Customer Review

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There was a hole here, it's gone now", 10 July 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill HD - Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
There are enough reviews on here listing the problems with the HD port (represnting the fun rating) so instead I'll focus on the games themselves as opposed to the technical issues; which do unfortunately affect the gameplay experience.

Silent Hill 2 redefined what horror video games were, prior to it's release Resident Evil sat firmly atop the pile, while fun they were rarely scary, more akin with a homage to cheesy horror films complete with hammy dialouge than an actual frightening experience.

Silent Hill 2 changed all that, there's a reason more than a decade on its still looked back on with such adoration, held as the gold standard. Indeed the six sequels since have never been able to recapture what made Silent Hill 2 so great.

So what is it that makes Silent Hill 2 great? Simply it's the story. You take on the role of James Sunderland who receives a letter from his previously terminally ill, now deceased wife Mary asking him to return to their special place of Silent Hill where she's waiting for him, upon arrival James begins scouring the town but finds it overrun with monsters.

While it sounds like a fairly run of the mill horror scenario it's not, evoking cinematic ques from the likes of David Lynch's darker works or Adrian Lyne's Jacob's ladder, it's an incredibly atmospheric tale that will completely suck you into the oppressive world, loaded with dark, sexual and nihilistic imagery that will leave a lasting impression. Certain scenes in particular as you watch one of the characters walk away from you up a burning staircase as they become slowly enveloped remain haunting even now.

James meets a selected range of characters including Maria, a doppelganger for his wife albeit a more flirtatious and sexual one, Eddie a overweight seemingly twitchy young man, Angela a young woman whose emotionally unstable and Laura a small girl who seems oblivious to the horrible goings on around her. All these charters will play into the larger canvas of the story in various ways as they all confront their own demons. There is also of course the series Icon Pyramid head who appears repeatedly throughout the game to torment you, ingrained into the franchise DNA following his appearance here. All the characters human or otherwise directly relate to James in ways you can only fully appreciate upon finishing the game.

Games with great or even good plots, you can effectively count using the fingers on one hand, Silent Hill 2 will always be at the top for me, a psychological tale which deals issues of sexual abuse, bereavement, mental illness, and suicide to name a few, adult issues. How many games can you say that about? As you play you piece together the past of some of Silent Hill's main institutions, like the hospital, you can see positions were abused long before things went bad.

The tale leads to a harrowing gut punch of a conclusion, one that will not leave you accentuated by a powerful score as amidst the ruins of the Lakeview Hotel you learn Mary's final fate. Depending on how you play the final motivations and fate of your character change dramatically, giving way to multiple playthroughs, leaving you we either a poignant or oppressive ending.

Simply put Silent Hill 2's contribution too the genre cannot be overstated, by todays standards the controls are clunky the camera angels occasionally awkward and the combat hit and miss (though deliberately so), if the rebooted Resident evils are the type of 'horror' you want then Silent hill's probably not for you, but if you appreciate slow burning, psychological and engaging horror and have never played the game before, I implore you to give it a go.

Silent Hill 3 the second game in the package serves as a direct sequel to the PS one original Silent Hill game, so if you're picking it up for the first time while you can dive straight in though some of it may be somewhat lost on you.

Silent hill 3 is an enjoyable yarn but it trades out a lot of the deeper storytelling for a more conventional horror plot of cults and evil deity's akin to The Wicker Man and the monster designs are a bit more literal than the prior instalment. It still retains the oppressive atmosphere of the Silent hill 2 and memorable moments; a particular room in the hospital will no doubt bring back a few memories for older players.

Ultimately Silent Hill 2 is the main draw of this package Silent hill 3 is an added bonus together marking the glory days for the franchise which would soon be shopped between different developers and never again reach the quality here. Annoying technical issues aside if you have never played these games you owe it to yourself to give it a go, nothing else can compare.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Feb 2015 15:34:04 GMT
A particular room in the hospital.... hmm let me see...
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