What you don't know (or can't see) won't hurt you... right? Right?
Lancealot325 wrote this review on .
The game starts with Harry Mason taking his daughter, Cheryl, to the town of Silent Hill for "vacation". But the trouble starts when Harry crashes his car as he swerves to avoid a person in the road. When he awakens from his coma, Cheryl is nowhere to be found, and the search for her begins. From the beginning, you know that something isn't right about this town; there aren't any people around, its eerily quiet, and snow is falling out of season. "Footsteps?" Eventually, you're led by Cheryl into a dark alley in the darkness, where the first of many horrific segments begins, as you become trapped in the alley with little demon children with knives. Yikes! Worse, there's no way to escape, so you die within the first 5-10 minutes of the game... or so you think. You wake up in a diner with Cybil Bennett, who will play a big role in the story. And the game truly begins. Everything in the game leads to a big sense of fear throughout, but its not because of the set-piece scary moments; its mostly because of the unsettling anticipation throughout. Games in the late 90's weren't graphical marvels like today's games are, and Silent Hill makes heavy use of distance fog to hide graphical limitations. But who said it was a disadvantage? The fact that the creators took what could've been a disadvantage and turned it into an advantage to add to the unsettling nature of the game was genius. You find a radio early in the game that alerts you to enemies by blasting static, but all that really does is make the game more unsettling, because you still really can't see enemies in the fog or darkness until you've gotten close to them. By then, you may already be getting mauled or stabbed by the grotesque creatures of the town. The flashlight you use to navigate dark areas doesn't illuminate very far, so again, its hard to see enemies until you're close to them. To make matters worse, you grapple with the normal world and a "nightmare" world, a twisted reality of the real world, where darkness and morbidity reign throughout. Oh, and did I mention you have to work your way through an abandoned elementary school, abandoned hospital, and even the town, in the dark, with little to no background noise or background music? Even the sound of opening some of the doors in the game can creep you out."Unsettling" certainly describes how Silent Hill makes you feel when you play.
Everything else about the game is great; the story is very well designed and layered, combat is good, the puzzles aren't too difficult, but will certainly make you think, and the multiple endings add incentive for replayability, as well as new weapons available in a 2nd playthrough. Put it all together, and you've got a terrific, absolutely creepy game in Silent Hill. What you don't know (or can't see) won't hurt you... right? Right?