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We continue with the Horror April today! Las week I talked about one of my favorites when it comes to Horror – Until Dawn – If you want to read my review you can do it here! Now, let’s jump into this Playstation 1 gem!
Silent Hill follows a man called Harry Mason. The story starts with him driving a car with his adopted daughter to their vacation location. Near the Silent Hill town a girl appears in the middle of the street. In order to save her Harry ends up crashing the car and losing consciousness. He wakes up to find out that his daughter is not near the car or anywhere. He then decides to go to the near town to look up for her.
Instead a normal town as he was expecting, he just finds a foggy, ghost town. He ends up finding some normal people here and there that give him hints where is daughter may be and he goes all over the town looking for her.
The problem is, Silent Hill is not your normal town. Harry stumbles with a cult that is conducting a ritual to revive… Something! During his journey Harry will enter and getting out of conscious leading him to another world that I will call a nightmare with the lack of a better word. In this nightmare a lot of monsters are lurking everywhere. However, Harry will need to use this World to be able to advance some obstacles and being able to cross the city to find his daughter.
Harry will understand more about this strange place as also his daughter true origin along his journey. You have 5 different endings for Silent Hill which depends in your actions as the story develops. Something that was completely out of the box when this game originally came out – 1999.
Contrary to Until Dawn, Silent Hill is a pure Survival Horror. Therefore expect to have to ration your ammo and your health items. As all Survival Horror games you are not obliged to kill every each monster that crosses your path and if you are smart you will not do it!
Silent Hill is set in a third camera perspective and the gameplay is pretty usual in what you encounter in Survival Horrors during this time. Although at present this gameplay would just be horrendous, at that time it was just normal. I’ve replayed it last year and to be honest it only takes a small time for you to get used to it and the game is preety playable.
Something that Wikipedia says is that Silent Hill innovated the camera angle compared to older games of the same genre. Contrary to previous installments, Silent Hill switches the camera to other angles for dramatic effect in pre-scripted areas. In the older games you would have a camera that constantly shifted trough a variety of camera angles.
Contrary to Until Dawn reviewed last week, Silent Hill does not use jump scares as the main way to scare you! To be honest, I don’t even remember to have jump scares during the game. The thing is… The game IS scary, but it scares especially because of the environment around you that makes you to be in the tip of your toes all the time.
Silent Hill has a way to scare you that is more psychological than physical and does it brilliantly! Yes, this is one of those games that will make you turn on the light when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night! Although horror never completely makes me nervous after playing it because I always think for that to happen to me I would have to be in the same place as them. Well, let’s say that I am not thinking on travelling to Silent Hill ever in my life. However, due to the music and the graphic part your brain just feels that you need to be in alert even after turning off the console.
As any survival horrors coming out during this time, Silent Hill is full of puzzles. These puzzles are the most difficult I ever found in a horror survival game.
There are many iconic puzzles from Horror Survival Games out there when it comes to difficulty. However, normally each puzzle is one super hard in the middle of a game with average puzzles. Silent Hill is not like that! Most of the puzzles are HARD to do! And don’t forget that you will be just wondering in areas that you just DON’T want to trying to find the solution for that puzzle.
Don’t forget! In 1999 you wouln’t just be able to go to the Internet and see the solution on Youtube! You really had to think the way to pass by the puzzles using your wits! (Although I never use help to pass the games since I think it takes out the fun!)
I was in touch with Silent Hill three (maybe four) different times in my life. The first was really young and I was just seeing my older brother playing it – of course it scared me to death. Some years later I was the one passing it, still too young to play these kind of games and again, scared the heck out of me.
Lastly, I played it one year ago (ok, maybe two). What I have to say is that Silent Hill was able to make me feel uncomfortable and anxious nonetheless. Although I was not as scared as in the first two, the game was enjoyable and it made me feel that I didn’t want to go this or that area in-game because I was scared.
They are able to do this with only two things: Visuals and music!
The graphics are, of course, outdated! I mean, it’s a game from 1999. However, something that will always be stuck in my head and will work in any year to come are the different and strong visuals.
First the lighting – You just don’t see anything in this game! When you are outside there is a fog that you won’t be able to see a palm in front of you. When indoors you will only have a flashlight and therefore you won’t be able to see anything past a palm of your hand in front of you. When it comes to the nightmare the things are even worse. More than not seeing almost anything you also have really strong visuals where everything around you seems to be bathed in blood. (I know it’s not blood, but it’s scarier if we think that is in fact blood).
However, the thing that makes you the most anxious is the music. The OST is just one of the best that I ever encountered in a Horror Game. I’m listening to it while writing the post and it makes me anxious just by listening it! You don’t even need to be playing the game!
Combine the lack of visibility with really creepy music and a bunch of monsters that can appear from anywhere and you are just set to feel scared throughout all the game!
I give Silent Hill:
In conclusion, Silent Hill is my favorite horror game of all time! The story is likeable and somewhat is about something that you could believe seeing happening in real life if you believe in the occult.
The main thing the game has to offer and it’s completely brilliant is the environment around you! You can be attacked everywhere and at any moment. That enough is stressful enough, but having small visibility and the intense music behind that just makes it all worst! It’s those kind of games that when trying to solve a puzzle I would just think to me “No! I don’t want to go back in there!!!!” or just entering a room and leaving it in the next second because of the music change.
If you are a fan of horror I highly recommend you to play Silent Hill! Even in this time and day the game is playable and will be enjoyable because of its distinct visuals that completely compensate the old graphics. You do have HD versions of the game! So you get better graphics xD
What do you think of Silent Hill? Have you played the next installments? What do you think of those? Comment down below! 😀