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March 2012 was supposed to be the biggest month ever for
If gone as planned, last month alone would’ve seen the
release of three new games for the series. While SILENT HILL: BOOK OF MEMORIES
for the PlayStation Vita was ultimately pushed back to an unspecified date this
spring, fans can still rejoice knowing we received two great SILENT HILL games.
Vatra Games' SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR introduced us to a new
protagonist named Murphy Pendleton on March 13. Murphy begins his adventure in
Silent Hill as a prisoner on the run when the bus transporting the man to a new
facility crashes and allows him to escape into the haunted town. As you
progress through the game, you learn more about Murphy's past and how he ended
up in prison in the first place. Murphy's personality is presented in such a
way that he almost becomes an antihero as you are able to see both his good and
his bad qualities. The deep character development only further advances a great
story as you explore an uncharted bit of Silent Hill.
Typically, you'd expect a SILENT HILL to be fun, but not
contain a very elaborate fighting system. While SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR doesn't
exactly buck this trend, it does offer up combat that is at least strategic and
enjoyable. You'll be primarily armed with a melee weapon that you find lying
around town. Swinging away at enemies with your melee weapons feels and looks
awkward, but is effective nonetheless. You can only carry one at a time, and
they do deteriorate, so item management and conservation is a must. You’ll be
able to find firearms and ammunition that is scarcely spread around, but since
these items are even more precious, they need to only be used in dire emergencies.
It’s this strategy involved that makes combat in SILENT HILL DOWNPOUR one of
the best in SILENT HILL history.
SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR also has a creative feature that
causes enemies to come at Murphy in full force during storms. You'll have to
make a quick decision of fight or flight when you're caught out in the rain,
and typically, you're going to want to make a run for it. If the idea of being
caught out in the rain with a horde on monstrous creatures that want to
savagely murder you isn't scary enough, wait until you travel to the
Otherworld; a twisted realm inhabited by a force of energy that can easily kill
and absorb Murphy with a single touch. You'll have to quickly find your way out
of the Otherworld and escape to safety with the apparition hot on your trail. Thankfully,
these moments are as intense and frightening as they sound—just the type of fun
you're looking for when you pick up a SILENT HILL title.Incredibly immersive, well
thought out and full of high quality scares for which the series is known, SILENT
HILL: DOWNPOUR is a standout game in the franchise.
Speaking of the best SILENT HILL games, the SILENT HILL HD
COLLECTION contains two of those classics with newly remastered 720p graphics
designed specifically for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. If the
enhanced graphics aren't enough to draw you in, you should know that the game
also features a brand new voiceover starring a few legends in the business, so
it's guaranteed that you won't find better versions of these essential games.
Whether you want to relive the classic moments of the series' past or are
experiencing them for the first time, this collection that released on March
20, 2012 is the way to go.
SILENT HILL 2 stars James Sunderland as a down and out
widower who makes his way to Silent Hill after finding a mysterious note from
his deceased wife that speaks of the town. Hoping for one more chance to see
his wife and with nothing to lose, the protagonist enters the town only to find
a world more horrible than he ever could've imagined. And the story is still as
sad and moving as it was so many years ago.
Many of the game’s classic features make their return to the
HD version, including the infamous radio that lets you know when enemies are
closing in. Most of the game's environments are so dark you can actually turn
your flashlight off and easily make your way past enemies. Of course, this
means your enemies can't see you, but it is almost terrifying making your way
through the blackness knowing some creepy monster dwells somewhere in the dark
SILENT HILL 3 guides players through the creepy town once
more. This time, you star as Heather, the adopted daughter of the first game's
protagonist. Heather wakes up inside of Silent Hill after a strange series of
incidents involving her adopted father Harry, and her mysterious past. She soon
learns about a doomsday cult that inhabits the town that want to use Heather in
some type of twisted ritual to resurrect an evil deity. With the help of a man
named Douglas and the training and guidance of Harry, Heather may just make it
out of this twisted town before it's too late.
SILENT HILL 3 continues the story told in the original
SILENT HILL, and does a wonderful job of tying up loose ends while giving the
player a rewarding ending. The game plays similar to the other two games in the
series by placing greater emphasis on running from enemies rather than
fighting. You'll still find a decent amount of melee weapons and some firearms
to boot, the complex yet entertaining puzzles to solve and plenty of bizarre
monsters on the loose. Basically, this is an extremely fun game that is well
worth the re-release it's receiving.
The only real knock against the SILENT HILL HD COLLECTION is
the games' original controls, now easily perceived as a bit annoying by modern
gamers who are accustomed to simpler control schemes of today's titles. These
are roughly the same exact controls the originals contained, so they don't
hinder the games as much as to produce a nostalgic effect as you relive the
Both SILENT HILL: DOWPOUR and SILENT HILL HD COLLECTION
should be on your must play list if you don't already own them. One offers up a
completely new experience that feels refreshing while staying true to its
roots; the other takes a reminiscent trip down a haunted memory lane. You can't
really go wrong with either, and once SILENT HILL: BOOK OF MEMORIES is finally
released, you can have the final awesome game to complete your very own SILENT
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