They always say you should never go back. And considering the gruesome nightmares of the body and mind that the Silent Hill tourist board have been selling for years, perhaps we should heed the old adage. Against our better judgment though, we’re going to go and poke its festering corpse with an HD stick.
There have been plenty of HD re-releases of late and the majority of them have been awesome.God of War, Metal Gear Solid and Sly Raccoon are still fantastic games to play. Silent Hill may prove to be a rotten horse flaying too far though.
PS2 gamers will barely need reminding that Silent Hill 2 was a pioneering powerhouse of survival horror. The lonesome soundtrack, the “what the f**k was that!” sound effects, the atmosphere and the story still stand up today. And holy shit that ending? Still one of the most emotional to come from the gaming medium, but I’m afraid the journey there hasn’t aged particularly well.
While the puzzles are still nicely balanced in terms of practicality and difficulty, the relentlessly dull exploration is just exhausting. Rummaging through near-identical apartment and hotel rooms feels way too old-school for my liking today. It doesn’t help that there’s a long(ish) pause for checking the map screen.
The camera’s demented behaviour can be very trying. If it’s not following you on a trolley with one stuck wheel, it’s pointing at your face every time you come through a door, requiring a long button hold to sort it out. Thanks to the many fixed angled-areas you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enter a room only to accidentally run straight back out of it when the angle switches. It shouldn’t be this hard to walk through a door, but it is. After half an hour of Silent Hill 3, I was pining to be put out of my misery.