You may be wondering why this review has sprung up all the sudden. I actually
did have an archived review I wrote for this game a long time ago (almost a year
old) that appeared on my old site, but I went back and looked at it and felt it
needed a little updating and a little more tweaking.
Silent Hill 3 may be on the way this May, but it doesn't hurt to take a look
back at Konami's 2001 suspense thriller. Silent Hill 2 is evidently the sequel to
the first Silent Hill. This time around, you take the role of James Sutherland, a
jilted man with not much to lose after his wife's death a couple years back. All
the sudden, he recieves a letter from his wife telling him to meet her at the
"special place". Funny, thought she was dead, how can dead people write? Anyway,
this letter takes him to Silent Hill, or should I say the other side of Silent Hill.
There's a lake in the center of the town, so the resort is really split up on
both sides. You won't be seeing any landmarks from the first SH, this seems like
a whole new place. The first Silent Hill took place mostly in the residential area
and the pier of Silent Hill. Now, you're on the more commercial side of the city,
where you'll be going through apartments, bowling alleys and more.
If there's a way to put how Silent Hill is, it closely relates to "The Ring",
if you've ever seen that movie. Kind of like how the people who saw the tape
will die in seven days, people who enter Silent Hill usually never return, and
yet with each installment, there seems to be something that calls them there. There's
a pretty big mystery on how these people end up in this town, but towards the end,
the game will usually tie up the loose ends. Makes the third upcoming game all the
Anyway, along your decent into a fanciful hell, you'll come across a few characters,
each with their unique problems, and ultimately, their unique fates. The first person
you meet up with is named Angelea. She is the most seemingly disturbed person out
of the bunch, and later on, you'll find out why. Next, you'll come across a little
girl named Laura. Again, she's a big mystery of who she is and if she reperesents
someone. She's a real bitch, too. She will taunt you and kick away your keys and
pretty much just f**k around with you. But if you meet certain conditions along
the way for a specific ending, you'll be rather suprised on what happens with her.
Then there's Maria, who looks a lot like James dead wife. She tags along with you,
but be warned, after what events unfold, she should have stayed far away. Then we
have Eddie, who is pretty much a whiny wussy, but has a strange development later
on. Does it seem like I left a lot of holes? Well, I didn't want to spoil plot
development for you.
Ok, now onto the technical aspects. First, the graphics. This is probably one
of the better looking PS2 games to be released. Much more sharper and detailed
than the first Silent Hill, and a lot more gruesome looking as well. Excellent
character models, which is now probably overshadowed by the models in Resident Evil
Zero, but still very well done. Expect to see much better in SH3. Everything flows
at a much smoother framerate, and the effects are suitable and well done. I'm not
sure how much better the X-Box version is, but seeing how it was a rather quick
port, the games should look very similar across. I kind of hated Konami's decision
to put this game on the X-Box, but now things have changed as their support for the
system is diminishing quite a bit. But that's a different story.
The sound package is equally frightening. There are many events where the game
will scare the crap out of you. Much like the first SH, there will be random bangs,
slams and screams, plus the eerie atmospheric sound. The voice acting is really
good as well. It doesn't run in Dolby Surround, but rather something called S-Force,
which is like surround sound for low-end stereos and TV's. But really, how many
gamers have the abillity to use Dolby Surround?
With Silent Hill 3 on the way, it's a good time to reflect on this PS2 classic.
If you've never had the oppertunity to play this game, it is now a greatest hit
and can be found for under $20. I suggest you pick up a copy if you want some
guarunteed thrills and disturbing creepyness. But you may only want to play it in
hour long burts. It can get very intense.