The Horror Honeys: Silent Hill - Nostalgic Game Review

Silent Hill - Nostalgic Game Review

A Gamer Honey Guest Review - Kaley

Silent Hill (1999)

1999 was a big year for me.... well, no not really; not much happens when you’re 13. There isn’t much excitement for a new teen in a conservative family in Alabama. When I was younger I was quite sheltered; this meant no horror movies, no late night TV, and D&D was meant for people with no lives and out of touch with reality. Now, my family isn’t crazy or anything. I did have fun outlets, like video games. I owned just about every mainstream console there was at the time. My very prized console in ’99 was my Playstation. I had all the cool games like Spyro, Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot etc. However, on one fateful day, one single game slipped through the parental figure’s radar and changed my gaming life forever: Silent Hill.

It’s been so long since this game came out that I’m sure everyone knows the premise by now. You play as Harry Mason, who’s just an average guy. He’s just trying to have an average vacation with his average daughter, in an average town with average knife-wielding monsters. Oh, wait.

Things aren’t quite so average anymore when Harry accidentally runs his car off the road while driving to the quaint town of Silent Hill. Suddenly his daughter, Cheryl, is gone and like any good adventure game: the search is on! Well, you can try to search but really it’s more of you moseying on along in the opposite direction that is causing your radio to fill your heart with dread. Really, you’re just running like a bitch until you do something right that triggers the siren that hurls you in to the Otherworld.

I find the gameplay of Silent Hill to still be relatively good, even after all this time. To me it’s still suspenseful and haunting. The fog is still eerie, the sound of Harry’s feet running against pavement still echo in my mind. However, it can be a little slow at times and the plot a little unfulfilling. This made me feel a little unenthused at the requirement of repeat playing to see all 4 endings. It was needed though as it took those several playthroughs to understand exactly what was happening in the story.

It’s hard to talk about the graphics of a game that came out so long ago. To a 13 year old it seems hard that anything could “get better than this.” The fact is, for its time it was a graphically above average game; but looking back on it today, it’s definitely not what I remember it to be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The textures are very basic so it’s difficult to tell if the walls are covered in blood or just rust, which adds to the fear of being stuck in the Otherworld. It’s definitely a game that’s aided by the imagination; which is really easy with the incredible atmosphere that still give me chills to this day.

Silent Hill is not a particularly difficult game, in my opinion. The controls can be a little wonky when trying to move the camera, but the gameplay itself is only difficult because you’re trying your damndest to get out of the Otherworld as quickly as possible. The puzzles are a delightful addon that I thoroughly enjoyed and was completely enthralled in. Play it on easy if you’re in it for the disturbing atmosphere and crank it up if you’re all about trying to survive.

The Silent Hill series is definitely one of my favourites; and while Silent Hill 1 will always have a special bloody place in my heart, it’s definitely not the best in the series. It’s absolutely worth a play if you’re new to the series and ready to lay down the foundation of a scary new gaming addiction.

Gamer Honey Hearts remaining: 4.5/5