13 Games of Halloween Day 2 – Silent Hill

On the second day of Halloween,
our Dark Lord Cthulhu brought unto us
A man searching for his daughter.

If the Resident Evil series is about delivering it’s scares through shock tactics then Silent Hill is about been subtle and ramping the suspense up before delivering it’s scares. Something that the game seems to be able to do all too well.

You are Harry Mason, a 32 year old writer, who is taking his daughter, Cheryl, for a holiday at the sleepy vacation resort of Silent Hill. While traveling to Silent Hill, Harry swerves to narrowly miss a young gril on the road. Resulting in him crashing his car. After regaining conciousness he discovers his daughter is missing. Thus starting his journey through the town of Silent Hill.

I like Silent Hill because it is a bold departure from what we had seen with Resident Evil. The way the horror works is more to my liking as it makes your brain go into overdrive about what’s potentially coming rather than just having stuff jump out at you. The protagonist feels more human and becomes tired easily after running, as seen when he pants and puffs after sprinting. He also has no weapons training and it shows in the way he handles a weapon and again makes him feel more human and just a regular person in a very abnormal situation. The story evolves slowly and gradually builds up pace towards the end. And the actions you take throughout the game dictate the ending you will receive.

That’s why I recommend Silent Hill as your second game of Halloween. Just remember it’s only a game.

CritAnime

I grew up in the magical 8-bit era of computers and consoles. I saw the games crash and saw the recovery from it with the NES. I will always have my trusty C64 in my office and when the need arises I will pop a tape in the Datasette and play some classic games.

With a wealth of knowledge, especially on old-school rpg's, I hope to bring it to you. The viewers of Retroist.com

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4 thoughts on “13 Games of Halloween Day 2 – Silent Hill

  1. Atari Adventure Square says:

    This is quite possibly the best horror game I’ve ever played (not that I saw lots of em, though).
    The eerie sounds, effective controls (like you said, very human reactions), surprising monsters (that school creeped me out) …it all works so perfectly.
    And that intro!
    The musical intro with the montage and the horrible set-up to the game hooks you right in.
    And that Fog! Great idea for rendering purposes, and just what is needed for suspense.
    I still hear that crackling radio sound in the darkness…

    I was unsurprised when they made a movie of this, and it was okay.
    I always remembered it fondly cuz I confuse the flick with recalled game moments.
    Rented it a few times and realized most of what I had in my memory was the game’s cinematic suspense instead of what was in the movie.

    I must play this again.
    Um, yeah. It’s just a game. It’s just a game.
    Ah, a nurse. She’ll help me find…AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

  2. CritAnime says:

    The movie I didn’t like if I am honest. It felt like they tried to mash too many ideas together from Silent Hill 1 and 2 rather than sticking to just the one plot. Even the change in the protagonist made me want to smash my skull in with a wet kipper.

    But I digress.

    Tremble, puny earthlings! One day my race will destroy you all!

    *cough* where the hell did that come from?

    Anyway I agree that this is probably, after the second silent hill, one of the scariest games I have ever played. As you have said the fog is used to great effect to highten suspense, as well as helping to keep the frame rate up.

    The puzzles in this title are very feindish. The hospital did have me wondering around for ages.

  3. Oh! One of my favorites!

    I know the world of Silent Hill very well. I was a writer on Silent Hill:Homecoming and spent two years pouring through documents, art design, layouts, etc from all the games.

    I was a huge fan of the series and I remember a 3 hour interview where I sat with Konami and walked through pretty much all the major game beats of the first three games (the Room was not really considered canon, although we did use some of it for callback in Homecoming.)

    I felt our game was a mix of win and fail for a million reasons. It was not highly rated nor a financial success. But it was a great experience being able to play in the Silent Hill sandbox and work with some very talented people. I know the fan favorite is SH2 – and it is a great game. But SH3 for me had the best mix of story and gameplay – plus I loved the protagonist.

    But Silent Hill 1 is a great game. If you haven’t played it, it’s a must for any horror fan.

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