Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Hands-On

The town of Silent Hill is just as creepy as ever in this reimagining of the original game.

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The original Resident Evil has already benefited from a remake (that originally appeared on the GameCube), and now, its survival horror rival, Silent Hill, gets in on the act with Shattered Memories. But Shattered Memories features more than just a visual upgrade over the original. In fact, not only have some aspects of the storyline been reworked, but many of the original's mechanics have also been completely changed to accommodate the Wii's control scheme.

This doctor is kind of strange.

The most significant of these changes has to do with the fact that Shattered Memories doesn't feature any sort of traditional combat. When Harry Mason--who ventures into Silent Hill to find his daughter after a sudden car accident--encounters enemies, his best strategy is to make a mad dash for the next room. If one of these enemies happens to get its creepy hands on him, you can make a motion with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to throw the enemy to the ground. The trick is that the motion required to fling these creatures depends on which position they grab you from--if they grab from the side, then you need to make a side motion; if they snatch you from the back, then you have to gesture a throwing move toward your body.

Fortunately, Harry also has some tools to avoid these confrontations entirely. In some parts of the nightmare world (a twisted and dark version of Silent Hill that appears when things start to get a little weird), there are individual flares that Harry can use to keep enemies from getting too close, but flares don't last that long so it's best to use them only when absolutely needed. And as with every Silent Hill game, you start to hear static when unfriendly creatures are approaching, which gets louder as they draw closer. But the main goal in most of the nightmare sections of Shattered Memories is to simply find a way out. Blue borders around doors and areas where Harry can climb give a general indication of where you can or can't go, but it's still pretty easy to get turned around and attacked if you're not paying attention.

Trying to find Harry's missing daughter.

When Harry is not in the nightmare version of Silent Hill, he's looking through the normal version of the town to find his daughter, which is not an easy task considering that the entire place is nearly deserted, save for a few individuals lurking inside various buildings. But as in the nightmare world, Harry has some items that generally lead him in the right direction, namely his phone. Actually, Harry's phone is perhaps the most important item in his inventory--it not only serves as a means for advancing the plot (when you have phone conversations with characters, the voice on the opposite end comes through on the Wii Remote speaker), but it also lets him see things that are otherwise imperceptible to the human eye. To be more specific, in some areas, you can take pictures of what appears to be some kind of visual distortion. When you take the picture, it usually reveals some gruesome scene or sad event that sheds light on what happened to the people that used to inhabit the area. Similarly, Harry receives text and voice messages on his phone when he comes across areas or items that hold some significance in horrible events that transpired. These areas or items are also found by following the sound of increasing static. The phone comes in handy for solving a few of the game's many problems as well--one of which requires you to put items in a specific order to decipher a phone number that unlocks a nearby door.

You'll encounter many different characters, some more normal than others.

Many of the puzzles in Shattered Memories seem to revolve around numbers and deciphering codes, but there are quite a few that also involve simply finding a key to open a specific door. Additionally, Harry comes across a variety of mementos scattered and hidden throughout the different parts of town. In the early portions of the game, these mementos don't seem to serve any specific purpose aside from adding some background to the events transpiring in the game.

One thing we'll be interested to see pan out in the final version of Shattered Memories is the role of psychology. Near the beginning of the game, Harry finds himself in a psychologist's office discussing events that happened in Silent Hill. One of the very first things you do is take a psych test that asks some rather personal questions, and it isn't the last test you'll take. Later, you'll have to color in a picture and then rearrange a completely different set of pictures into one of two categories. Your answers on these tests inevitably affect things happening in the game. Needless to say, it adds an extra layer of weirdness to what is shaping up to be a supremely creepy game. Look for more on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories before its December 8 release on the Wii.

Discussion

46 comments
wogboypaul
wogboypaul

this actually looks good for a silent hill game no offence i liked the psp one though... i think its called origins

gauchada
gauchada

I'm waiting since it's announce, don't believe it's just 7 days left for hands on it.

soulwithin465
soulwithin465

Oh gosh I'm looking so forward to getting this game! Hope it turs out as great as it looks!

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

This is going to be my Christmas gift! from me to me!! I hope i can afford RE:DC or DS:E too

DarknautXXX
DarknautXXX

What of the small touches that made the original silent hill so immersive and heart pounding? For example, the music (If you could call it that) the darkness and fog, and the rare pounding and rattling noises on a wall or door that didn't have anything to do with the gameplay

payne6705
payne6705

I can't wait for this game but I would like to see a little weapons in it I know survival horror isn't run and gun but its nice to have a little bit of ammo to at least defend yourself

H0rr0rG4m3r
H0rr0rG4m3r

With very little combat this really is a Survival Horror game, I'm still not 100% sure about it though, it can be a great game, but I'll just wait and see.

TheFrenchGirl
TheFrenchGirl

I'm worried this is going to be a more point and click kind of experience than previous Silent Hills... I mean, without combat, you're left with the storyline and more of a RPG adventure game.

aniva
aniva

Not to forget. Wicked that the voice from the phone will talk through the Wii-remote. That will give a nice twist to things :D

aniva
aniva

This seems really exiting... :) I've not really considered buying a game like this before, but I'm so going to buy this one. It's coming to Europe as well right?

akasha_ishtar
akasha_ishtar

I'm really loving how different this is, the "Other World" is quite stunning looking all covered in ice and show, the phone is a really wicked idea, can't wait to see how big of role that's gonna play, the psychology idea is cool as well, after all these games are known for mucking with your mind so this gives that idea a new twist. I'm also loving the idea of no combat, I mean it makes it a bit more real, I'm sure if most of us where stuck in some strange town been chased by things wanting to kill us we were high tail it out of there to...lol!!!

Evil_Robo
Evil_Robo

Its good to see survival horror make a return, I used to love games like Parasite Eve 2, and then the genre seemed to die a death. Res 5 is nothing like the series used to be, and while its a good game it just reeks of a cash in. I'd much rather see a remake of Res 2, and this new SH game is certainly welcome.

LqdSnk
LqdSnk

I saw a video of this game in motion and the lighting alone made me want to buy it and see it in action for myself.

ftjx
ftjx

I bought my Wii for this since the original is one of my all time favorites. I must say I do feel a little worried about the implementation of motion controls. As far as I'm concerned gesture based movements does not work but pointer control does.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

The first 2 screenshots are good, look at the third one, don't you thinkt it is kind of like a SIM character? The game might be interesting, but the graphics is kind of weak there. imo.

killip
killip

@Zerosumgame No its from the same guys that did Homecoming, and Origins. But if you didn't like them, it doesn't mean to say you wont like this. I think it looks interesting, and its defo one of my top games im looking forward too. It has alot to live upto though if its going up against the original.

peterwantspie
peterwantspie

This is getting to sound really good, I'm looking forward to it!

codename_halo
codename_halo

One more reason to love my psp even more...>.>

AndreasRoeder
AndreasRoeder

Finally! I may now dust off my Wii and actually use it for once!

grimm201
grimm201

This game changes ALOT depending on your choices. And the way that the AI watches how you play and changes based on that sounds awesome. I'd suggest checking out IGN.com for the best info, gamespot hasn't really covered alot of it...there's two movies on that site that show the differences that can occur between playing the same area in the game. It's neat.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

a game based on running and hiding sounds pretty stupid at 1st but it just might be even scarier that way... knowing you cant kill anything you come across.

Dlarrain
Dlarrain

Speaking with the wii remote is one of the things that I most remember from no more heroes, it's just feel great.

DanBal76
DanBal76

First Resident Evil with no zombies, and now Silent Hill without combat. Oh boy, i miss the good old days of survival horror.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

is the game produced by the Konami Japanese studio? if not I am not buying it !

isaacmj
isaacmj

I just hope that the psychology thing gives the game plenty replay value, also, the idea of not fighting and just running may give the game a lot of "quick decision" gameplay and a lot of tension.

erish30
erish30

I really like the idea of no combat cuz that will make the game scary, just like fatal frame when you were chased by ghost and you could not defend yourself..if you want combat mixed with horror I suggest you go play RE or Fear.....This game will be scary

epicsephiroth
epicsephiroth

"In some parts of the nightmare world (a twisted and dark version of Silent Hill that appears when things start to get a little weird)"... So this is what it comes down to... the little ol' Silent Hill town.

riou7
riou7 moderator moderator

must have game

brain1296
brain1296

If we remove the psychological profile (if it even manages to work as advertised), the game looks completely bland and uninspired. The few puzzles, which have been demonstrated recently are either insanely easy, or just a rehash of those seen before (the piano puzzle has been slightly reworked, but not for a good reason). The Otherworld is the worst thing for now. Instead of having time to explore the new environment, we'll just have to run like hell to a random checkpoint, until we're back in the regular dimension?! Not to mention that the locations shown in the previews have the worst level design ever seen in a Silent Hill game. If you want some true horror atmosphere and real survival experience, just get Penumbra or Siren. They did that before, and did it better.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I'm not crazy about losing any weapons. I like to fight in these kinds of games. This is why I was never crazy about the Fatal Frame series, and at least those games let you scare enemies off with your camera.

Evilnator
Evilnator

I think a good alternative to no combat would be breaking weapons, a plank that breaks after a few hits, stuns the enemy or so, then there are the gold clubs from SH4.. and if you can only hold 1 weapon in your invintory at a time.. that would be really cool. But yet im a SH fan and im getting this anyway.

TheEvilGamer
TheEvilGamer

I agree its soposed to be a horror game, with guns it would be more like resident evil (not that resident evil isnt a good game btw) than a full-horror game. No guns means ur defenceless which intencifies the thril of the game :)

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Not being able to fight makes the whole thing sound a whole lot scarier than running around with a shotgun and blasting enemies to bits. This game is really shaping up into something refreshing and horrifying.

wahyudil
wahyudil

I don't like horror game ... I need RPG please ...

Laksamanama
Laksamanama

god i hate sequences where you cant fight and are forced to run, scariest thing ever still not sure if i want to get this, because running away in terror through the entire game doesnt sound fun

jimmymad
jimmymad

At last! Proper horror for the Wii! At least, that's the way it seems to be.

man_alive
man_alive

i feel bad for my SH brothers and sisters who still haven't figured out how bad this game is going to be. and i feel bad for me, because i'll probably still buy it.

3sFan
3sFan

I honesly don't think I like the concept of no combat. But without playing it I don't know. I'll give it a try and see. Too bad the PSP/PS2 version got delayed though.

Yojimbo25
Yojimbo25

Ok wait, they just said that there is no combat. Yet I have seen screenshots of Harry holding a handgun. So yeah....

Revan_911
Revan_911

WHY IS IT NOT ON PC!!! WAAHHHH

tryagainlater
tryagainlater

This game is shaping up to be pretty good. I'm looking forward to seeing how the psychology bits affect the game.

mystwade
mystwade

...again...nothing new...what is happening to gamespot and this game?