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This is probably my best game of all time an, at times uncomfortable, insight into the depth of human experience, whilst also an excellent gameplay experience. The game doesn't have any real relationship with the first game other than the location, however fans of one will love the second installments faithfulness to a mounting sense of fear and confusion, scored by similarly unsettling music. On one level this is a game about survival, yet on another it is an almost freudian investigation into man's mind and the demons it conceals. Almost Hitchcockian moments of shrill terror are balanced with some poingnant and fascinating characters and moments of sentiment or unbridled sadness. The difficulty levels on the game can be tweaked to individual preferences and their are some unique rewards for the player who wishes to obtain all available endings. A truly beautiful and scary epic with a truly cinematic feel and unsettling subtext. My addition contains an extra game, playable as Maria, full instructions and a truly terrible 'making of' DVD that is so bad it's good.
Silent Hill 2 is the eagerly awaited sequel to the very popular Silent Hill and is the first of many Silent Hill games to be set on the Playstation 2.
Although the game shares a setting with its predecessor and takes place within the tourist resort of Silent Hill, the game is not a direct sequel and does not follow on in terms of storyline and over arching plot. Instead the story follows a new cast of characters and the town of Silent Hill takes on a very different form with the game exploring psychological themes rather those of the occult.
Silent Hill 2 follows the protagonist James Sunderland in his journey to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his wife, Mary, telling him that she is waiting for him there. Nothing unusual in that. Oh wait! Mary has been dead for three years. Trying to discover the origins of the letter and the truth about his wife (deceased or otherwise) James travels through the eternal fog that plagues the town and confronts the demons that hide there. Along the way he meets a new cast of characters who all have their own stories and reasons for coming to the town. In the town he meets with a woman named Maria, who appears to be the spitting image of Mary but with stark personality differences and she seems to know more than she lets on.
The gameplay remains true to the original with a third person control system allowing you to guide James through the town and examine your surroundings assisted by your ever faithful flashlight and radio. Indeed there is so little difference in the controls that if you are well versed in the Playstation controls you may never get used to the start button now being the pause button. I know I never have. James will helpfully turn his head to look at an item or enemy which is especially useful in either a dark room or when faced with an enemy who looks and acts dead but is really just having you on and will strike when you get close enough.
The game again focuses on solving puzzles, riddles and having to find items to progress rather than combat. You can set the difficulty for both combat and riddles. Unfortunately raising the difficulty for combat just means it takes more bullets to kill your enemies and I did not find any of the boss battles particularly challenging. There is no difference in their strategy on easy or hard, they can just deal more damage and take longer to kill but remain simplistic fights in terms of strategy. The riddles however become considerably more challenging on harder levels, assuming of course you do not remember the answers from your first play through on a less difficult setting.
An added dimension to the gameplay is the inclusion of a second character to protect. At points in the game you will be joined by Maria who you are expected to protect. Maria has no visible health of her own but if she is attacked enough (or you shoot her in the head :P) she will die. I never found her too much of a problem in terms of protection but goodness me she is annoying and managed to get in your way whenever you are trying to run away from something. She also has the abiliy of appearing on the other side of a door before you do and she made me jump many a time by suddenly being before me in a new and unexplored room.
=Graphics & Soundtrack=
When I first played Silent Hill 2 I was taken aback by how good the graphics were. At the time I didn't realise there was no difference between gameplay graphics and cut scene graphics. As a result at the beginning of the game where you see James looking over a stunning view of the Silent Hill landscape I waited for about ten minutes for something to happen before realising I was in control of the character. There are almost no cinematic sequences even in the ending, but the in game graphics accomodate the scenes well.
The soundtrack works well to create suspense and has a number of pieces that are especially moving and beautiful.
=Born From a Wish=
Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut includes a sub scenario 'Born From a Wish'. A short game following Maria shortly before she meets with James in the main game. The gameplay is identical to the main game except it sees you control Maria rather than James. Although I enjoyed the storyline I thought that it did not add much to Maria's character and certainly doesn't explain her origins which I assume is what was intended by its inclusion.
On the whole I love this game, though initially I hated it. I actually preowned it after completing it, I had that little desire to play it again, but since then it has become one of my favourite games. What I love about it is that the storyline is so deep and can be thought about on so many levels. Even the monsters involved are examples of the disturbed psyches of the characters and Silent Hill emerges as a personal hell rather than a physical hellish location. The inclusion of four serious and two joke endings just give you added reasons to play through it again and again.
In Silent Hill 2 you play as James Sunderland, who 3 years prior to the game had lost his with through illness. Then James receives a letter from his wife (remember that shes dead) telling him she wants to meet him in their 'special place'. Just his luck, as their special place is Silent Hill. Naturally you decide you wanna check this out so off to Silent Hill we go. That's pretty much the outline. Of course being Silent Hill there's a hell of a lot more to it. Unfortunately I cant go into too much detail as this review would pages long (i suggest checking out my article on the narratives and themes presented in Silent Hill, coming shortly). I'll just say that the story has plenty of twists and turns and nothing is ever what it seems...
Much like the first, Silent Hill contains a blend of action and puzzle solving. For me personally this works extremely well as I'm a huge fan of both. Whats really neat is that if your more muscle then brains you can set action to hard and puzzles to easy and vice versa, so you can easily customize the game to suit your preferred method of play. The puzzles generally involve trying to locate something, which is normally locked up which leads to finding a key or code. The action revolves around keeping yourself alive by the means of using various weapons (wooden bats and guns). As usual with Silent Hill the controls aren't epic but the stubborn controls add to the feel and atmosphere of the game, much the same way the controls in Resident Evil do.
The PS2 Silent Hill games alongside the Metal Gear Solid series, have always, in my opinion, been the highlight of what a PS2 can deliver in terms of graphics. The strength of Silent Hill is that it doesn't have to show off really detailed and high resolution textures as most of the time everything is covered with a hazy fog, which does the game great justice as it adds to atmosphere. As always with every SH game its character design and animation that makes it a win for me. The creepy, double jointed, horrifically scarred nurses are the highlight here, so much so that they have become a cult icon and are commonly the first thing people think of when Silent Hill is mentioned. Although the nurses are popular, we certainly cant forget a little someone who was introduced in SH2. I do of course speak of the legendary Pyramid Head, perhaps one of the most iconic characters across the whole horror game spectrum, probably because he's just so damn freaky yet awesome at the same time. But yeah I can't say a bad thing about the graphics, while they aren't the prettiest ever, they compliment the atmosphere the game creates so well.
Another near perfect score here. Odd that I should score the game so highly for sound considering there's hardly any in it. But like every aspect of this game, its not about quantity, its all about how its used to create the creepy and tense atmosphere that Silent Hill is famous for. For the most part the only thing you will hear is the sound of James's footsteps clunking through an eerie hallway or the creak of rusty metal as a door is opened. Of course anyone who has played a Silent Hill game will know that the kicker here is the unforgettable industrial clanking of drums and the shrieking of stringed instruments that begins when an enemy is nearby. Normally you may think where's the horror in that? Being forewarned of an enemy defeats the whole point of a horror game surely? Well not here. When that 'music' begins to play I know that a shitstorm is coming. It gets to a point where I'm anticipating it so much that the mere waiting of it to happen is more frightening then the thing itself.
Scare Factor 9/10
Just like my review for The Grudge (Wii game), I was so very tempted to award Silent Hill a perfect 10 here, but once again I feel compelled to save that score for something really special. Not to say that Silent Hill isn't special, of all the Silent Hill games number 2 is perhaps my favourite and the one I found most terrifying. This game, and indeed the whole series, deserves such high recognition simply because they don't just scare you because of big old monster, its in the way that every last little detail contributes in some way to creating such an immersive atmosphere. It really is actually quite difficult to describe how this game is scary, it just is. The constant feeling of isolation if another factor. Even though at one point you are joined by another character (not for very long though thank you pyramid head) there is a constant feeling of being completely alone. No one to talk to, no one to help you out, just you on your todd. Despite everything I said about it not being about monsters but about everything else as a whole, I just want to say how freaking creepy those nurses are. They way they look, the way the move, just everything about them. Also I would like to point out that I was absolutely terrified when I walked into a room and saw Pyramid Head having violent sex (or something) with 2 dead demon nurses. I'm still having nightmares....
Final Score 90%
Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
Peaceful vacation town, scenic lake view, suspicious noises, unsettlingly dark rooms and disfigured
monster nurses... yes, it's Silent Hill again.
Konami decided to give fans a second scare with the release of the sequel to Silent Hill on the Playstation, Silent Hill 2 was released back in 2001 on the Playstation 2 and has since seen
re-releases and even a port to the Xbox 360, but how does it stand up to it's predecessor?
Silent Hill 2 is not a direct sequel to SH1 (if you want that you have to play Silent Hill 3) even though it does take place in the same town it has a new set of characters and a whole new story, that being the case means even if you missed the first game you can still jump right into playing this one without feeling out of place. The game starts with the main character James Sunderland staring into a public bathroom mirror on the outskirts of Silent Hill. Three years prior James' wife Mary passed away after a long bout with illness however James received a from someone claiming to be Mary, saying that she was waiting for him in the town Silent Hill in their "special place" where James and Mary spent time together while she was still healthy. Now James isn't the type of person to just believe that his wife is back from the dead and writing him, however James wants to find out who did write the letter and why and so the game begins. The story for Silent Hill 2 is vastly superior to that of SH1, the character's emotions are presented in a much clearer fashion (partly due to better voice acting and partly due to better scripting), the story overall is also far better (though not perfectly) explained to the player and more intelligent than the first Silent Hill.
The gameplay for Silent Hill 2 hasn't changed much, for those of you who haven't played the original (or read my fantastic review of it... what?) Silent Hill relies on gamelpay focused on survival over combat, to that extant combat is made purposefully cumbersome in an attempt to make the player consider avoiding combat a more appealing option. The puzzle element features more heavily in this game with there being at least one puzzle in every area you visit in the game (though there's usually more). Exploration in Silent Hill 2 is also unchanged with the use of fog or darkness to obscure visibility, making for some feeling of isolation while paradoxically making you think there's something in the corner of that dark room, fortunately the radio also makes a welcome return letting you know whenever there's a nasty lurking about by giving off plenty of noisy static. Silent Hill 2 is easier than the first game with the only real difficulty coming from some of the more challenging puzzles (even they aren't too difficult) however the game still manages to keep your attention with the intriguing story and tangible atmosphere, as with the first game the length is somewhat disappointing with an average person beating the game in five to seven hours which while still an improvement on the original is still a little short. Thankfully multiple endings reappear for this game as well as end of game scores giving a shot to the game's replay value and helping to make up for the low play time. An extra sub story called "Born From A Wish" is also available, though it's only on the re-released director's cut version of the game.
Graphics are well observed in Silent Hill 2, it's a nice looking game (though there are better on the Playstation 2) with monsters contorting and shifting realistically, lighting and shadows created from the the flash light flowing fluidly enough. The environments are suitably sparse to give the player a feeling that the town of Silent Hill really is abandoned without feeling lazy or empty.
Akira Yamaoka, composer for the original Silent Hill was back for the second instalment and managed to outdo himself (that's a difficult thing to do) with music and sound effects. When the game is trying to give you a case of the shivers Yamaoka's quiet and unassuming background music goes a long way to setting the atmosphere will the guitar heavy melodies he places after major events occur in the game give a good account of James' mood.
Silent Hill 2 is better then the first in the series in just about every department, the graphics (going from PS1 to PS2 means they obviously would be) and sound are a cut above the original and story wise this game is on an entirely different planet. For those who enjoyed Silent Hill then the sequel is most definitely for you, if you're a fan of psychological and atmosphere induced scares then again I recommend this game. If you didn't like the like the original game or don't like survival horrors in general then don't buy this game. On a side note, the European release of the game comes with a "making of" CD with an art gallery and information from the creators which is a nice touch if you find learning about development of games or the men behind them interesting. This game (like the first) won't set you back much, going for as little as £2.00 to £3.00 it really is a bargin.
At A Glance.
Gameplay ~ 7/10
Story ~ 8/10
Graphics ~ 8/10
Sound ~ 8/10
Replay Value ~ 7/10
Final Score: 38/50
I actually bought a Playstation 2 just to play this game after reading a review of it, and I have to say it was worth every penny, I was not disappointed.
The game begins with your character, James, revisiting a place called Silent Hill after finding a letter which claimed to be from his dead wife saying that she was waiting for him "in their special place", which he feels is the town of Silent Hill. Only Silent Hill is not a normal town - it is deserted, a ghost town shrouded in mist and haunted by monsters.
James has to search for clues to find the truth - is his wife still alive after all, or is it some kind of trick?
You take him on a journey through the town and its creepy buildings, including a derelict hotel, hospital, prison and boathouse. All the while you are coming across various enemies that you have to fight, from animated shop mannequins to zombie nurses to the wonderfully frightening Pyramid Head. You also meet some human characters to help you in your quest, but they may not always be quite what they seem.
The truth, as they say, will out in the end and it makes for a fabulous plot and storyline to back up the excellent gameplay and the deliciously creepy graphics (supported by a fabulous soundtrack).
You can achieve a variety of endings depending on how you have played the game and the actions you have taken, which is a nice touch (even if some of them are bizarre - try for the Dog Ending for a really weird one), and replaying after completion will give you some extras such as new weapons to find (chain saw etc).
Still my favourite game :o)
I love Silent Hill. Imma let you all know that right now.
I love the stories, the setting, the characters, the creatures and not forgetting the critically panned but (in my humble opinion) fantastic horror movie directed by that awesome foreign bloke.
Silent Hill 2 centres around the protagonist James Sunderland, who finds himself at the mercy of Silent Hill due to recieving a letter from his deceased wife, Mary, informing him to come to their "special place". Armed with a flashlight and a heart of courage, James ventures deep into the world of Silent Hill to uncover the truth about his summoning. On his way he bumps into a cast of perculiar, freakish and above all - unreliable characters who have mysteriously wound up in Silent Hill, too...
Everything about this game is fantastic. The cut-scenes in particular - which stand out in my mind as being one of the most terrifying things I've ever encountered. The language in the game can often be broken and badly phrased, and I believed that was due to the game being translated from its original Japenese text. WRONG. The writers actually wrote the script intending to be like that, which aids in building up a sense of foreboding terror, and disjointed horror...
The graphics aren't spectacular, and the controls can feel clumsy - but I am applying this in retrospect, and by today's standards these aesthetic choices serve merely as mechanisms to make the game even more terrifying. There is just something about it, difficult to explain, that depresses and messes (rhyme - hell yeah) with the mind through the whole way it is structured and presented.
I do have one criticism however. Whilst playing, I never felt truly as scared as I thought I would. It's a broody, constantly testing game which did genuinely creep me out and mess around with my head a little. The psychological horror was extremely well thought out - as it delves into the mind and tests its player with horrific imagery that can be associated to real nightmares. I think, however, the soul reason why I didn't find it truly terrifying is because the monsters are just not vicious enough. Before you begin to think "It's not about scary monsters making you jump, it's about the atmosphere" know that I'm not bashing that. If there's one thing you can't take away from Silent Hill, it's the fantastic horror atmosphere. I'm not even asking for jump scares. The monsters look fantastic and horrific, but if they were just that little bit more dangerous and relentless and harshly aggressive (with of course the exception of Pyramid Head) then I think I would have felt far more claustrophobic and petrified than I originally did.
Most standout memory: Seeing as this game has remained in my mind since the day I played it, I would hazard to say the majority of the game stood out as being particularly scary. The one moment I can really remember wetting myself over, however, was during the sequence where you had to run away from Pyramid Head. And you're little lady friend is (in typical horror-like fashion) basically less fit than you and cannot keep up. Such a horrible, horrible yet brilliant game.
Thoroughly reccomend to any horror fans.
I am not normally much of a gamer. However, my boyfriend had the box set of Silent Hill games 2 - 4 and recommended that I play them. So I took his advice and started to play.
The game follows James Sunderland who arrives in Silent Hill after receiving letters from Mary. Mary was his late wife who died of an illness some time ago. The game is mostly eerily quiet, which adds to the creepy atmosphere. As you lead James Sunderland through the misty streets of Silent Hill you suddenly hear the white noise from the radio which suddenly flickers into life as one of a variety of different unworldly creatures crawl out of the mist to attack.
This game is generally so quiet, that, when you hear the white noise signalling an impending encounter you literally jump out of your skin. The story of this game is excellent as it develops to one of several possible conclusions. It also has many puzzles which you need to solve in order to progress in the game. I particularly liked the way you could change the difficulty settings of the puzzles and the encounters. So you could for instance have difficult puzzles but easy encounters. I found this meant that the game was very playable for myself, a novice gamer. The main protagonist Pyramid Head is particularly creepy, I had nightmares about this character for weeks after, as every good horror game should!
This game is very scary but also fun and addictive, if you like horror but are not really a gamer I suggest giving this excellent game a go!
Silent Hill 2 may very well be the best horror game ever created - it is a breakthrough experience both as a visually stunning game, and also as an existential parable that explores family, loss, and love as offshoots. This is emotional, cerebral, extremely visceral gaming at its very best, and is the best of what is by its own merits a stunningly good series.
If you've played the first game, then you'll know the premise - a poor sap arrives at the small, desserted town of Silent Hill, where fog spreads throughout, and soon enough, they realise that it's essentially a schizophrenic town that changes between being normal and becoming "dark", where any manner of dangerous beasties come out to kill you, as well as some more disturbing enemies, such as zombified nurses. In this game, you play James Sutherland, a man who has recently lost his wife, and so he ventures to Silent Hill to get some R&R and clear his head, and also tend to a strange letter from his supposedly dead wife that told him to meet her there. Sadly, that reality is smashed near enough as soon as he arrives there, and the town becomes a manifestation of all of his fears, dreams, and desires, and has been interpretted as representing his id, the psychological construct that Freud purported to contain all of these unconscious feelings. The game also presents the best and most famous antagonist of the series - Pyramid Head, a hulking monster that seems to have a pyramid (that resembles a cheese grater) for a head, and he stalks you throughout the game with a HUGE sword.
This is a wonderfully crafted game that's visually amazing, thematically one of the most intelligent and least condescending games on the market, and inventive with a number of weird and wonderful bosses, as well as some superbly creepy atmospheric touches. A masterpiece of the survival horror genre.
This is more than a computer game, it is an experience.
Turn off the lights, get a surround sound system, turn up the volume, make sure your alone and start the game.
If you do the above you will create such an atmosphere within your house that will scare you silly. Its fantasticly brilliant and definately meets on a par with the resident evil series.
The creators of the game have concentrated more on the presentation of the game such as the graphics, sound effects etc than the playability of the game such as controlling the character. Although this does not hinder its quality simply because the game grabs your attention and your too scared to move anyway.
You must make your way through the game battling zombies and other creatures with your weapons. You have health and you must watch your health otherwise your gonna die.
You won't want to be alone after playing Silent Hill 2. I suggest you have your mom on the line just in case you get scared :-D
Silent Hill 2 is the bestselling sequel to the original PSone game and the first of four episodes in the series to appear on the PS2 console. Although it doesn't carry on directly from the first game, SH2 does return the gamer to the same mist enshrouded American town chock full of eccentric characters and scary, twisted creatures eager to tear you limb from limb.
Three years ago, James Sunderland tragically lost his wife to a mysterious illness. Today, he has returned to Silent Hill after supposedly recieving a letter from his dead wife asking him to meet him there at their "special place". Arriving at the outskirts, he finds the town all but abandoned, covered entirely in mist and frequented by bizarre and dangerous monsters whose presence is signified by the sound of static that breaks out on a portable radio that James shortly discovers abandoned in some ruins.
The whole game basically covers James journey across the town of Silent Hill; a journey that is fraught with danger and various obstacles that he must find his way around. Often some kind of puzzle is concerned and the difficulty of these is determined at the beginning of the game along with the difficulty level of the monsters. First time through, you may want to set these both to normal because some of the creatures can afflict a fair bit of damage especially the nurses that frequent the halls of a darkened hospital that James finds himself exploring later in the game. If you have seen the film, then the nurses will be familiar to you as will the Pyramid Head creature that seems to stalk your every move. But be warned, in this game just turning out your torch only makes you a harder target for them to find. Unlike the movie, these nurses will hunt and hunt you until you finally resort to physical; violence and cave their bloody heads in!
It's fair to say that there is something very psycholgically scary about walking through a fog covered enviroment only able to see a few yards ahead of the character you are playing. When the monsters come stumbling out of the fog in front of you with very little warning, and when you start encountering them in the darkened hallways of some of the buildings you enter, it is difficult indeed not to feel a little heavy in the pants department. The blood and gore is not excessive but is there and those who are squeamish or of a nervous disposition should probably avoid.
My only complaint is that, at times, the game is a little easy even on normal setting. Playing on hard however can be a major challenge and should only be tackled by those brave enough to go around the town with little health packs or ammo or by those replaying the game to get one of the multiple endings. There are three endings you can get depending on your actions throughout the game and whether or not you have played the game before and have a save on your memory card. There are also two joke endings- one which features the UFO and aliens from the joke ending in the first game and another known only as the "dog" ending. I'll leave that to you to discover what thats all about but both these are triggered by certain actions you can perform in the game at set locations throughout the town. There is even a bonus mini-game prelude that can be played once the main story-thread has been completed.
Overall this is something of a classic game and one of the best entries in a series that has spawned several manga comics, a highly rated film and which has a new installment due to hit next-gen consoles sometime this year. Directed by a new team however, it remains to be seen whether or not it can live up to the reputation that Silent Hill, the franchise, really started gathering from this moment onwards....
Be afraid, be very afraid.......theres something in the Dark and it's coming to get you Barbera.......
I have known grown men admit to being too scared to get out of the lounge to go up to bed after playing SH2.
Yes it is bloody scary! even the zombie nurses scare me.
But its a beautiful game, so atmospheric and absorbing. The music is hauntingly beautiful. But this game should be played correctly, lights off, windows open and in the dark cold of night. You'll get the real feel of it then.
James Sunderland, recieves aletter from his wife Mary, er, only shes dead inviting him to their 'special place' in a town called Silent Hill.
Most of the game is spent navigating through the town, picking up clues and keys to lead you onto the next place. A little bit of zombie killing also, but you can just run straight past them to conserve your health and energy.
Theres a few puzzles and riddles also.
Early in the game James picks up a radio, and OMG the sound when the zombies are near is so very unsettling - STATIC. Its sends shivers up your spine.
Pyramid head (aka c*nty mctriangle) is the boss, and you will have to fight him occasionally.
It really is a fantastic game, one you will be fully sucked in to.
The great thing is understanding the symbology of it all, pyramid head for example and how it is representative of James' inner pain.
Also see the film of Silent hill, but only if youre a SH gamer, otherwise it makes sod all sense, and in my opnion does not standalone as a film.
Silent hill 2 , is one off the most scareiest games even today, editors must have spent a long time on this game becasue the game play is just unbleivable, and best off all like most playstaion 2 games now can be picked up from as little as £5 and for that sort of money , a game to definitly spend your pocket money on, the only downside for me to this game and the outhers in the series is there is a long list of things to find and unlock and without many clues to where abouts items are to be found makes the game play a bit frustrating when you feel that you have been looing in the same place or room more than once , but anyone with an adventurious side to them that dosent mind a bit of thriller/horrer then i realy think this game should be in everyone playsation 2 game collection
Silent Hill 2 is a beautiful, cinematic experience of a game. It is ridiculously frightening, features moderately well-done action, and compelling characters that would be just as believable in a more "legitimate" work of fiction, IE a film or a novel.
The survival horror style game is mostly about avoiding enemies and conserving ammunition and medical supplies. This is usually a heart-pounding experience, but occasional backtracking or getting stuck on a complex puzzle requires the player to spend time killing the monsters instead of simply avoiding them. Thankfully, in most cases, they do not respawn, and once an area is cleared, it remains so even if you leave.
The game was one of the first on the ps2, and its graphics are still some of the best. Konami went all-out with this game following the success of its predecessor, and it shows. The writing, voice acting, and story are all top-notch. I cannot reccomend this game enough.
I thought it was time to write up another game review. This time, I thought I'd back track to one of the older PS2 titles available:
SILENT HILL 2: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT
I've been a fan of the Silent Hill franchise ever since I played the original game back in 1999 on the humble Playstation. Despite the limitations of the original Playstation system, Silent Hill was a very memorable and to be honest, scary experience.
Silent Hill 2 was released on the then next-gen PS2 in 2001. With the prospect of better graphics and sound, I started playing Silent Hill 2 with some trepidation. Would this second game convey the same sense of out-and-out loneliness and horror of the first?
Read on (if you dare) and I'll tell you...
In Silent Hill 2, you control a different main character called James Sunderland. When the game begins, he's in a very grubby public toilet where he is looking in a mirror. As he steps outside, we see that he is on the outskirts of Silent Hill.
His reason for being there is that he has received a letter from his wife Mary - asking him to meet her at their "special place"... Silent Hill. Nothing too unusual about that - right? Wrong. Mary died three years before the time in which the game is set.
Knowing full well that dead people can't write and send letters, James heads to the town of Silent Hill. As he witnesses horrific creatures through the misty streets, he begins to wonder if perhaps Mary is alive in the town after all.
There are a few other people that James finds in the town. It appears that they too have been summoned to Silent Hill... but why... and by whom?
Among the people he encounters is a young woman named Maria. James is startled by her appearance - as she bears a strong resemblance to his long-lost Mary - although her clothes and hair-style are vastly different to that of Mary - along with her personality. Is this woman Mary or someone completely unrelated to her and James?
The only way to find out the truth is to venture into the desolate town of Silent Hill...
The game is played in a third person perspective. Thankfully the in-game camera is generally unobtrusive to the player. You can walk around in the game - or run if you feel the need to (and believe me when I tell you that you WILL want to run).
As the game unfolds, James will encounter many terrifying creatures from which he will have to confront and attack - or run from.
As with the original game, James finds an old radio that appears not to work - but strangely gives off a static sound whenever a nightmare creature is nearby. This can be very unnerving when you know that there is something awful close to you that you can't actually see yet as it's shrouded in dense fog or dark, shadowy areas. In this sense, it's a game that will have your nerves jangling almost constantly. Whether or not you choose to play the game at night and with the lights off is entirely a personal choice of the player but suffice to say if they choose to play it in those conditions, they may wish to have some clean underpants nearby!
The good news is that James will find weapons that will even the odds somewhat when entering into combat against the terrifying creatures that inhabit Silent Hill. The first weapon he finds is crude but effective (a piece of wood with some nails in the end) but there will be other weapons that you will find as the game unfolds - including the likes of a steel pipe, pistol, shotgun and a rifle. It's worth mentioning that should you return to the game after having previously completed it, you will be awarded another great weapon to dish out an ass-kicking to the monsters... a chainsaw! Anyone who's ever watched the Evil Dead films will know that a chainsaw is more than capable of disposing of enemies. If it's good enough for Ash, it's certainly good enough for James!
Apart from facing scary beasties, there will be frequent sections of the game that will call upon the players' ability to solve puzzles and riddles in order to progress. Thankfully, this never gets in the way of the enjoyment of the game. If anything, it's quite good to get challenges set to give your old grey matter a work out.
Both the difficulty of the enemies and puzzles can be made easier or harder - which will make the game accessible to lots of players.
The graphics within the game are unsurprisingly a major step up from the original Playstation graphics. The degree of detail is far more impressive too - although a lot of detail is lost within the swirling fog. The fog no doubt serves as a means to the programmers of the game to ensure it runs at a premium speed without any slow-down.
The colour scheme and general appearance of the game conveys a real sense of dread and apprehension. Some of the areas that James must pass through on his quest are uninviting to say the very least. Some of the places unlikely to ever be tourist hot-spots include the like of a slaughterhouse and a prison morgue which is full of decomposing dead bodies. Certainly it's fair to say that a lot of this disturbing imagery will stay with you long after you've turned off the PS2 - even if you don't want it to.
The characters within the game are all convincing and pretty realistic all in all. This helps make the game a more realistic experience. Sadly, this is a double-edged sword as the credible graphics also mean that the nightmarish creatures found wandering around Silent Hill are also convincing enough to give you goose bumps, make your skin crawl and generally be a pretty good laxative...
The sound of Silent Hill 2 is excellent. The voice-acting (and script) of the game is actually very impressive and flows well. All too often we have seen and played games where the voice-acting is so totally wooden and unrealistic that you can never get into the feel of it, let alone get immersed in the plot.
Thankfully, Silent Hill 2 doesn't suffer from this problem - and this allows the player to genuinely feel like they've been transported into this hellish other-world.
The music within the game is fantastic also. It ranges from some gentle guitar pieces to some genuinely unsettling sounds that comprise solely of droning noises and many other unidentifiable sounds. This also is reflected in the game when you often hear terrible sounds that make you wonder if they're being made by some terrible creature that is lurking nearby.
The value of the game is increased in the Director's Cut of the game which has another section of the story that can be played after you complete the main part of the game. This extra section lets you play as Maria and adds a little more weight to the story.
Also the fact that the game has several different endings depending on how you've played the game increases the replay factor sufficiently.
Silent Hill 2 is a great game that may not be suitable for everyone given the disturbing scenarios shown therein. However, if you can stomach that element, you'll discover a great survival horror game. Although the combat isn't as fierce as in the Resident Evil series (which will always be compared with the Silent Hill series) the atmosphere of the game will have you on the edge of your seat - and without a shadow of a doubt have you jumping out of your skin at times too.
This is a brilliant part of the Silent Hill franchise and is a game I'd utterly recommend.
Perhaps one day I'll see you on the foggy streets of Silent Hill...
Thanks for reading this.
Silent Hill 2 I am a big Resident Evil fan I love playing the games but when they kind of wore themselves out I needed a new challenge this is when Silent Hill series appealed to me. I didn?t want to play the original, as it would have been slightly dated by now s I brought Silent Hill 2 of Amazon, as it seemed such an amazing bargain at £5.30 --== First thoughts ==-- It came in a special edition box that folds out and is included in the box is a ?making of? Compact Disk. The holder folds in 3, this then goes into a cover it is all very dark colours, but the great thing is that it fits into normal DVD holders unlike a lot of other special boxes The game does take a while to get swinging unlike the Resident Evil series that swings you right into things Silent Hill 2 eases you more in bringing in the concept of the game more and more. --== Plot ==-- Without giving a single thing away which is very hard as twists and turns are all over this film. You control James Sunderland who has been brought to this strange city by his dead wife in the hope to find her he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into the weird city. In my mind this game could really be a film if people do not mind sitting around for this long, the story is so evolving it just goes from step to step changing what you think about the city time after time. Compared to Resident Evil storyline miles better as there are so many characters with their own personality for you to interact with. Resident Evil is also extremely predictable where as Silent Hill 2 will keep you guessing right up to the end as you do not know what is going on, as with Resident Evil you know that they are trying to escape and that?s what you have to do to succeed. --== Graphics ==-- These are re
ally good, up to date looking and very realistic there is no edge joining that show through to talk about everything looks like it is suppose to be. A sheer delight on the eyes, really everything from the surroundings to the enemies are really good, not just the cut scenes. As we all know when games advertise games they tend to just show the cut scenes from the game but the graphics are all near enough at that level. They have done something very smart they have added a kind of grainy effect to the graphics. It is like watching through an old or damaged television this means that they can get away with a certain degree of wrongness. --== Silent Hill ==-- The area itself of Silent Hill (the place) is massive everything from a church to a bar giving you a lot more to explore as a whole from the original. My mate was complaining, like he always does, that you can only enter building that are relevant to the game in this big city he argues that James shouldn?t always know where he has to go. But lets be realistic the game contains a lot of enemies and not many allies to give you clues to what you have to do so if you could explore everything they would have to shave of the game elsewhere to make up for extra space needed for such a vast geographic area. Like Zelda the latest ones that really took down the graphics to cope with map expansion, ruined the game for me felt like I was playing a kids game. Resident Evil is very direct you go from one place to another sorting out what you have to do very minimal space this makes it obvious what you have to do to progress in the game and does not leave a lot up to the imagination. --== Enemies ==-- The first Silent Hill had weird small things and flying things, well say bye, bye to the comfort of stupid looking bad guys. Silent Hill 2 packs a punch of more human like bad guys, first type looks
like a standing up man in a straight jacket covered in raw brown bloody flesh, second two pairs of legs that are joined together that scuttle around, third being the solo survivor from the original is the nurses. They are all really creepy they look human like but not overly to be comforting, actually they are all really quite disturbing to look at. It is not just the look they move in a very weird way they twist and turn like they are struggling with every move of their body. The main boss is a slow moving bloke with a large metal case like object on his head, he might move slow but like most bosses that move slow he packs one hell of a hit with his sword, you will not have to take him on to many times so do not overly worry. Big difference between Resident Evil and Silent Hill here. Resident Evil is all about killing the enemies that?s all you really have to do the skill lays in saving good ammo for the harder enemies. Silent Hill the bad guys do not really pay much part a lot of them are easily avoided so you do not have to bother with fighting a lot of the time. --== Menu and Maps ==-- The game interface is not the best thought in the world you could carry as many items as you want and the navigation through the menus is risky at best. The life bar system is so confusing there is a little picture in the top right of the screen and this tells you how healthy you are, the more red it goes the worse state you are in. It is really hard to know when you have to use health-regenerating items. James owns a little map of certain places, you pick them up as you go along, but he also does doodles on them to show you open doors and locked doors, this is very useful as in big buildings navigation gets difficult because each corridor looks very similar. I prefer Resident Evil here for you can only carry so many items adding to the realism also health ha
s stages set and healing items do so much healing so you know easily where you stand health wise. --== Camera ==-- This is really the only part of the game that really matters that sometimes is such a let down. The camera sticks a lot of time in a position where you cannot actually even see the character that you are playing as. But they have from time to time allow you to put the camera in a kind of chase mood just following behind James, when they jam this off it can become so annoying especially trying to control the guy. This is just the same for Resident Evil that being poor camera angles but the big different was Silent Hill trying to combat this as much as they could possible with the optional chase camera. --== Atmosphere ==-- And we get down to it the thing that sets Silent Hill so far above the rest the feel the emotions that go through your head when playing the game. Silent Hill is so clever everything from the weird enemies to the continual uncertainty adds to the fear you feel in the game its one scary roller coaster. For a starters the fog that appears when you are in the city means you can not see far into the distance what so ever so you never really know what is coming up and enemies just appear from the mist as if from no where. Mind tricks, this game plays so many on you thinking you see one thing there one second and gone when you try to get an up close look of it, never sure what is going on or what will be where so you are continually expecting the worse to be happening. You will be scared even if you do not like to admit it, all your senses will be on edge from start to finish with this game. It is not one for the easily scared among us as every part of the game builds upon the suspense of the event before. --== Sound ==-- This is breath taking the way the have use sound in the simp
le ways. You have weird shrieking noises when you go near enemies it is almost like a warning, its not that when it is going off you are expecting something, anything to happen right at that moment it?s the type of noise it almost seems unworldly which really adds to the mystery the mind working over time. They have done such an amazing mind trick here, when you are running after a certain time they put a second set of footsteps in the background you stop and have a look around and it is nothing, but it keeps being nothing and you start to wonder if your mind is starting to play tricks on itself or is there something following you. --== Gameplay ==-- To progress in the game you have crypt clues, you can pick at the start the ease of these clues from 3 settings (easy, medium, hard) as well as the difficulty of the game. The clues are really good on medium because they are hard but gettable, you shouldn?t really do it on easy then build up because you will know everything to do already hence ruining the point of the clues. Length wise the game is a good length for the price you are paying for it, but it is one of these games that is all about the story once you have completed it you will not want to start over and do it again because you will know every thing that is going to happen. --== Verses Resident Evil ==-- Resident no doubt is the more popular choice here having sequel after sequel going across mass format, but I think Silent Hill has shown its strength and character by the fact that the 4th is soon being realised. For out right violence and action then Resident Evil is probably the best option, but all around game Silent Hill passes in brains needed, story line, characters, and all around scariness. Silent Hill every time for me. --== Character ==-- James Sunderland: The main character of the gam
e, he looks good thank you to the graphics smooth contours as well as a smooth run and walk given to him by the graphics department he looks life like. His search for something that he is not sure he can find I am sure is something we can all relate to. Also the character they have given him is very believable especially the way in cut scenes he reacts to situations going on around him. James when he sees something he likes from Ammo to Medicine he will look at it and become fixated upon it this is how you know that an item is near follow his line of sight, no shining items made to stick right out like Resident Evil. --== Overall ==-- The part of the best survival horror series out there, it?s a big improvement on the first but probably not as good as the third but it is really cheap you can pick it up off Amazon for a tenner easily, a great bargain well worth it for one of the best games I have ever played. The whole game feel and atmosphere beats the hell out of Resident Evil Code Veronica X and earlier, well any Resident Evil on a Playstation format. © David Clark (DavidJamesClark@hotmail.com)
Silent Hill 2 features customizable gameplay before embarking on a new adventure players can adjust the difficulty of both the action and the puzzle sequences.