don't expect answers, though. They don't know what is going on either. The story deals with occult and prophecies. Even by the end of the game, even with the information it gives you, you still don't really know what is really going on. Harry can't tale if it's a dream or reality. This is one of those rare games where the ending is left to the player.
One of the most stunning things about Silent Hill
is it's sound. The sound here is very minimal and it helps add to the atmosphere of the game. The footsteps will be the only sound you will hear for a good while. The Music is panic inducing as you try to escape from nothing Akira Yamaoka is a master in this. His themes is both terrifying and relentless. Each new theme will make you uneasy. This is Grade A stuff here.
The Lovecraftian Horror Continues.
Konami takes a chance at survival horror and created a classic in it's own right. More psychological that full blown horror. More ambiguous than Resident Evil
. Silent Hill
creates a fear that very few games have matched. It was later re-imagined for the Wii entitled Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
in 2009. Ten years after the released of the original. Later this year there will be a HD Collection re-release of Silent Hill 2
and Silent Hill 3
. I have only played a little of both and if Silent Hill
for the Playstation is any indication. I'm expecting great things from both titles.