Thursday, January 8, 2015

PS2 Week: Silent Hill 2

Howdy boys and girls and welcome back for Day 4 of PS2 Week. Well I had lined up a Bassmasters game of fishing excitement to the likes no other fishing game could muster... but then I remembered it was a fishing game and that is dull in my book. So howsabout a horror game sequel that is sequel in name only??? Say Whaaaaaa???? But Jake that only happens in the volley of cheesy B-movie horror movies you sift through. Well you are wrong, strange person that comes into my apartment to shout at my head. Need better locks. I speak of a game giving third person view, showing us bizarre clues, keys and other such useful items in a sleepy, forgotten town. This is Silent Hill 2.

Stop following me, John Carpenter musical score!!!

The survival horror game got its sequel but in title name only as we roam about in the boots of James Sunderland as he searches endlessly for the whereabouts of his wife Mary, who died of an illness three years prior which her last known location was Silent Hill. Finding an obscure note from his wife telling him to meet her in their special place in Silent Hill. Trudging through this now insane monster ridden town, James encounters Maria, who bares an uncanny resemblance to his wife, who claims to not know his wife and has no idea how she ended up in this town.
Terrified to be alone, Maria convinces James to let her tag along with him as they search the area for clues leading them to the long since abandoned hospital where our old friend Pyramid Head chases them, kills Maria while James narrowly escapes. Making his way to the local hotel where James and Mary spent vacation time, James runs into Maria alive and whole. Is James going mad? Is he on a fool's errand? Will Silent Hill relinquish its hold on him?

My God, I really do look like Sean Bean.

A few technical differences from the original, you no longer have that herky jerky tank turret turning to face opponents. The heads up display is gone but if you pause the game it will have the map layout as you have explored it, the clues that you have gathered and the detailed notes to each clue and mystery being solved. There is at least six ways the game will end at which gives you a fair amount of elbow room and room for error and wisdom.

As far as influences you got the feel that the folks of Team Silent dabbled in a bit of Hitchcock, David Chronenberg and even a smidgen of David Lynch giving it a psychological thriller combined with terrifying imagery, eerie sounds and a musical score that always sets the scenes. With 3D environments similar to Tomb Raider, the game's graphics are sharper, the characters physical appearances are better defined and game play via controller is improved dramatically. The unveiling of each environment feels almost like Alone in the Dark back in '92 with its depths of shadow and contrast. A warped vision providing hours of entertainment but not much in the way of sound sleep.

Some sprucing up and some throw pillows... nah it'll look like crap still.