From the Vaults: Silent Hill (Video Game) Review

This is actually one of my first reviews. Since I consider it one of my better ones, I decided to post it here.

Silent Hill Box
Alongside Resident Evil, this series helped to bring Survival Horror into the mainstream. Before this trend faded out in favor of action games, the world of Silent Hill scared audiences everywhere.

One of the biggest reasons for Silent Hill’s appeal is the psychological aspect. Every aspect of this warping town relates to a character and their struggle. In the first game, one of the main antagonists warps the town into a childhood nightmare. The vague visions of her youth are transposed upon the town itself!

The monsters that are created as a result are purely fascinating and pretty frightening. The demon dogs and flying monsters provide for a run for your life, as the humanoid monsters chill to the bone (and look awkward while attacking.) These abominations certainly add to the uniqueness of this series.

The real terror in this game comes from the distorted atmosphere. From the moment you find out it’s snowing in the Summer, something is amiss. From there, the visuals that continue have this dream like state to them, jumping from weird world to complete nightmare. The dimming light and surreal features throughout the town truly add to that psychological element of suspense and terror.

One can’t talk about Silent Hill without a brief overview of the soundtrack. Since the first game, the ominous compositions and nightmarish ambiance have become a rather famous aspect of the series. From the moment you hear the opening, you know you’re entering Silent Hill!

One final interesting factor worth noting in Silent Hill is utilizing objects for puzzles in unique ways. For example, the pink rubber ball was used to jam up drains for a key puzzle. Another is use of toolbox supplies to extract keys and snag goodies in a haunted bird cage.

With those reasons alone, I heavily recommend this title for your library. However, this game isn’t without its flaws. Like many survival horror games of its time, the gimped control scheme was a forced way to market this mod on the third person shooter. Over the years as 3D gaming developed and evolved, this control scheme started to age really poorly. Later games like Amnesia proved that you don’t need messed up controls to portray a truly scary game. But, these controls might take only a little getting used to.

Despite being a product of its time, this horror classic will continue to go down in history for its influence and shaping of the survival horror genre. If you haven’t given the series a try, at least try to find this classic game and check it out!

9.5/10

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