Survival horror fans will find a lot to like about Silent hill 2 restless dreams but they should rent it first
zwulith wrote this review on .
Silent hil 2's star of the show is James Sunderland. A normal man who comes to Silent hill because he got a phone call from his dead wife saying to come and meet her here. The story revolves around just that, but James does run into some other survivors along the way, such as Maria, someone who will be following you around for a good part of the adventure. The game has actually nothing to do with the original, so forget everything you knew and start all over, although Silent hill 2's story isn't quite as good as the original though.
Silent hill 2 is a pretty straitforward game. You'll solve lots and lots of puzzles that are very well done. You can pick your riddle level and the difficulty level, but whichever you choose, there will be tons and tons of items for you to pick up. Silent hill 2 doesn't really make you worry about saving ammo, as by the time you finish it, which will take about 11 hours to complete, you'll have plenty left over. The big problem with it is, there's just to much of it, health drinks are the same, you have virtually everything you could want in this game and you don't have to worry about conserving it.
As the game starts off, James will run around until he makes it to Silent hill and right when he does, you get to experience the same foggy misty town and all of it's horrors. Actually there aren't to many scares in this game, I think I jumped once and that's when I ran into this thing called "The Pyramid head". It's all about atmosphere and it does it very well, although the monsters have been toned down quite a bit, they aren't as scary as the original and don't really fight back that much. Shortly after entering the city though, you will soon be armed with a handgun and a radio that emits radio static whenever a creature is nearby which happen to be just lying around.
After that, the game just kind of lets you figure the entire game out on your own. Up until that point if you were going the wrong direction, it would automatically turn you around so that you would follow that monster and pick up the weapon and radio, but after that it just lets you figure it out. That's where the puzzles come in, you'll be solving quite a bit. Even though Silent hill is a town, the designers have gone out of their way to make it very complex, almost like a puzzle. There's a big gap missing between some streets, making you run around it and to advance throughout the town of Silent hill, you have to travel through certain places such as apartments, old hotels, bowling alleys, parks and that sort of thing.
The city is purposfully designed so that you have to visit these places to advance and there are notes and such lying around telling you where to go and maps if you get lost. So the game somewhat holds your hand the entire way, given the amound of ammo and health you get, plus the boss fights the few that there are, are pretty easy.
That's the problem, the entire game is just so easy because of the aggressivness of the monsters and the amount of supplies you get. Although your supplies go past pistol bullets and health drinks, you also get shotgun ammo, med kits and even some melee weapons. A lot of this stuff is just lying around on the street and out in the open, making it pretty easy to survive.
If you do die though, be ready to restart where you last saved. Yep, it has that old fashioned save system that is extremely annoying. Still, save points are all over the place and you shouldn't have a problem finding them.
Silent hill 2 is a pretty standard survival horror game. Although James doesn't control like a tank, he does have some frustrating controls to get used to, but once you do, it works out pretty well. Still, all you really do is solve puzzles and shoot a lot of baddies since you will have all the ammo in the world if you run out. Some more variety of monsters would have been nice, all you really have is these insane looking monsters that try to slash at you and later on some bigger versions of these monsters, but nothing out of the ordinary or what you haven't seen in the original Silent hill.
The way you select items is done pretty well. It's amazing how much ammo and supplies James can carry, but you can select your items and such by just pressing start and going to supplies. Many of your key items you will have to combine to keep going and that you will have to figure out for yourself, although if you have the difficulty on easy, then the game will pretty much tell you what to do step by step.
Graphically the game looks great. All of the characters and enemies are well detailed and I really loved how they animated too. Stil the surroundings are pretty bland and the characters are somewhat blocky looking.
The restless dreams part added at the end of Silent hill 2 isn't there for nothing. This is actually a somewhat expansion pack for the original because you have an extra mission that stars Maria. The problem is though, is it's pretty short and doesn't really warrant much replay value.
This is a perfect title to go and rent, but don't expect to much play time and after a while you will go numb from the puzzle solving, trust me. Still this is a fun game that any survival horror fan would to well to check out.