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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Silent Hill: Homecoming Member Review for the Xbox360

Ivory_Soul By:
Ivory_Soul
10/17/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Konami 
DEVELOPER The Collective 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes

What do these ratings mean?

The Good: Amazing atmosphere and graphics, eerie sounds and music, good voice acting, story is engaging, new combat system and extra content makes for replay value

The Bad: Really short, puzzles are still confusing, more atmosphere less scare

Silent Hill was one of the first survival horror series that was 3D along with Resident Evil, Clock Tower, Alone in the Dark, and Parasite Eve. While Resident Evil and Silent Hill became more successful Silent Hill still remains the most frightening survival horror series ever made. Homecoming is no exception with lots of fog and lighting effects, unbelievably freaky creatures, a great story with lots of plot twists, and a new and improved combat system. I have to first mention that there is so many little things in this game for hardcore SH fans such as homages to the movie (which most of this game is based off of) such as the "Otherworld peeling" effect, barbed wire in the church, ash/snow, the Grand Hotel and the nurses. There are references everywhere that mention famous horror authors, horror movies etc. Most people may never find these but they are there such as the streets being last names of famous horror authors.

   This is really great and thankfully Konami kept all of this in mind for fans, but what if you've never played an SH game before? Well then you came in at a great time. Most people's concern is if the game has the same creepy atmosphere and it does. There are less "out of the closet" scares however because the game concentrates more on sheer atmosphere. Everything is dark and creepy, and we have the same spooky unnerving sounds effects and music that we've grown to love. The combat system is what I was mainly concerned about. Gone are the fixed camera angles and tank controls. The game controls very well in a third person style action game. You lock on to enemies and use light and heavy attack combos to kill them. This may be very repetitive and simple, but it's better than being broken. Shooting is easier as well because you know control the gun in a Resident Evil 4 way.

   Also introduced are button pressing sequences and this helps to the intensity because if you don't do this properly you could die and the game is totally up to you. Also new is a way to control your outcome of the story. Certain moments in the game have you make a choice and this will decide your ending (there are 5 all together). There are a good amount of weapons to pick up such as knives, pipes, axes, shotguns, pistols, rifles etc. Nothing we haven't seen in an SH game before, but you have to decide which weapon is best for which enemy.

    If you want to go story side it's good and its here. You are a man named Alex Shepard who comes home from being in a war and everyone in Sheperd's Glen is missing (just outside Silent Hill) and his brother Josh is missing. You must find the deep secrets of Silent Hill and why your brother went missing. There are tons of plot twists and it's probably one of the better less confusing stories. The puzzles in Silent Hill are still weird and confusing as ever. I had to get a FAQ for almost every single one because they require you to right down stuff and rattle off riddles in your head and...well...they're still confusing. The game is a bit short, however, and you can beat the game in about 8-10 hours depending on how you play.

   There is plenty of replay value thanks to the multiple endings, different costumes, and new weapons you can find after you beat the game. There are also collectibles to find such as drawings, photos, and serums to unlock achievements. The game is just very well put together, but you can tell the developers didn't do anything risky with the formula. It's pretty safe and basic, but you'll want to visit Silent Hill again thanks to the excellent story, voice acting, graphics, atmosphere, new enemies, and the button pressing sequences and not to mention the humongous disgusting boss fights! If you love survival horror this is probably the best one of the year so far (Alone in the Dark was almost a disaster).


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B+ Revolution report card
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