Silent Hill rerelease revives survival horror

Luke Pierce, Volunteer Writer

The “Silent Hill” video game series, for the most part, has stayed vastly different from its survival horror peers. While most games like “Resident Evil” have left their survival horror roots and leaned more toward action games with horror aspects, “Silent Hill” has tried to remain true to what made it great. However, recent titles such as “Silent Hill: Homecoming” and “Silent Hill Downpour” prove not even this series is exempt from “Hack-and-Slash” survival clichés. True survival horror gameplay seems all but forgotten.

That is until Konami released the “Silent Hill HD Collection.”

I see that town…Silent Hill

The “Silent Hill HD Collection”(SHHDC) revisits the second and third installments in the “Silent Hill” series, taking the player back to the roots of psychological horror video games with a High Definition finish.

James Sunderland is the protagonist of “Silent Hill 2.” James heads to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his late wife Mary, who says she is waiting for him there.

Players control Heather Mason in “Silent Hill 3,” which is a direct sequel to the first “Silent Hill” game, where her father, Harry Mason, was the protagonist. Heather returns to Silent Hill to discover why weird things keep happening and to learn more about her past.

What’s going on with that dialogue

Fans of the Silent Hill series will notice that dialogue for both games has been rerecorded. In Silent Hill 2, players have the option to listen to the original audio recordings from the Playstation 2 version, while the only option available for Silent Hill 3 is the new recorded lines.

While the original lines in both games are “B-Movie” quality at best, the sense of nostalgia is lost with Silent Hill 3 because of these changes.

The graphics, however, have been enhanced without losing the trademark creepy atmosphere. While most modern games nowadays deliver beautiful HD graphics that allow the player to see everything clearly, such would not work in Silent Hill’s favor.

While prior games used fog effects to hide graphic limitations, the original Silent Hill used fog to create an ominous atmosphere.

Creepy controls

The controls for both games haven’t really changed since their release, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing. The movements of James in Silent Hill 2 feel more like trying to maneuver a tank around the almost empty streets. Heather’s movements in Silent Hill 3 are a slight improvement from the last game, but not much. However, the controls are nothing to get too worked up over.

The most compelling aspect of both games is the atmosphere. A combination of excellent music composition and disturbing visuals gives the player a feeling of apprehension.  Be forewarned, SHHDC deals with darker themes and is rated “M” for mature audiences.

Nevertheless, SHHDC can appeal to a whole new group of players and allow them to experience the rich history locked within the town that takes all.

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