9.0

Silent Hill 3 review
SH2 better...

Summary:

After playing through Silent Hill 2, a sequel that would outmatch the enjoyment I've experienced with the game, almost seemed impossible... until I picked up Konami's latest survival horror title, Silent Hill 3. It's not often I give a game a score of 9 (very very rare for that matter). I was able to dive right into this game, and the further I got into it, the more I hoped it would never end.

GRAPHICS - 10

The eye candy in Silent Hill 2 was delightful in almost every aspect. Silent Hill 3 takes that experience and pushes it even farther. The lighting effects, high resolution texture detail, and even the animation of the in game, and cutscene sequences are all breathtaking. You'll be amazed by some of these facial expressions used in the cutscenes. Again, we are treated to the grainy gritty nightmarish environments that WILL definitely disturb you now, if they havn't before. There have been a few complaints about the lack of monster types in the previous Silent Hill title. This, in my opinion, is no longer an issue. There is a healthy amount of variety this time around. And expect these beastlies to look sick, and disturbing as to be expected. Silent Hill 3 shines in the graphics department.

SOUND - 9

We are treated to some eerie background music once again to enhance the feeling of desperation and entrapment in the game. Also we are treated to some actual soundtrack tunes as well, written by actual artists with full vocals. Very well done. At times I would literally jump out of my chair from a sudden crash, or scream coming from out of the silence in Silent Hill 2. The good thing about Silent Hill 3 is that you can expect more of that, but not too much to over use it. I do have a few gripes though. I think Konami tended to over use complete silence a smidge too much on certain parts. And the voice acting is GOOD, but a few of the character's had me wondering a little bit. The detective Douglas really sounded insincere to me, as well as Vincent. However, the voice actor of Heather (the main character of the game) was really great, and suited the character extremely well. The demented Claudia as well, really had me going too.

GAMEPLAY - 8

In Silent Hill, you will venture through dark, twisted environments, and solve puzzles. This time though, your journey is a little more linear than before. You'll no longer spend alot of time actually wandering the outskirts of town. Your quest is MAINLY indoors. The puzzles this time around are some of the easier ones of all 3 of the titles. Nothing to really frusterate you, but they do get you to use your head. However not much has been done to keep the gameplay department fresh, except for a ''parry'' button, and don't get me wrong, it does come in handy. But it would have been nice to have a fresh feeling here. But I personally do not mind the Resident Evil-ish control scheme for these types of games. The one thing I liked the best about this area is that, at any time the camera becomes troublesome (which not often it is), all you need to do is hold down the L2 button which will position the camera directly in front of your character.

STORY - 10

Surprisingly, this game has nothing to do with Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 2, basically strayed away on it's own in this department. If you havn't played the first Silent Hill, you may have a hard time grasping on to what's going on here. The game focuses on Heather Morris, daughter of Harry Mason from the first Silent Hill (... remember Alessa?) Her past has been pretty much forgotten, until one day she wakes up from a terrible nightmare in the mall, and is later confronted from a detective who claims somebody wants to meet her, about her birth. I can't really describe much about the story without giving it away, but I will say that it is extremely charming and pulls you in and will not let go until it is over. It really sick, twisted, disturbing, and at the same time controversial in a way. If you like that sort of thing, you'll get right into it. It really gets inside your head.

OVERALL - 9

Both Silent Hill titles scared the living crap out of me, and even still, this game didn't fail to do so. The story is better, the graphics are even better, the characters are really believeable (though some of the voice acters sucked), and we are treated to a new gameplay element (only one though). The soundtrack is also really improved. If you're a Silent Hill fan, there's nothing not really to like about this game, and I think newcomers will be able to jump right in and play too, but they may want to play the original Silent Hill to get an insight on what this game is about.

Superb graphics, excellent audio, and a fantastic storyline... you can't go wrong there. Not at all.

Last Thoughts...

Silent Hill has expanded from a cult following, to a full blown loyal dedicated fan base. And I think it's official - Konami is now the leader in survival horror games. Nothing has ever had me in a state of suspense and fear as this series has. I was talking to a guy that worked at a local EB games and he said he's had grown men returning Silent Hill because ''It was too scary'' that has to tell you something. Silent Hill's imagery and storyline really know how to get inside your head and really mess with it, and I love every second of it. Out of all the survival horror titles, this is one franchise they should base a hollywood movie on. It's simply addicting, and unique in it's own twisted disturbing kind of way. Job well done! 9/10

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