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While Silent Hill 4 is stunning to look at, the controls can be somewhat awkward, especially if you are used to the previous Silent Hill series games.
1 Player Survival Horror Game
System: PS2 (Exclusive)
Rated: R (Violence, Horror)
Henry Townshend woke up one morning to find that he was locked in his apartment. Not only that, but it was locked from the inside. Now a bizarre hole has opened in his bathroom that takes him to a different “world”. There he meets the victims of a murderer from Silent Hill, who is obsessed with awakening his mother. Now Henry must save his neighbor and himself from becoming the next set of victims.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: Visually, it is a treat to behold.
The character models are quite realistic, and the monsters are terrifying.
Everything runs smootly, with very little jumps or glitches. Occasionally in the Subway World, a Demon Dog would get stuck
in the wall with only his head appearing on the other side barking
AUDIO: With all the
moaning and groaning in a game like this the sound is downright
awesome, you’ll feel like you’re there.
Every sound is perfectly pitched to scare the heck out of
you. The soundtrack too
is excellent; Akira Yamaoka once again proves that he rocks.
CONTROLS: While Silent Hill 4 is stunning to look at, the controls can be somewhat awkward, especially if you are used to the previous Silent Hill series games. While in Henry’s “room” (actually his apartment) the game is in the first-person, you move around as you would normally and examine items that an “eye” icon appears over with the X button. In the room, the only way to save the game is via a book on Henry’s coffee table. A chest by the TV holds all of Henry’s extra weapons and equipment that he can’t carry due to the fact that in this Silent Hill you can only carry 10 items or less. Gone is the infinite amount you could carry around in the previous games. The item chest can be a pain and is a straight rip-off from the Resident Evil series, but hey, what are you gonna do?
Once in the outside world (via the hole in the
bathroom) Henry is now in Silent Hill’s traditional
third-person. One of the key differences with The Room is that
Henry’s attacks can now vary in power, when you tap the X button a
gauge will appear in the upper left hand of the screen along with a
life meter. Depending
on how long you hold the X button determines how hard Henry thwacks
his undead enemies. Interesting,
but it just doesn’t seem to fit.
the game unlocks new weapons on top of that you can get four
different endings. You
can also unlock some rather revealing costumes for the two ladies of
the game as well if you beat it more than three times.
As always the Silent Hill cut scenes are fantastic.
They use the in-game models and don’t detract in any way
from the feeling of watching (and playing) a great horror movie.
You’re screwed here as you can only play as Henry.
CHEAT CODE YOU NEED:
All Weapon Mode, you get this if you can complete One Weapon
Mode with a 10 star rank. Just
beating the game once does unlock the chainsaw in the Forest World.
CHEAT CODE YOU WANT:
Infinite health - seriously!
Just getting through this game without getting pummeled to
death is a feat in itself.
FAN SERVICE: If you’ve played any of the other games than you will enjoy the multiple references to the previous games. The unlockable costumes for Eileen and Cynthia are a fanboys dream come true with cleavage and butt-cheeks galore.
Overall I wasn’t too impressed with Silent Hill 4. Revisiting the same worlds over and over gets tiresome and the repetitiveness of beating the crap out of the same enemies got to me. But if you can get past this you will learn quite a bit about the history of Silent Hill and its most notorious of murderers, Walter Sullivan.
The problem with the game is that the protagonist is never fully fleshed out. We never find out what type of person he is, what his job is or anything else for that matter. Why is Henry of all people chosen to be “The Receiver of Wisdom?” Is it just because he happens to live in Apt. 302 or is their more to it? There is virtually no back story to any of the characters except for the nemesis of the story, Walter Sullivan, and the poor guy comes off as more pathetic than anything else. The rest of the characters are largely forgettable and add little to the mix other than being victims.
However, despite all this, Silent Hill 4 can be a lot of fun to sit and play in the wee hours of the night. You can get creeped out pretty easily when one of the ghosts pops up out of nowhere and begins floating your way. As usual there are unexplainable and just downright weird things going on whenever Henry is traipsing around a level, such as a giant Eileen head in a random room in the Hospital World that will make you pee your pants if you weren’t expecting it.
The Room is also a short game. It only took me 10 hours to beat it my first time through and that was going through all the trouble of collecting all of the notes and de-ghosting Henry’s apartment. If you don't bother with that, it should be easy to clear in 5 hours.All in all, I appreciated the extra trouble Team Silent went to to explain some of Silent Hill’s back story, unfortunately for the game though it feels like filler until Silent Hill 5 comes around on the Play station 3. Yep, we get to wait a while for the next Silent Hill. Hopefully it will make up for this less than stellar installment in the series.
Silent Hill 4:
The Room is definitely a different kind of horror game, and being a
fan of the series I had to give it a try.
Survival horror fans will get a kick out of it as well.
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