Unfortunately veterans of the series will know that more often than not; nothing much ever does happen next, except maybe the appearance of one of the small number of stock enemies. They'll also be perturbed by the constant recycling of backdrops in this third edition--particularly in yet another visit to the Silent Hill hospital. The game does stop pulling its punches for the especially disturbing last third of the adventure though, and anyone new to Silent Hill is likely to be scared silly for its entire duration.
The game's other faults, such as a clunky control system and storyline are (for no apparent reason) stocks of the survival horror trade so it would take a particularly surly gamer to deny the game's obvious quality. It'll also take someone with concrete underpants to remain unfazed by the whole thing, particularly the church with the bleeding walls... --David Jenkins
Play Silent Hill 3 and you'll never scoff at anyone that admits they got scared by a video game again: this isn't survival horror, it's full on survival terror. Away from the shlock B-movie stylings of the Resident Evil series, the Silent Hill games have carved, with a particularly rusty machete, a rather different niche for themselves with a line in taut psychological horror that really gets under your skin rather than just providing a few cheap shocks. The games' primary means of achieving this is via their superb graphics and sound which immediately create an oppressive atmosphere where you're constantly in fear of exactly what manner of evil will happen next.
The storyline won't disappoint SH fans, as many of the loose ends from SH1 are tied up. You play a teenage girl named Heather, who is suddenly plunged into a dark and twisted world (though I'm sure any Silent Hill veteran would've guessed that last part). As always SH3 has its fair share of oddballs, but the monsters can out-weird any of the so-called "normal" people. Most of the shambling, scuttling and swirly/scything (watch out for them, they're nasty) things you'll meet look like they've jumped straight off a butchers hook, with the exception of the nurses, who look healthier than they did in their previous incarnation. Luckily for Heather, there are plenty of weapons at your disposal. There's the usual pistol, shotgun and big whacking-pipe, but there's now a sub machine gun for you to play with, along with a few nice close combat weapons. And, of course, there are the compulsory bonus weapons which are provided on completion of the game (that is, if you can meet the requirements).
The environments (my favourite thing about the SH games), while not leaps and bounds ahead of SH2, are all wonderfully done, and the shadows are still as fascinating as ever; shifting around with the sway of your flashlight beam. There are a fair few "Let me out of here!!!" set-pieces, the best of which is in the dark version of the hospital, you'll reach a room with a mirrored wall. Just stand and wait in front of it. Trust me... mwahahahaa!... Read more ›
Silent Hill 3 exploits the fear of the unknown, a clinical aspect to its success as perhaps the greatest survival-horror ever conceived. Claustrophobia guaranteed, the near-constant darkness, despite what may seem a way of avoiding any graphical commitment, actually compliments the game-playing experience. Not being able to see what waits ahead bines well with the curiosity of what lies behind the next closed door. This anticipation almost leaves the player wishing for the door to be jammed, only to be dismayed at finding one untried door in the corner, painted with blood, and complete with dragged handprints. Konami and darkness are clearly the perfect marriage.
The sound affects too play a vital role in the upkeep of the suspense, with clangs and churning in the distance being almost onomatopoeic of the dank bowels of the Earth. As with Silent Hill 2, the game’s graphics never fail to impress, with clever lighting affects adding to the realness of the adventure. In particular are the distorted shadows cast from Heather’s flashlight from railings – with them becoming more elongated as she manoeuvres backwards. This only serves to amplify the distressing, disturbing atmosphere that has made Silent Hill bottom of tourist’s ‘must see’ list.... Read more ›
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