I’ve always been a fan of the Silent Hill games as they’re a survival horror game without the corniness of Resident Evil – in a way they tap into some deep fear of mine and leave a bad taste in my mouth well after I’ve put down my controller. This new one on the PSP charts Silent Hill before all the other games and goes to explain some of the reasons why things are like they are in those foggy streets full of oddly shaped creatures.
The game starts off at a cracking pace. You’re a trucker making your way through the town when you have to perform an emergency stop to avoid running someone over in the road. You then end up running into a burning house to rescue a burned child on the floor. Something’s not right about this crispy critter and you suddenly wake up in the streets of Silent Hill on another creepy adventure into insanity.
If you’re used to the games it’s familiar faire. You wander the streets, enter buildings, then explore the dark corridors fighting nasties and solving puzzles. As usual there’s some annoying exploring as you wander round looking for all the items you need to solve a puzzler and you constantly have to refer to the map to get your bearings round the similar looking locations.
New to this one is the ability to switch into the alternate rusty-coloured world by looking into mirrors. Unfortunately, this takes away some of the frights as you always feel in control, whereas in other games it was like being trapped in a nightmare you just had to sit out.
When it comes to fighting you can use your fists or a number of melee weapons like crowbars, drip stands and even TV sets to bash into the faces of your enemies. Ricky Hatton could have done with one of them in the big fight the other day. There are also guns to find but you won’t be using them as much as in Silent Hill 3.
The presentation of this game is once again sky high, with creepy characters, odd camera angles and one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a while. They recommend at the start of the game you play this with the lights off and headphones on. I agree with this as if you play it on the bus with no sound you won’t get any of the atmosphere which is integral to enjoying the game.
As with previous games it has its flaws but there’s something that keeps you playing ‘til the end. It gets a very good 7 out of 10.
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