Made by Konami's Tokyo studio, Silent Hill adds another chapter to the genre of survival horror. While Resident Evil comparisons are inevitable, Silent Hill is very much a unique gaming experience. Visually, it's more like Tomb Raider than Resident Evil. These is a look button, and the camera angles are not fixed. There are less types of items, so you can forget about rummaging in boxes and worrying about what you can carry. Rather than scurrying about in well-lit mansions, police stations and laboratories, you make your way through hazy streets and pitch-black buildings. The dogs in the two games are similar, but the zombie-like creatures in Silent Hill resemble knife-weilding, tailless chimps more than rotting humans. And the voice-overs aren't nearly as cheesy.
Like in Resident Evil, main character Harry Mason is unable to jump. But he can fall off people's porch steps onto his face, which is at times amusing. And an RE zombie is SO much easier to kill than a flying ghoul or three-foot monkey-man. And the puzzles are among the most challenging in recent videogame history. The clues, keys, and items are well-hidden, as well as being few and far between.
But what really sets Silent Hill apart is the atmosphere. Sure, I love the Resident Evil series, but you have to admit that many RE scenes break the scary mood. The voice-acting and the cahracters' gestures are downright laughable at times. (For example, near the end of RE 1 as Jill: Jill finds Chris locked in the lab's jail cell, and asks, "Will you wait here until I get back?") And the lights are always very bright. If there's something lurking in a corner, we see it with time to spare. In Silent Hill, often you can't see more than a few feet in front of you. There's blood splattered all throughout the town, and the scenery gets really creepy when you get to the elementary school.
And while you could say it's ripping off Resident Evil just because it's supposed to be scary, it's definitely not made from the RE cookie-cutter. It has it's own unique and intriguing storyline, and overall the gameplay and feel are much different than RE. Silent Hill is one of the most enjoyable, and truly frightening, games to have come out in a long time.
For more pictures and info on Silent Hill, as well as downloads and walkthroughs, check out White Claudia's Silent Hill Site or the Official Silent Hill Site.
Download a walkthrough here
Click here to buy Silent Hill for Playstation.