Hello all and welcome to the next avenue in Horror Gaming. This time I am covering the Silent Hill series. For the purpose of this blog it will be in three parts. Part One for the original (as it deserves a part all its own). Part 2 covering the Playstation 2 years and Part 3 covering the rest. As I have only played two of those games I will only mention the ones I haven't played.
There are a few things that people thought could top the Resident Evil Series amd mp pme thought that any series could fight it head to head. You had some like alone in the dark and Clocktower but they were just...different. Then you had this game. From the very moment you hear the creepy music and see the little girl shrouded in mist you are hooked on this creepy visage that will give Resident Evil a run for its money in the horror department.
Silent Hill was born out of its creators twisted horror fantasies. It's star Harry Mason was a writer traveling to the resort town with his daughter when they wreck. He wakes up to notice that his daughter has left the car and has run away. He follows her and in doing so finds more than he bargained for. Will Harry find the answers behind this town's mystery? Will he Find his daughter? Or will he die trying?
This game goes a different direction than Resident evil, which sought the jump scares and relied on skilled combatants to take on hoards of monsters. Silent Hill relies almost solely on its freak out factor. We can start with the initial setting. Silent hill appears to be a regular resort town but something is't quite right. There is snow in the middle of summer and the fog reduces visibility. The town is oddly empty but even right off you come upon eerie and crazy scenes like the one above that tell you even if you were an idiot and ignored all else, something is terribly wrong with this place.
Next enter the main character Harry. He is a writer and an out of shape one at that. Unlike Resident Evil which you can run near endlessly Harry gets tired easily and has to rest. Harry also shows difficulty in taking on the weapons missing a lot with firearms in his possession. It is Harry's helplessness that makes this game a little extra scary and makes you a little extra careful.
The supporting cast is also a work in its own right ranging from a do gooder cop to a twisted and psychotic nurse. This game's character are never fully innocent and you always wonder what is REALLY up with them. The characters tend to stay around long enough to build exposition and then vanish without a trace. This is a line that will be utilized in solent hill games from times to come.
The next thing in this is the monsters. These creatures are very very creepy and quite dangerous but it is not just the horrid designs that are the scary thing but how they are treated in the game. Harry obtains a magic radio that projects static whenever a dangerous creature is near. This may seem like an advantage but when you are wandering alone in the fog or in the dark with that radio going off you are left looking around worrying and wondering about when the monster will fly or run in to strike. This was an innovative move to make the series extra scary in my opinion.
The Next disturbing aspect of Silent hill is the nightmare world. This is a mirror version of the world that Harry is familiar with but this one is a twisted nightmare version filed with effigies of pain and death. This world is something that just comes on when Harry hears the sound of Air Raid Sirens in the distance making it all the crazier.
Silent Hill took the puzzle aspect from Resident evil and improved it incorporating the creepiness of the town and the setting into the puzzles such as the blood stained keyboard. The puzzle aspect tested your wit as well as your reaction time leaving the best and the brightest to finish this game with perfect marks.
Finally we get to the story. This is probably the weakest part of the game. You will work on the game trying to seek answers and leave it scratching your head no matter what ending you get...well other than the bad ending that makes too much sense. I mean there is even a UFO ending in this game. If you are able to play it all the way through you to o can be scratching your head at the end.
Creep Factor - 9/10
Entertainment Value - 9/10
Scare Factor - 5/10