Silent Hill: Shattered Memories on the Wii follows our protagonist Harry Mason as he searches the deserted streets of Silent Hill, looking for his daughter, Cheryl, who has disappeared after a car accident. Sound familiar? Well think again - this is not a remake by any means, it is more of a complete reboot or re-imagining of the series, replacing the ash-covered streets with a blizzard-struck ones. The town is cut off from the rest of the world by fifteen foot high snow drifts this time.
The first thing that I thought when starting this game was how good it looked - for a Wii game, I don't think I have seen a game that looks as detailed and sharp as this one. If you look at posters on the walls, objects that are littered about and just the environment all around you, you can really see how much effort has been put into this. It is very atmospheric too, in fact is one of the most atmospheric games I can remember playing. The subtle yet haunting soundtrack by returning Akira Yamaoka adds to this perfectly too.
Next, the controls - the Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
is mainly used as Harry's torch and also controls where you look. In the Nightmare sections, it is used to shake off the creatures and knock down obstacles to block their path. It is also used as his phone, used to look at the map, save the game, call people, take photos and receive messages. When you receive or make a voice call, the person on the other end of the line can only be heard by putting the Wii Remote up to your ear and hearing them through its speaker, making it feel like you're really on the call. The Nintendo Wii Nunchuk Controller add-on (Wii)
is used to walk about and run.
The story is the best thing about this game - as well as the gripping main story, as you explore you'll come across many mini stories telling you some of the tragic tales of the town. This is where it becomes very creepy. You'll need to take photos of the static ghosts that you'll catch a glimpse of in the corner of your eye, or look very closely at certain areas when the radio-static starts crackling on your Wii Remote and then you get a text message or voicemail revealing another part of the story. Some of these (especially the voice calls) are very disturbing and this is where the game hit me as being very scary indeed, (rather than the usual shock-scares that all of the previous games went for), making everything feel even that bit more sinister and unsettling. If you're after cheap frights then you'll likely to be disappointed here.
The Nightmare scenes happen every hour or so, where the whole town turns to ice, as opposed to the usual decaying environment in all the previous games. Here you need to basically just run. You have a goal to get to to escape the Nightmare, where you'll need to dodge and shake off the creatures that chase Harry. There is no combat in the game, which may not be too everyone's taste but I personally thought that it is better than constant combat, like there was in the recent Silent Hill Homecoming (PS3)
In a summary -
- Some of the best graphics and presentation I've seen on the Wii so far.
- Very responsive and easy to use controls.
- Extremely creepy and a very unsettling story.
- Breathes fresh new life in the long-running series.
- Multiple endings.
- Makes the most out of all of the Wii's capabilities.
- It's a little too short.
- The Nightmare sequences sometimes drag on a bit too long.
I've played all of the games in this series and I personally think that Silent Hill :Shattered Memories is the best since the original Silent Hill Platinum (PS)
and Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
. It is probably the best single player game I've played on the Wii so far and is one that I will definite play through again and again to view the various endings (which I believe are based on the therapy sessions that you get between the game). I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the series, likes survival horror or is just after a very good Wii game.