The fifth return to Silent Hills fog filled streets is entertaining enough if accepted as the fan orientated game it is.

User Rating: 7.5 | Silent Hill: Origins PS2
For fan's of the series you can't really fault Silent Hill Origins. The game has everything in it that made the original and it's sequels so popular. The storyline may not quite be up to scratch with the originals but it fits well enough with in the series and delivers enough twitching monstrosities, fog, atmosphere and bloody rooms to be Silent Hill in every sense of the word. Unfortunately this is perhaps where the main problems lie as pretty much nothing else has changed since the franchise began approaching ten years ago. Origins in particular plays, looks and works identically to Silent Hill 2 just with a few minor tweaks to game play and while this isn't necessarily bad you feel that a greater effort could have been made to try something new.

In Silent Hill Origins you take you role of Travis Grady, a truck driver who finds himself arriving in Silent Hill on the eve that the friendly neighbourhood death-cult lead by a young Dahlia Gillespie decide to put their fiendish plan into action. The opening 30mins of Silent Hill Origins features some great content as you arrive at the moment of Alessa's sacrifice and Travis takes a hands on approach to events showing eventually how everything in the first game came to be. The basic story writes itself pretty well but it lacks a lot in terms of other character interactions. There is no real point to the three or four occasions you meet other humans other than to show characters from the original game younger than you would have previously seen them. Things would have been a lot better had there been a clear point to the mini cutscenes but all you will do is spend a few moments with Dahlia or maybe Dr.Kauffman and your off to another location following the main Alessa focussed plotline. The interactions that James, Heather and Henry in particular have on their journeys to Silent Hill really feel missing in Travis's adventure. Travis of course has his own troubled past which Silent Hill feeds on to create it's own unique horror for him, but as he is pretty lifeless as a character it's hard to feel for him as you explore his terrible childhood.

Combat is the same as the original games in the series too. You must first draw your weapon then attack with it drawn, and to be fair the clunkiness of this makes the game a lot more scary. Weapons range from pistols, shotguns, rifles and machine guns to melee weapons like TV sets, sledgehammers and katanas. The big difference to weapons over earlier games is the irritating use of item degrading for the melee weapons. Clearly all the hammers, swords, spears and other items in Silent Hill are made of some easily breakable material like cheese or perhaps lego. Once you hit an enemy a few times items break using you to attack huge lumbering death hulk who wants to eat your face with your rather rubbish fists. It's a extremely annoying and totally unnecessary part of the game.

Speaking of lumbering death hulks the game features enemies of course. From the usual "patients" sewn into their skin like straight jackets, to the obligatory nurses and more unusual creatures like the pile of flesh known as "two backs" who likes to eat your face. You can easily run past most enemies or avoid their attacks during quicklime events as they strike you. The boss monsters are some of the better creative parts of the game and while "The Butcher" who stands in the "Pyramid Head" role from Silent Hill II is a little weak, the others particularly those who are based around Travis's past look creative and are fun to battle.

All in all Origins delivers a great classic survival horror experience even if it is by the numbers and lacking in a few areas. Fans of the series can have a great Silent Hill horror experience while filling in the gaps of the story and if you've never played it before and can handle some outdated gameplay it's a pretty good place to start the franchise.