Silent Hill HD Collection Review

Whether they be die-hard fans of Silent Hill or newcomers to the series, players know Konami has taken some missteps with recent titles like Homecoming and Downpour. Games rarely stand up to the test of time, and the HD Collection is no exception. Fresh faces will complain about tank controls and fixed camera angles at first, but the great accomplishments Konami has made with the franchise name still shine through.

A feeling of unrest is common due to the unsettling set pieces and atmospheric sounds. Many of the scares are produced by the player's mind instead of the decaying, organic environments, forcing you to suffer rather than perish. The sanctuary of a save point will be the only reassuring grace for your sanity.

Because the main characters of Silent Hill are often portrayed as ordinary people, James Sunderland is relatable from the start. Silent Hill 2 establishes a deep narrative, opening with a reading of a letter from James's wife, Mary, a woman who has been dead for many years. She says that she is waiting for him in their "special place," and so begins James's journey to find his betrothed in the foggy town of Silent Hill.

 

Angela Orosco, one of Silent Hill's tortured souls.

 

The horror of the town is often compounded by stories concerning abuse, murder, and illness. These inclusions make Silent Hill feel even more uncomfortable and insane in a way that even the most cerebral games have trouble matching. Walls pulsate as membranes squish beneath James's shoes, and who could forget the dread of being stalked by the tantamount Pyramid Head?

Silent Hill 3 is not quite of the same caliber as the previous title but is still an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. While Silent Hill 2 immediately throws the player into the story, SH3 takes too long to build its narrative. For a noticeable amount of time, Heather, the heroine, seems to wander aimlessly throughout the world, and puzzles are less entertaining as they contain little to no logic.

While Silent Hill 3 is not quite up to Silent Hill 2's level, it still has the high quality music, atmosphere, and scares. It holds its own as one of the better games in the franchise and is a great addition to this collection.

 

It's clear that these games were originally on the PS1/PS2.

 

The Silent Hill HD Collection provides gamers with some of the greatest survival horror titles in the genre. The HD overhaul looks great on the current generation consoles, the crisp, rerecorded dialogue produces believable performances, and Born From a Wish, the SH2 sub-scenario not available on the original PS2 release, finds its way into the compilation. The HD Collection will leave older fans recalling horrific memories of late-night frights and give recent converts new ones to form. It would have been nice if Silent Hill 4: The Room received identical treatment, but what is included is well worth your money. Despite somewhat dated graphics, players of any era will be able to enjoy these games.

Publisher: Konami
Developer: Hijinx Studios, Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Release Date: March 20, 2012 
Number of Players: 1
Platforms: PlayStation 3 (Reviewed), Xbox 360

Josh Kowbel's picture

While I applaud your grammar and punctuation, I would have enjoyed more differentiation between the HD Collection and the original releases - the reason being I have not played a Silent Hill game before. And at a certain point, I don't believe the statement that "players of any era will love these games" is necessarily true. You yourself mentioned that newcomers may be dissuaded by the tank controls and awkward camera angles. 

christothefirst's picture

@Josh Kowbel Thanks for the comment. I also appreciate the constructive feedback and have adjusted my review. This is my first review I've written so I hope to get better as I write more.

I also highly recommend picking up the collection or the original silent hill off of the PSN.

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