Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Updated Hands-On

We make our way through the desolate streets of Silent Hill armed with nothing more than a flashlight and cell phone.

A series known for its ability to raise your heart rate and leave you trembling in the dark, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories aims to suck you back into the small, creepy town made famous by the franchise. Described as a reimagining of the original Silent Hill game, which came out more than 10 years ago, Shattered Memories takes a slightly different approach to finding your lost daughter. We were sent a preview build of the game and played through the short demo, but it was enough for us to familiarize ourselves with the controls, as well as get a sense of what to expect from the game.

Keep running, don't look back.

We had the option to start from the beginning or dive straight into the nightmare, which meant that we would bypass the exploration and tutorial to jump straight into the chase sequence. Before the game started, a psych warning appeared stating: You don't just play the game, the game plays you. Similar to the demo we saw at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, we sat down with a psychiatrist who gave us a list of personal true-or-false questions to answer. This is supposed to shape how others in the game will react to you. We didn't exactly come across too many "people" in this demo, but we're curious to see how this adventure will play out based on our responses.

As the protagonist Harry, who has nothing on him but a flashlight and cell phone, we wandered the snow-covered town of Silent Hill in search of his daughter, Cheryl. The Wii Remote plays an important role in the game; it serves as your flashlight by pointing and waving it across the screen. It also acts as your phone, where you can hit the minus button to pull up a menu to save your game, check out the map, listen to messages, and take photographs. What's cool and kind of spooky is that there are moments in the game when your cell phone will give off feedback in areas that are of interest. You'll hear this through the remote as you get closer because the sound will get louder and louder. For example, we were able to pick up an old recording on our phone and listen in on someone's wedding tape.

Your phone is also used to take photos of people that are otherwise unseen, and you can hear their heart-wrenching messages in your voicemail. The puzzles we came across were fairly simple at this point. We didn't do much other than climb walls and open doors; when the door wouldn't open, we'd poke around the area to find a key. It seems that your solutions are generally going to be nearby, which is nice because you don't have to hike across town to grab one item to solve a puzzle that is completely unrelated.

The action didn't start until we got back to our starting point at the car and saw that everything had frozen over. A large gray door was nearby, which beckoned us to enter--as we didn't have any other option--but the place was covered in ice. Up until that moment, the game was all about atmosphere, tension, and strange sounds that would come from cluttered rooms, but we knew that something bad was about to happen.

Not a situation that you want to be in.

Shattered Memories focuses more on the exploration and experience than beating creatures to a pulp. When we finally came face to face with hostile mummified-looking creatures, our only option was to run as fast as our Z button would allow. Our exit strategy was highlighted by icy blue lines, meaning that all escape doors and climbable walls were outlined in bright blue. There were multiple options, but the only goal was to get out before being swarmed by the clingy beasts. If they do happen to claw onto your back, you can throw them off by swinging the remote and nunchuk. A silhouette of a person swinging wildly is displayed at the bottom of the screen so you have an idea of which direction to wave. These chase sequences are frantic and tense, but they are thankfully contained, which is nice because you don't always have to be ready to run.

Based on our short experience with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, we're very curious to see how the rest of the game unfolds. The game looks great on the Wii so far, and Climax Studios has done a nice job of re-creating the town by making it feel desolate yet disturbing. There didn't seem to be much background noise other than the howling wind and our footsteps as we wandered through abandoned shops, but when the chilling music and odd sounds kicked in, so did our pulse. Look for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories when it is released later this year.

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Discussion

126 comments
death_dealerK
death_dealerK

i am curious to see how a horror game will be without fighting

dudu22
dudu22

this is a remake with a good idea using the Wii controls, but the graphics of this videogame really looks awful, poor Dreamcast graphics....

tmthywtsn
tmthywtsn

Silent Hill needs to go back to their roots and put down all the weapons and fancy fighting moves. Those are the very things, along with a badly written story that killed the fifth game, which could have been amazing I might add if it were done properly.

hyperion6666
hyperion6666

Norwegicus why not? search for order in a week you'll be sending 1 wii.caso not arrive in 1 week wait one more, and another and another, a day comes ....

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@srgtfury Two RE games sold over a million, Extractions sales have nothing to do with its rating. Anyway I am excited to play a survival horror game that puts survival and horror over open warfare. I'm also excited about the unpredictability of this game, the original Dead Space retained its atmosphere and tension throughout, but you got wise to its tricks after 2 or 3 chapters.

lazy_trash
lazy_trash

this sounds pretty rad. the inclusion of the psych test is interesting (which, as my psych teacher has taught me is probably what is called psychobabble, but nevertheless)

dunl12496
dunl12496

I might get it. Except the fact that It'll probably be M. :(

ecs33
ecs33

Wow. This is what SH Homecoming should have been. Instead we got a RE wannabe and a terrible game. I hope whoever develops the next mainstream SH (if there is going to be another) will focus on creating a game with great atmosphere and tension instead of a "survival horror" beat' em up with generic environments and scares. SH has always been about unique, unpredictable, and freaky things happening. Homecoming was not that. This particular title looks like it may go back to the roots.

kingsi7e
kingsi7e

If that happens to be like The Room or Homecoming I will lose my faith in Konami, and will not buy MGS:Rising.

clicketyclick
clicketyclick

Kinda wish they had gone with the standard analog stick tilt controlling run speed rather than RE4 controls of holding down Z to run. Regardless, this looks like an interesting title. Hope the puzzles aren't too easy (or nonsensical) and I really hope it does well on Wii.

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

?? didnt the series go to the 360..??

srgtfury
srgtfury

I wish they would remake Silent Hill for the 360 as well. Sadly it seems that publishers aren't going to learn that M rated titles (unfortunately) are flops on the Wii. Dead Space Extraction was a good game but my understanding was that it sold horribly :(

wexorian
wexorian

no matter on what platform is SH because all are good in their way.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Umm..... I really wish they would just start from the beginning.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

how about bringing back Team Silent together..? now that's a thought, huh?

SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

hehe, the zombie's making out with that guy. I'll wait till the rating.

11CrimsonRubies
11CrimsonRubies

I am alternately excited and apathetic when it comes to this game.

arsnakeheart
arsnakeheart

I hope the PS2 version is as good as this one, and that it does NOT be cancelled. lol

turbo-20000
turbo-20000

Looks like this could get boring ... Fast ... without the guns

kitchenwindow
kitchenwindow

Is it just me, or does Harry Mason kinda look like the Angry Video Game Nerd?

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Please oh please don't let this be a fail game. The series can use another high quallity entry

professorXzaver
professorXzaver

"Oh baby, its been so long since I've had some" (2nd picture)

namzy007
namzy007

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Hizakii
Hizakii

As long as Silent Hill series keeps churning out i dont mind what platform its on.

Nekromenos
Nekromenos

Someone said he wanted this for PSP? How the hell do you create an immersive atmospheric horror game for a small handheld console? Some people, I can't understand...

devilgonnatempt
devilgonnatempt

Love the SH games a lot but why the hell should I shell out £150 just to buy it!? And why the hell do these game company's constantly bring out sequels and prequels for entirely different consoles!!! ARRRRRGH!

dudu22
dudu22

Nintendo Wii has Dreamcast´s graphics... this is a videogame made for girls or Nintendo lovers, even if this Silent Hill will be a good game, doesn´t worth buying

archvile_78
archvile_78

its at time like this that i wished i owned a Wii.

Poodger
Poodger

I would consider buying this for my Wii over the M rated LIGHTRAIL games.

kreig28
kreig28

wanna get my hands in this game..

Bassnoob
Bassnoob

it's probably not going to do well like the other m games for wii

EnzoF66057
EnzoF66057

@Norwegicus I almost agree with that lol Wii is just a giant gimmick when you take away its nintendo roots.

Norwegicus
Norwegicus

@hyperion6666 I wouldnt accept a Wii if they offered it to me for free.

hyperion6666
hyperion6666

stop crying and buy a wii and be happy :D

picklesrocks
picklesrocks

why make it for the wii? its just going to suck why not make a decent HD remake on the xbox or ps3?

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

i hope the original company that made silent hill 1 and 2 did this not the American guys that eventually took over and really didnt creae the same atmosphere as the japanese guys did..

supra5
supra5

y not pc or psp??? ohh sorry its also on PSP and PS2!!!!

red_sovereign
red_sovereign

i hope its better than sh5. that game disappointed me so much. hopefully this one can impress. lets go wii!!

dubel_07
dubel_07

Really looking forward to this.

Vargasr
Vargasr

I want to see the PSP version... They've only showed pictures of the wii version

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

Wish it was for more than the PSP, PS2 and Wii. Love to see something like this on the 360 or PS3.

nick15uk
nick15uk

@termadoyle Thanks for the info :)