- Platform: PlayStation
- ESRB Rating: Mature
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
now i noticed the repeating textures and areas. the pixelated gradients in the shading. and of course the famous annoying controlls that had me cursing at the damn pink pteridactyl swooping onto my head again.
but by the time i got to the school i'd assimilated myself, i was back in silent hill. now i'll probably stay till the end of the game.
there are so many thoughtfull details that absorb you and take you to another (very scary) place. the dated graphics don't matter. this is a classic!
I won't get into the plot as figuring it out is half the fun (and you WILL have to do some figuring. I'm pretty sure a lot was lost in the translation from Japanese because the story can be hard to follow at times).
In order for the game to be rewarding, though, it requires patience, along with nerves of steel and an iron stomach. The game starts out with a bang (or a bunch of dead, moaning, faceless knife weilding babies stabbing you to death within 3 minutes of play, I guess that counts as a bang, right?) This is misleading, though, as the game then calms down considerably for about the next 45 minutes of game time. Before we go on, though, two things: 1) The graphics are fairly blocky, but, for reasons that will become apparent, this doesn't matter. They're well textured, which is much more important. 2) The sound is PHENOMINAL. Always bear this in mind.
You wander the fog enshrouded town of Silent Hill searching for your daughter. Now, here's the great part about this game. It just seems so WRONG from the very beginning. The town is built right to scale and rendered in totality. You can, in theory, go anywhere. You even get a street map (complete with names like Koontz street and Bachman ave. Get it?) After a little exploration, though, you'll find something is amiss. The goal early on is to get to the local elementary school, and this seems easy enough with a street map, but there's one minor problem. The streets have this tendancy to just...end. All major roads leading to the school are just gone. Not there. They stop, and all you can see in the distance is the the fog. Add to this the "monsters" lurking the town. These basically consist of skinless dogs and large pink birdman things, who don't seem so terrifying, really. You get a radio that emits static when enemies draw near, but more on that later. This is all part of the game's attempt to unnerve you. Before you know it, you're across the chasm of the roads and now the REAL fun starts. Now, it's suddenly dark. Pitch black, in fact. You get a weak little flashlight with which to see (a pocket light, really) and THAT'S IT. Now, let's see. We're in a deserted town haunted by things that, while kind of weak and stupid looking, want to kill you. We could see just fine in the fog, but now it's dark. Right. So, we're off to the school, and now things get worse. The dogs are faster now (one constant in the game: The darker it gets, the more powerful and evil the enemies become), and now that you can't see them, it makes shooting at them much harder since they never stand still, really, and all you have to aim with is a weak cone of light that doesn't extend very far. Plus, as you'll soon happily discover after wasting 3 clips firing at the spot where a dog just was, ammo is limited! Yay! And the dogs have now been joined by the bird thingies, who ALSO want to kill you! DOUBLE yay!! So, we run now. Run all the way to the school, past the two(!) dogs guarding the entrance, through the door, and BAM! We're alive. Woohoo! Thank God! Now then...The school! Then it dawns on you: You're in a deserted ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. In the black-as-pitch darkness. With...wait for it...things that want to kill you! The knife-baby things, this time. Righty-o! Having fun yet? Oooh, it gets better. After some puzzles, you'll open the clocktower. By this point, it will be apparent that Silent Hill is home to some sick, sick people. I won't go into details, but trust me. So, as you mutter to yourself about the sick inhabitants of this town, you'll be climbing down the clocktower (yes, DOWN. It has a basement. Well...Sort of. You'll see.) It's here, HERE, that the game got to me. When you come back up the other side (bear with me here, it's hard to explain), you're back where you started, in the school courtyard. But not really. It's not the same...Then you go in the doors, and everything is...Aw, I'm not gonna kill it for you. Suffice to say that THIS is where the game goes from creepy to INSANELY CREEPY, and it just gets worse and worse and worse and WORSE as you go on. By the time you finish the school section and see daylight again, it's more of a relief than you can imagine. I was practically cheering my first time through. After that school, well-lit fog is a damned BLESSING!
Little did I know I had a hospital to look foreward to. And yes, as bad as you can possibly think it could be, it's worse. And when you're done with that...you're not even halfway to the end yet.
This game is all about the overhwelming sense of DREAD it will instill in you, making you almost not want to play it anymore. I've had friends hit the hospital section, take one look at their surroundings, and hand me the controller and leave the room. It's not that it's overly gross; it's not. It's just the prospect of having to subject yourself to the Silent Hill version of a freaking HOSPITAL that makes you almost cringe before you even start. And by the time you get there, you know just what the term "Silent Hill version of" means.
For those brave souls who wish to do it alone (which, by the by, I VERY, VERY HIGHLY reccomend your first time through), do it right. Play it in the dark, late at night, ALONE, with some good speakers set up. If you're new to it, start at the beginning, and enjoy the first part of the game. It's a slow starter, but once it gets going, the only reason it lets up is to allow you to contemplate exactly what else it's going to do to you.
Buy this game NOW if you haven't played it, and God help you.
Oh, and the second one is supposed to be twice as bad. I can't wait!