Silent Hill HD Collection Review

The spooky sights of Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 look better than ever in Silent Hill HD Collection.

The Silent Hill series has a way of getting under your skin. It shuns the easy scares seen in its contemporaries and instead creates an oppressive, unrelenting sense of dread. Now that the original Silent Hill has been reborn in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, the next two entries in the series are up for rerelease. Silent Hill HD Collection includes Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3, as well as Born From a Wish, the bonus chapter from Silent Hill 2 staring Maria from the game's special edition. Outside of the visuals, this collection is presented with a minimum of tweaks and additions but does a great job of bringing these two landmark horror games back for another scare.

Both games look great. The high-definition visuals let you pick up on small details, such as shop signs and the deformities of a monster's face, that were easy to miss in the original games. Fog remains prevalent but has been pushed back to reveal more of the scenery. The lighting effects have also been improved. Previously, darkness was darkness: black, oppressive, and nearly impossible to see through without the intense beam of your flashlight. Now the darkness isn't as thick, and the light sources have been softened to make everything easier on the eyes.

When you start Silent Hill 2, you can choose new or original voices. For all of the game's accomplishments, its original voice acting was awkward and flat. The new voices are a big improvement and add some much-needed emotion to a character-driven story. There's just one problem: James' breathing. When stopping after a long run, James breathes heavily. Whether by design or not, his breathing comes in harsh, metallic wheezes that make him sound like one of the game's monsters. It's a small but constantly jarring annoyance.

Fun fact: All the corpses you see in Silent Hill 2 are dressed like James.

Silent Hill 3 doesn't include any audio annoyances, but what it does have is frame-rate lag. This typically occurs in large, open areas with lots of enemies. Everything eases into slow motion until you either kill the monsters or duck into a new area. This problem isn't exclusive to Silent Hill 3, but since Silent Hill 2 has more claustrophobic environments with fewer enemies, it doesn't occur as often in James' neck of the woods. By no measure do these performance dips render either game unplayable, but they are noticeable.

Both games play the same as they did before: James is still trying to find his dead wife, and poor Heather just wants to get home from the mall. In today's action-packed world of survival horror, going back to the slow, methodical controls of a Silent Hill game can be difficult. But in a strange way, the stiffness works to the game's benefit. Your character isn't a superhero and can be easily overwhelmed when two or more enemies attack. James and Heather get tired, miss gun shots, take slow, deliberate swings with their weapons, and reflect the capabilities of a normal person.

No amount of hand sanitizer can make this okay.

One new addition that cuts into the Silent Hill experience is trophies, specifically the little jingle that plays when you earn one. Sure, you can disable system notifications on the PlayStation 3, but doing doesn't disable trophy notifications. It's also unfortunate that Silent Hill 4: The Room, released around the same time and on the same platforms as the previous two, escaped inclusion in this release. Nonetheless, Silent Hill HD Collection is a convenient way for fans to experience the series' early years on modern hardware.

Editor's note: This review originally stated you could disable trophy notifications via the PS3's system settings, which is incorrect. The review has been amended accordingly. GameSpot regrets the error.

The Good
HD visuals reveal extra detail
New, well-done voice acting for Silent Hill 2
Both games are as freaky as ever.
The Bad
Performance dips in crowded environments.
7
Good
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150 comments
DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

THIS PORT IS AWFUL...but pretty good after you install that big ass update...

joesguy
joesguy

Another review bought from Gamespot.....

mr_azim
mr_azim

if it had SH4 I would buy it..... why pay $39.99 for two games when all the other collections have 3?

bALTHar86
bALTHar86

Just finished my first Silent Hill 2 play through and going to start up 3 this evening. I missed these games the first time around and am glad I have the opportunity to play them now.  I loved every minute of SH2, it reminded me a lot of RE2, which I did play back in the day and is one of my all time favourite games.  Wish they still made horror games like those. Definitely worth a go if like me you've never played them before, controls feel very dated but everything else actually feels a lot more original than many recent games.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I will check this out thanks to this review. Thank you Maxwell McGee :)

killered3
killered3

I don't really see much of a difference. I'd buy it if it was 15 bucks or 20 but no more. This isn't even a remake and the voice actors are one thing I wouldn't want to be redone.

JazzFromHell
JazzFromHell

I still preffer the PC version of both games with the glorious widescreen patch ;D

Trevor98
Trevor98

Ugh! I want this game so bad!

Gurzociurlo
Gurzociurlo

Yeah I wish they remastered SH4 in this collection... They say it's the worst one out of the whole series, but never had the opportunity to play it, I'd like to give it a try.

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

would have bought it if they had silent hill 4 the room. That was my first silent hill and i guess the one really care about. Too scared to try the rest.

bemango
bemango

I wish they will remaster SH 4 the room.

Gurzociurlo
Gurzociurlo

Mmmh not sure if I'm getting this one. Those two games look fabulous and I definitely want to play them, but I read so much about this collection... Framerate, lack of fog, incomplete scenarios, I really don't know wether to buy it or not, what do you think?

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Anyone experience a huge lack of fog that was present on the original versions? If so, I'm going for the PS2 versions of the games as I have never played a Silent Hill game before.

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

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

hunter8man
hunter8man

I was really hoping for Silent Hill 1-4 to be in this collection. Either way, I'll be purchasing it.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@joke_man Not even. You should have told that kid to stop sucking and to get better.

joke_man
joke_man

@SgtStrungOut Holy crap; you need to chill out. Another poster had complained about the clunky controls and I simply informed him that there was an option to change the control scheme, according to another review. If you're really so uptight as to personally attack someone for providing information, I think you need a reality check...Your posts are the definition of someone with a severe Napoleon complex; So, stop participating in your superfluous online forum masterbation take a ritalin and come back when you no longer feel the need to boost your childish ego with nonsense posting.

blaket81
blaket81

I wish they did this with the original, it's the best. I know about shattered memories, but that's a whole reimagining of the original, not an HD remake, and it's no where near as good as the original, you can't even fight in it, you just run.

Yojimbo25
Yojimbo25

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

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@lilreider The default controls are great, you just are not good enough to adapt to them.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@joke_man Wow why do you have to switch the controls to option? Is it because you can't adapt to the classic survival horror control scheme. You new casual gamers are ridiculous. It is so easy to control these type of games. Up is up, left and right is turn, down is down ect. I have no need to switch it, but then again, I am not garbage at the game.

lilreider
lilreider

If you change the "control type" in the options menu to "2D type" it is unbelievably better than the default controls. Hope this helps :)

Maddog2212
Maddog2212

Also, Silent Hill 2's "Theme of Laura" is one of the awesomest video game theme songs I've ever heard.

Maddog2212
Maddog2212

I'm getting this tomorrow! :D I've waited about 7 or more months for this, I just hope the patch corrects some of the problems! :/ It really looks like Konami would have fixed everything by the 2nd release delay or something! Oh well.

Anime_Fan1986
Anime_Fan1986

I played these both and I haven't really had any problems with the brightness. I think it seems dark enough but you can always toy with the brightness settings on the TV. I also think the new voice acting for SH2 is quite good. At first I was really uneasy about it but I think I actually quite enjoy the new voices for SH2 though James' breathing is a little annoying when he's out of breath. I think the reason it's so hard to accept the new acting is we are so familiar with the old ones. I haven't seen enough of the acting for SH3 to comment but it wasn't terrible. So I think the new acting deserves a change and it's great to have the choice for SH2. I'm so glad this finally came out.

Foxhound71
Foxhound71

Put the brightness on 3. Problem solved.

Giygas07
Giygas07

Okay, time to chime in. Here goes: my biggest gripe with this is how revealing everything is now that it's been rendered in hi-def. I was admittedly sceptical about this to begin with (and sure, it has that nice polished-sheen that oh so many will love), but I really am an advocate of the 'less is more' adage. In this context, it's pretty obvious that lighting is one of the most integral parts to the game's design. The ostensibly vacant spaces of darkness had a somewhat claustrophobic feel to them. The smooth textures and generous lighting somewhat - for me - detracts from the foreboding and overall element of fear. That said, I'm sure these will be of great use to a newer generation of video-game enthusiasts.

joke_man
joke_man

@Mcgnnis1 I read in the Game Informer review that there is an option to change the control sceme to directional. They said it is a big improvement, just make sure to look for the option before you start to play!

soulfunkdjx
soulfunkdjx

Nice release but i would love to see Silent Hill 1 included also.The first terror i lived in my childish room.....I'm gonna buy it.

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

It doesnt have the original voices of the SH3. screw you konami, not gonna buy it

Mikey2K10
Mikey2K10

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

omgmike23
omgmike23

Is there not a Silent Hill 1? why is just 2&3 boxed together? I've never played Silent Hill Before Hopefully I'm Not Missing Anything From The First Game If There Is One.

irishkd
irishkd

Silent hill collection with only 2 games in it when there's 8 games in the series !?!?! They should've included sh4 jeezz

desperate001
desperate001

Is this review for or against Silent Hill? Everything that's mentioned as "fixing" are what made the games as iconic as they are.

termadoyle
termadoyle

Reminds me of a time when I got super excited for the next Silent Hill game. good times. And bring on the Z.O.E HD collection, Konami!

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

The super dark hallways and limited lighting are what created the sense of dread. I'm going to adjust my tv so they are both as dark and foreboding as they originally were meant to be.

Mcgnnis1
Mcgnnis1

I think that this is an excellent time to ask for Fatal Frame HD collection. I mean I dunno about others but the 2nd entry was and still is scary as sh!t.

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

 @varunvikram1 I think I'm one of the few who thought Silent Hill 4 was one of the scariest.  2 is definitely the best and most psychologically unsettling, 3 is constantly barraging you with monsters making you run through every hallway, but 4 had me throwing the mouse across my room by the time Twin Victims showed up.  In other words, try the others, they're fantastic.

simpaticoman
simpaticoman

 @varunvikram1  Dont be silly there is  a lot to see. If you learn one thing from these games is to get braver and braver as you go. They scare at the beginning.You are the real scare at the end. The second ones come with Pyramid head a character not to be missed.

JazzFromHell
JazzFromHell

if you have a decent PC, try the pc versions of both games and find the widescreen patch, looks a lot better than this "HD" sh*t

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

 @darkcomedian I messed with the brightness and color settings on my tv and had some luck making the fog stand out more.  It is a little watered down but I haven't noticed anything severe.

joesguy
joesguy

@Maddog2212Of course, this HD collection bastardizes that song, along with many others.

joesguy
joesguy

@Anime_Fan1986I'm surprised anyone likes the "anime" voice acting job on the redub. It's just plain awful and completely disregards most of Team Silent's characterisation.

Silent Hill HD Collection More Info

  • Released
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Silent Hill HD Collection bundles Silent Hill 2 and 3 together enhanced with HD upgrades.
    7.8
    Average User RatingOut of 173 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Konami
    Published by:
    Konami
    Genres:
    Compilation
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Violence