Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Silent Hill: Homecoming

Developer: Double Helix, Foundation 9
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2008
System: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Dark, dull and incomprehensibly creepy.

0:00 While most people were scared and/or intrigued by Silent Hill 2, I was mostly bored by it when I had to review it for the college paper years back. Will this second foray into the series be more engaging? Here's hoping...

0:01 A few logos, and we go directly to a title screen. Creepy piano music and abandoned areas -- a playground, a clock tower, a beat-up car -- are shown in the background. Cut to a montage of scenes from the game. "Josh ... Josh ... don't let me fall," says a guy in an army jacket clinging to an edge. He lets him fall; then the guy wakes up in a truck. "Bad dream?" asks the trucker. Welcome to Shepherd's Glen ... echoes of the iconic "Welcome to Silent Hill" sign. "I miss your father Alex ... everyone's gone," says his mom. "We're going to Silent Hill," says Alex. "We won't be going anywhere!" says ... someone. A guy shovels dirt. Grainy video of a strangling. Josh looks demonic. "Where's ... my ... BROTHER?!" "I'm sorry, Mom." "Our sacrifices were in VAIN!" Alex falls again. "We've been gone too long." "I'll find them." W. T. F.

0:05 "On Normal difficulty, all monsters and ammo are set to default values. On Hard difficulty, the monsters are tougher, hit harder, and there is less ammo available in the world." Call me a wimp, but I go for Normal difficulty.

0:06 The sound effects are subtitled ... a nice touch. "Where's my squad? Are they here? Did they make it?" I'm in a first-person perspective, looking up from a stretcher being wheeled down a dark hallway. "Hey ... hey, talk to me. Say something. Oh God. Oh ... oh God!" I cry out to the guy wheeling me. There's screaming in the next room. I'm clearly distressed. "Hey, where are you taking me? No!!! Hey!! No!" Pretty creepy, but not exactly "scary" yet.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

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