[Review] Silent Hill 3


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Review: Silent Hill 3

The survival horror genre, in my opinion, has been loosing its touch in the past years, games with oversimplified and ridiculous plots and bland elements have been invading the shelves from long time ago, fortunately we have the Silent Hill series, in my opinion, the best survival horror series, why? Well, I?m going to explain that in this review of the third part of the series, this review is as spoilers free as I could, so you are safe? for now.

I divided the review in two parts, non-technical and? take a guess, yes! Technical, here, have a cookie, did you like it? Great, lets move on.

Non-Technical:

Plot: The Silent Hill veterans already know that the series characteristic is to have intricate plots full of twists (that actually are believable) and shocking moments, well, the third one is not the exception and I think the Konami team raised the bar a little this time since this game is a direct sequel of the first Silent Hill (For the new SH gamers, Silent Hill 2 took place in the same town but it?s considered a game apart since what happened there doesn?t have almost any relation with the first game, nevertheless, is an awesome game, go and play it! Now! No wait! First read my review) ok, lets continues, as I was saying, since SH3 is a direct sequel from the first one, this game task is to let us know what happened with the characters in the first game how they have been evolving trough the years, and also, without being just a sequel with the same plot elements as the first one, SH3 also adds its own deepness and raises a lot of questions that are going to make you think about the whole series, the why?s, where?s and the who?s.

Against other games: I have played Resident Evil (1, 2, 3 and Veronica), Alone in the Dark (All of them), Nocturne, and some other non-so popular survival horror along with other pure horror titles, and I must say that so far, the plot in SH3 (in combination with the other two games) has been my favorite, its not your generic ?take your mercenary? put it in a haunted castle, whatever and play?

Character evolution: Silent Hill series always have been characterized in making you care about your characters, they have their story, their pain and their past, and you can feel it and feel for them, this one is not the exception but still I was a little, very little disappointed with the SH3 main character, Heather, the past Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 characters, Harry Mason and James Sunderland, both of them were more ironic, more decaying and serious about their situation, Heather in the other hand is sarcastic, but I am willing to accept that I am being picky since Heather is 17 years old and cant be as mature and serious as a late 20?s early 30?s Harry and James.

Against other games: Silent Hill?s Heather is a great character, with her very own personality and reasons, her development in the plot was great; again I cant compare this with other survival horror games since almost all the generic survival horror games uses their characters as a mere plot vehicle.

Game play: This is the part where I had some disappointments, and not because the controls, they where smooth and easy to learn, not because the combat system that remains the same, and that?s good, but because the weapon system, the past two games weapons consists in kitchen knifes, rusty bars, in fact, one of the first weapons in Silent Hill 2 was a wooden plank with a nail, the big weapons where a mere pistol, a shotgun and, in the best case, a hunting rifle that was very powerful but the re-fire rate was slower than my cat on prozac, so, you exchanged mobility for power, that is survival horror, the weapons in SH3 are a combination of the first games but also contains a lot of ?resident evil-ish? elements, weapons that you are not going to find in your average little and monsters filled town, like a maul, a katana or even an automatic rifle, at least the programmers made the rifle ammunition so scarce that you barely use it, just in the big battles.

The cut scenes are all in-engine this time instead of the old bink video format, this helps the plot to move smoothly.

Puzzles: This game is going to out in shame the industry because of this, the puzzles in the hard difficulty are not only hard, are memorable, really ingenious, in fact, In one of them, I needed to go and research about Shakespeare to resolve it, and yes, sometimes they are annoying, but fun nevertheless.

Monsters: The enemies in the game follow the old game tradition, they are the leftovers of a twisted mind, and its evident, my only complain is like the double-head?s, they are like the generic survival horror dog enemy.

Technical:

Engine: The engine is just enough to do its job, it doesn?t have a physics engine and the terrain can?t be deformed by the player, the impressive thing is the lighting engine, it creates a great atmosphere.

Example of the lighting in the game

Textures, models and artwork: This is what it makes Silent Hill, this is the proof that it doesn?t matter how old or simple its your engine, if it has the proper artwork, then its going to work, and the artwork in Silent Hill 3 makes it maybe the most beautiful, artistically speaking, game ever, the texture are awesome, that rusty-industrial theme, the blood, the moving textures along with the lighting creates something that you are not going to forget, despite how much your therapist try.

Tell me this is not art

More examples of a proper use of textures

The models are also impressive, the animation in them and the textures are awesome, the facial expressions in the human characters are extremely real and reflect the feelings in a very accurate way and? Hey, you, stop kissing the monitor! Heather is not real! Ok, lets continue, the monster movement is also at the top of the industry, but you need to see it to believe it.

Heather model

Sound and music: this is the other thing that makes Silent Hill, the industrial music used in the score blends well and contributes to improve the tension, the environment effects are accurate and creepy, along with the sounds that some monsters produce, in fact I already bought the Silent Hill 3 awesom:shifty:ose nights I want to be in the mood :shifty:

Overall environment, you already got an idea, so I?m just to describe one of my favorite rooms in Silent Hill 3, imagine yourself in a narrow hallway, the floor is stained with rust and blood, the walls, part concrete part metal are also rusty and bloody, in front of you there are some hospital beds with dead bodies under them, you can tell because the blood in the sheets and the protuberances, and beyond those beds it?s a shocking sight, you can see a demon-god turning a valve while you see two bodies hanging from the ceiling, you just can see their legs, that are still kicking! Because a red curtain hides the rest of them, even their hands, the valve make an annoying noise. PURE SURREALISM!

Pros: Excellent atmosphere, character development, plot and the use of surrealism is even better than in the first two games.

Cons: Some weapon just feels like resident evil and some enemies too, like the dogs, maybe I am picky, but I want this series to be as unique as they have been.

Final Score: 95/100

Necessary links:

http://www.silenthill3.de/

http://www.konamityo.com/sh3/

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sanctified

Update: I just realize I didnt comment about the voice acting, the acting is also flawless and believeable, and it blends well with the model animation, congratulations to the art team that made this awesome game.

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Stylez Ray.

very nice review of a superb game!! I agree with everything you wrote in the review, Silent Hill is the best survival horror game, that's also my opinion! Everyone who doesn't know what a "real game" is: go out and buy every single game of the Silent Hill series, you will like it..

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DsnBehind

Nice review. Gonna have to try this one out. :)

Would you recommend this to someone who hasn't tried the other games in the series?

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sanctified
Nice review. Gonna have to try this one out. :)

Would you recommend this to someone who hasn't tried the other games in the series?

mmmm, I highly recomend that at least you try the first one, if not you are going to enjoy it but you are going to be confused most of the time, of course, they do a good job explaining the plot in the third one, but there is nothing as experience it directly from the first one

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yert*

I would highly recommend getting BOTH Silent Hill 1 and 2 and play them before you play SH3. I haven't played SH3 yet, because I don't have a ps2, but I believe it's on the PC or will be soon. Anyway, The Silent Hill series is so damn scary and the storyline is excellent. I like playing them but they are so scary; it's probably because I'm just a big ######. Hopefully the movie will be as good as the game

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sanctified
I would highly recommend getting BOTH Silent Hill 1 and 2 and play them before you play SH3. I haven't played SH3 yet, because I don't have a ps2, but I believe it's on the PC or will be soon. Anyway, The Silent Hill series is so damn scary and the storyline is excellent. I like playing them but they are so scary; it's probably because I'm just a big ######. Hopefully the movie will be as good as the game

the pc version is already out, I did this review and took the screens based on my pc version

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yert*

DO you play it w/ a pc controller? Or is it easy to use a mouse/keyboard

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sanctified
DO you play it w/ a pc controller? Or is it easy to use a mouse/keyboard

I used a mouse/keyboard config, at first it feels odd, but you are going to get acostumed later

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DsnBehind
,Jun 3 2004, 13:08] mmmm, I highly recomend that at least you try the first one, if not you are going to enjoy it but you are going to be confused most of the time, of course, they do a good job explaining the plot in the third one, but there is nothing as experience it directly from the first one

Thanks. :) Gotta plug in the PS2 now. :p

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