12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Silent Hill 3 - Hell Awaits, 10 Jun 2003
Haunting. Intense. Dark. Words well known to all who have lived the previous Silent Hill nightmares - and the third in this chilling trilogy is no exception. The story follows the trepidations of 17-year-old Heather who, while in a mall, discovers a world that would not seem out of place in the most perverse of bad dreams. And as the plot slowly unravels, the mysterious role of Heather in the birth of this horrific world grows ever more disturbing.
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.
The twisted visions of the Silent Hill team are truly unique, and depict a version of Hell many would align with. But this instalment especially, shows how the horror genre has been nurtured and brought to life. In fact, Silent Hill 3’s uncomfortable nature makes Resident Evil’s flesh-eating zombies rather mediocre and clichéd – a cuddly kitten in comparison to the mutated mould of Konami’s creation. All in all, Silent Hill 3 is not just a game, it’s an experience, an experience you would sooner forget before you turn out the lights to sleep. An eerie, all-inspiring trip to Hell!