Silent Hill: Homecoming

User Rating: 8.5 | Silent Hill: Homecoming PS3
The player assumes the role of the protagonist, Alex Shepherd, a Special Forces soldier who returns home from an overseas tour of duty to find that his father and younger brother are missing, and that his mother has gone into catatonia. Alex begins to search for his brother, leading him to Silent Hill after searching his hometown of Shepherd's Glen.

Overall gameplay is similar to past entries in the series. The player, as Alex, explores the various environments and locales, searching for clues to advance the plot, such as photographs, drawings and other items which are placed inside Alex's journal, which the player may read at any time. To assist the player, Alex will turn his head towards items and clues to inform the player that the object may be picked up; other recurring items include weapons and ammunition, which give off a glow as a visual cue to the player, and health drinks. Puzzle elements also play a part in the game, and Alex's journal may be used to refer back to photographs and other items that can help the player decipher such puzzles as keypad entries. For the first time in the series, the player may select responses when engaging in dialogue with other characters he encounters in the game, which in turn may affect how the player sees the plot unfold.

In addition to exploration, combat is another major element to the gameplay, and the player must fight the various monsters that appear. In contrast to the more naive protagonists of previous games, combat in Homecoming takes into account Alex's experience as a soldier. The player is able to perform light and heavy attacks, or mix them to perform combinations, and may also perform a variety of finishing moves to ensure that the monsters are dead. Attacking enemies also leaves wounds in them that match the motion carried out by Alex in inflicting the attack. In terms of controlling Alex, the player may also perform new maneuvers such as targeting the enemy before attacking them, dodging enemy attacks, and performing counter-attacks. As well as melee weapons, pistols, rifles and shotguns are available as firearms, which can be upgraded to stronger versions later in the game. In addition to the changes in combat, and unlike previous entries in the series, the player is also able to fully control and rotate the camera as they choose; one analog stick controls player movement, and the other controls the camera.