Silent Hill HD Collection
10 years ago, I was
lucky enough to review one of the games in this collection, namely
Silent Hill 2. If your curiosity gets the better of you, you can visit
this old hack's review right here:
You done that? OK great. So let's quickly jump into this review so you
can make your own mind up whether or not you buy this game.
contains the games Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. Both have had the
overhaul required to make them HD and repackaged so that us older gamers
can go on about how good games were back in the day. Does it succeed in
doing this? Let's take a look at things and see for ourselves.
I guess I should start this off by saying that back in the day I scored
Silent Hill 2 a solid 9.5/10. It was then, and remains today, one of the
scariest titles that I have ever played. Even playing it through today
was a chilling experience that gave me thrills and spills that were fond
reminders of why I enjoyed this title so much back then.
This updated version of
the title offers you graphics that will work on modern systems and
surprisingly enough, two voice over options. Fans of the game found the
audio to be a little hokey years ago, so they've recorded the voice
parts again. I found the dialogue to be well done but there were utterly
major sync issues between the audio, the characters mouths moving, and
confusingly enough the subtitles. It might have just been my setup, but
I doubt it. Add to that when James stops to catch his breath, it sounds
like something raspy and metallic trying to wheeze through the game.
The other game on this disc, Silent Hill 3 only contains the original
soundtrack which works perfectly in my opinion.
Both titles look pretty
neat on modern displays. The fog in Silent Hill 2 truly comes to life in
this edition, and textures are nicely rendered. The monsters in both
editions were well done in the first place so it was mainly a case of
making them playable now. The degree of success regarding this is
unfortunately somewhat debatable.
Whilst I enjoyed this game back when it first came out, it was a very
mixed experience for me as of course in the interim I've been lucky
enough to play all sorts of games across a variety of systems in the
last ten years.
This game in the here and now plays like you are a tank. An awkward one.
And Silent Hill 3 isn't much better. I struggled with the camera angles,
aiming weapons and general movement across both games. It was an awkward
frustrating experience that both disorientates and annoys. I could get
through the games but it was a matter of working through what we would
only consider glitches or faults now. For a young gamer who didn't have
a history with this title, sadly I honestly don't think they will enjoy
one iota of what this collection has to offer unless they approach it
with a very open mind. Which of course I would hope that they do.
Silent Hill 3 also has
lag issues, especially when dealing with large open environments. I'm
not sure why but it does get in the way of gameplay at times and proves
frustrating at others. The story remains fantastic, and Heather is still
a good hero, as is James. The titles just play awkwardly to the point
that the storyline is affected.
The collection is also rounded out by the option provided in the
collectors edition of Silent Hill 2 that allows you to play the
storyline from the viewpoint of Maria, also from the game. It's a good
edition and one that adds a lot more value to your purchase.
I guess that ultimately
takes us to the question; Is this title worth buying?
I would say that the answer would have to be yes, most definitely. Us
older gamers will love the chance to go back to a game that was truly a
breakthrough for it's time. It's still scary as all get out and filled
with the most eerie environments ever seen in a video game, at least in
my opinion. The audio is creepy and a true character in itself so make
sure your sound system is up to snuff before embarking on this journey.
You won't be disappointed. A friendly note to younger gamers would be
simply this: Be kind to this game and give it a chance. Both titles on
this collection are what made the games that you enjoy now so good. A
lot of them wouldn't have the edge that you take for granted if it
wasn't for Silent Hill. So be kind and remember the legacy behind this
title and proceed with caution, a great and horrifying story awaits.