Silent Hill: Homecoming Hands-On

We finally got our hands around the neck of this terrifying new entry in the legendary horror series, Silent Hill.

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Silent Hill is an enigma, and so is the development of its latest installment, Silent Hill: Homecoming. Where the other entries were spawned by KCET (Konami's Tokyo studio), this one will be nailed together by an American group known as The Collective. This secretive team of dark nerds has stuck mainly to the foggy fringes of the industry, but at the recent Konami Gamer's Day event they were thrust into the spotlight to discuss their latest project, and this is what they had to say.

The Silent Hill formula: One part creepy environments...

Their first priority is to "get it right." While it's impossible to tell from our brief hands-on time with the game whether they achieved this first goal, we were appeased by their claim that this game will represent an evolution of the series and not a revolution. And it was quickly easy to see what they meant, as the game looked and felt just like Silent Hill. If someone just plopped you down in front of it, you would immediately know what series Homecoming belonged in. Thick fog? Check. Dread-inducing atmospheric music? Check. Terrifying shadows lurking at the borders of your vision? Check? And finally, naked white beasts with twin axe blades for heads, and the pervasive theme of a hospital gone wrong, wrong, wrong? Oh yes, this is Silent Hill.

One thing we didn't really get a feel for in our playtime was the narrative. Fortunately, this was the second point addressed in The Collective's presentation: They realize that everything is scarier in the dark, and that includes the plot. Therefore, they promise not to shed light on the spooky town's malicious mysteries, but rather to spread more confounding narrative shadow for players to creep through, eyes wide open, comprehending only grim shapes in the shadows.

You play a man named Shepherd, who has just returned to his sleepy little town from war to discover that everything is covered in fog. His brothers are missing, and his haunted mother seems to be speaking from someplace far, far away, even though she sits right next to him, rocking in her chair, loaded revolver resting in her lap. "You've been gone so long," she says. You promise to find your brothers, but she doesn't seem to hear you. She is lost in the fog, and she's right in front of you. Does that make you lost, too?

As you find your way outside, your quiet little town is covered in the all too familiar fog. Behind a truck, you hear a rustling and investigate. A small child, who was eating something back there, darts away, lost in the mist. You immediately identify him as your missing brother. Funny, though--he used to eat things in the kitchen.

Even though your own family members are now strangers, the controls and combat should be very familiar. The big addition is the ability to block and counterattack. When evil strikes, you can hit a button to block most of the damage. However, if you hit it at just the perfect moment, you'll dodge completely out of the way, leaving your enemies open for a stunning counterattack. Once they're stunned, you can move in and finish them off with a cinematic, lethal blow. While this mechanic wasn't completely smooth at the event yesterday, it's good to know that your character will be better able to handle himself in a fight against the forces of madness. We also heard there will be one finishing move per weapon, per character, though who those characters will be is still shrouded in fog.

… and one part crazy-looking monsters.

Finally, the collective wanted to ensure that Silent Hill's Homecoming was scary, and at least in the cases we saw, they succeeded. There was a startling scene on display where Shepherd entered a flooded basement knee-deep with bubbling water. As he peered into its depths, a gash-faced monster peered back, and then attacked. In another scene, Shepherd was helplessly strapped to a hospital gurney propelled by a grim surgeon past operating rooms full of horrific silhouettes emanating terrifying sounds. Though we're loathe to find out what was going on in those rooms, we can't wait for this September, when we finally get to return to Silent Hill.

Discussion

138 comments
NoseWeed619
NoseWeed619

Sounds intresting. Almost like a scary movie at first.

jarvis100
jarvis100

Ok they need to get that health bar out of there, other then that I think I will love this game.

aggelos6
aggelos6

It seems great !!! This game is one of the reasons i will buy a next-gen console. Multiple characters will be a great addition. I believe that these characters will be used to the multiplayer too....

howardorr
howardorr

It'll have to go some ways to be as scary as the new Siren game.

SilentHill176
SilentHill176

Im a big Silent Hill fan. so i cant wait for Silent Hill Homecoming to come out. but i just hope that the new team in charge of Silent Hill can keep the series intact.

socialninjitsu
socialninjitsu

CHRIST! Make a sequel that's scary the same way as PART ONE already!!! Ever since the first game, I've been waiting for a proper sequel. Not the completely different and goofy 'startle-scare' crap that was 2, 3, and 4. I hear part 1 was made by a different team than any other. Which I can believe, because the others earn NO right to use it's name. Silent Hill fans are not the same 13 year olds obsessing over goofy startle-scare crap like 'condemned' and 'Jericho'. Please don't revolve the story around 'startling us' with the monsters. That is kiddy crap, not SH material. Silent Hill 1 is my favorite game of all time. Please make something worthy of it, unlike the first 3 sequels. Do NOT just make a cliche 'survival horror' game that directly tells you the plot, like 2, 3 and 4. Work hard on a subtle "SH1" atmosphere so that unspoken paranormal activities tell/drive the story by THEMSELF. (No more advancing the story with goofy monsters whose 'extreme-ness' is supposed to be freaky, or silly disembodied carnival announcers like something out of 'Goosebumps'. Some of us are out of grade school.) These guys claim to be Silent Hill fans, but unless they know the original game, that is a tragic lie. Make a sequel for the fans of the FIRST game, already. It DID create the "series".

socialninjitsu
socialninjitsu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Gifted_One
Gifted_One

I have never actually got a chance to play this game. It does sound like it could be interesting. I hope that this game gives a good scare while also giving great gameplay.

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

I think they should remake the original SH... Best horror survival game I've played... It really got me scared back then...

Alkaholiks
Alkaholiks

None of these games ever did it for me.. they all suck! Worst than a fat chick eating ice cream!!!

bigboss233
bigboss233

They have a health bar....what the ****? The combat looks even worse than the previous games and SH3 still looks better graphically. The storyline is obviously a copypasta of SH2 and now it seems like their trying too hard with the scares. Honestly, see what happens when you let SH in the hands of ****ing noobs?

nikoraisan
nikoraisan

Nope... Not getting this one either. The silent hill series gave me nightmares, and I haven't even played one for more than 10 minutes. I can't stand these scary games.

accesdenied
accesdenied

ok so im not the only one who notice how bad the camara was they need a better combat system that works along side the camara.

KingTuttle
KingTuttle

Watch the gameplay videos. I can see myself getting VERY mad if that is the combat. They need to build a quick turn feature or something because turning that slow while a dog is attacking you from different directions could seriously raise my blood pressure from frustration.

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Sounds good so far. However, I'm kinda ambivalent about the multiple playable characters thing. While it would certainly be something new for the series (for those who didn't play Restless Dreams scenario in SH 2), I don't know if multiple characters would work well with the SH theme. SH games have always been about one man's descent into a nightmarish world, where you're the lone sane (?) person in a world gone horribly wrong. If you have multiple playing characters, I don't know how you can keep that feel. But we'll see.

pacific_00
pacific_00

guys what about echo night dont you miss it . i think it was good too

sigma682
sigma682

In my opinion you really can't compare the two series'. Yes they both fall into the Survival Horror genre, but the RE series is much more action driven (especially after the series was revamped with RE4), where the SH series is all about atmosphere, disturbing characters, and ever so cloudy story-telling. I like both series' in their own rights, I get great satisfaction out of playing these games but for very different reasons.

it009x9281
it009x9281

OMG and i thought silent hill:the room killed this amazing line of games off,it was a refrehing change on the ps1 from the resident evil games dont get me wrong those games are great but they never scared me like silent hill could:D

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

Leon, do yourself a favour, play the others. Now. With the lights out... and i fyou are underage, I do not condone hallucinogens, but man did that ever help with the terror-factor when I was in highschool. (note: I DO NOT ENCOURAGE SUBSTANCE ABUSE, BUT MAN!!!!)

leon41235
leon41235

Only silent hill I've played is origins, and it was decent. I just hope this has better combat because origins combat was awful.

Nepherate
Nepherate

As long as the story is good and the game is creepy.

Nem351
Nem351

Resident evil will totally eclipse Silent hill. Resident evil is to much of a bigger and better game then Silent hill. That said this game does look really impressive and will be interesting on how things come together over the next few months. I have playied all the Silent hills and in every single one the combat is something else :| NOT GOOD! But i like how the combat looks to be sorted out.

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

Despite it's early start, this will be completely crushed by RE5!!!

DemonLord1711
DemonLord1711

This is great i just can`t wait, everithing in this game sounds amazing

pourya_ahmadian
pourya_ahmadian

so good;what a perfect graphic;if it has a top story,it will be the great;

airboygt
airboygt

The combat system for this new Silent Hill sounds very promising. I've been annoyed with the combat system of the previous games being that if you engage in melee combat with the monsters your sure to take some damage as well, regardless of how well you fight. With this new "dodge" ability it sounds like the developers have finally addressed that. Hopefully this new ability will be easier to use than Jill Valentine's evasion move from RE3.

silv3stros
silv3stros

Another perfect horror game...But i would like it ,to be more based on a plot than the enviroment.

lew_0911
lew_0911

Very exciting. This and SIREN. I'm so going to have lots of fun scaring the daylights out of myself.

tsmastan
tsmastan

cant say b4 playing but looks damn serious

georgeverity
georgeverity

lol look ath the monster o the bottom that has a vagina for a face.

popping4it
popping4it

man F this i want a castlevania game.

BonziBoce
BonziBoce

i just hope they make combat less annoying.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

I LOVE Silent Hill!!!!!!!........this game is gonna rock!.......what I would like to see them do is put out games from now on under a Silent Hill brand, but have each NEW game have nothing to do with the last, . . in other words each game would be a separate different Story that has Nothing to do with the story line except the name, like a Silent Hill Presents, sorta thing. . this would open up the possibilities of using short stories as inspiration for the games. If you read through Clive Barker's "The Books of Blood" there are about no less than 15 stories that are just petrifying, let SH just be a series of scary games, you wouldn't be pigeon holed into using the same tired crap all the time, . . . after a while nurses with NO faces all herky jerky loses it's scare factor. The one I just played for the PS2 and psp could have been dropped right in the middle of ANY other SH game, and no one would have been the wiser, . . . let's move forward guys

MDazzo
MDazzo

Atmosphere is one thing, Good gameplay is another

Rubenfr
Rubenfr

The gameplay in the movie doesn't look that good. Very much like the old SH games. It looks frustrating.

killip
killip

I love the silent hill series. But im very wary of this one mainly because they've put some of the film in it :S never the less this looks good :D

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

come konami once you get ps 3 mgs 4 out the way 360 mgs 4 please. although silent hill is good.

XxDaRkAnZeLxX
XxDaRkAnZeLxX

I never played SH and maybe this is good chance to play.

Hiroytuza
Hiroytuza

i have played all the silent hill games waiting for this one

socialninjitsu
socialninjitsu

For the sake of all things good, make this like silent hill ONE already. The rest hardly deserve the same name. Stomping on all the sacred things that made the first one deep and 'real'. If this one aint like the first, I'm DONE with SH, or what they now call it.

Talldude80
Talldude80

nice. i havent played silent hill before, but i hope to at least try the demo of this one.

Green_Chaos
Green_Chaos

I've always wanted to try this game.Silent Hill is probably one of the coolest games that go bump in the night.

M_A_D
M_A_D

bah i hope it will be worth getting am not gona buy this one just for its atmosphere , to hell with the fog if the story is going to be a crappy washed out one which is likely going to be , or if the puzzle's are gona be stupid as look for that key hidden between that ugly nurse's breast god i still remember that piano puzzle from SH 1 .. now SH 1 will always be the best SH game ever made ...will this one be better ?? this September we will know

xxIMoRTaLlxx
xxIMoRTaLlxx

oh and dont even get me started on the Silent Hill movie hahaha

xxIMoRTaLlxx
xxIMoRTaLlxx

I hope this is good I always thought the Resident Evil series was better then Silent Hills though

DarkFadi
DarkFadi

could it be like Silent Hill 1 ?

metalliod
metalliod

No doubt its the best horror series ever made and pack a whole heart thumping horror then other horror series.Im waiting for this one...

-Gray_Fox-
-Gray_Fox-

new action view , this game is gonna ROCK! no doubt about the atmosphere:D