Silent Hill 2
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Konami
Developer
Konami
Genre
Action/Survival Horror
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence, Blood and Gore
Grade
The Good

• Excellent and Very Detailed Graphics
• Music+Sound effects
• Awesome FMV Cut-Scenes

The Bad

• Camera can get in the way
• Lip-synch can seem off sometimes
• Same old control

 
Grade
A

The sequel to one of the scariest games ever made is released and takes you back to that strange town. This time the man visiting is James Sunderland. James is a man who has never recovered from the death of his wife Mary. Suddenly, he gets a letter from her stating that she is waiting for him in their special place in Silent Hill. James, looking for happiness, goes to Silent Hill out of desperation and hope that maybe somehow his wife is alive. Once arriving in the outskirts of town, James looks himself over in a restroom mirror. Is he really going to look for his wife that died three years ago?

Graphics:
In Silent Hill 2 (just like in part one) everything in the game is made up of polygons. You wont find any pre-rendered backgrounds here. Everything in the game is so detailed - from rust colored walls to filthy looking bathrooms. Every little detail is in there. Then there is the flashlight which gives off some of the most beautiful realtime shadows ever. You will see them everywhere, which will add to the creepiness of the game because everything gives off shadows. The character themselves look really amazing and move very realistic and the fmv in the game is some of the best there is. With so much quality and detail in the game you be hard pressed not to be spooked especially with all the fog rolling around. Yes the fog returns and it is very very thick. It rolls and swirls in the air and look like real fog should(unlike the first game). The enemies in the game are also very disturbing. They all have a rust colored look to them and move in such ways that could be described as sickening. The game has a grainy look to it as well that adds to the atmosphere of the game and gives it a 8mm film quality which this feature can be turned off after completing the game once.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is the same run-of-the-mill horror game. You must battle enemies while running though the environments trying to proceed in the game and story while solving puzzles. Some of the nicest parts that fit into the game are the clever puzzles. Each one being different from the next and sometimes taking some thinking power. One of the more innovative and interesting features is how before the start of the game you are asked what level of difficulty you would prefer for action and puzzles, thus making each trip in Silent Hill either an easier or harder time. Some puzzles have randomly made solutions so each time is different. Now the controls in Silent Hill are just like part one and that means they're fairly good, but can be cumbersome at times. Beginners might have to play a good 10 minutes or more to get used to it but seasoned horror fans should have no problem playing the game. There is also a option to change the control to 2D movement meaning that whichever direction you push you go but that option can be somewhat confusing seeing as the camera angle changes from time to time. Is there anything to offer after beating the game once you ask? Of course, the replay value is tremendous as there are five endings to acquire and different weapons to obtain when replaying.

Sound:
Sound plays a key role in the world of Silent Hill. Strange noises and even stranger sounds surround you while playing the game. Silent Hill 2 (right next to Silent Hill) is one of the best games to ever convey fear through sound. You'll hear everything from creaking to dripping sounds effects and so much more. The music itself adds to the tension with its screeching sounds that will chill you to the bone and make you paranoid. There's also the matter of voice acting. The voice acting is the key to conveying the story well and that's just what it does and its better then most voice acting. You really believe in James and his struggle. All this great sound is presented to you in a special S-Force technology that's within the game which emulates full 3D surround sound through your regular TV speakers so everyone can get the full effect.

In the end Silent Hill 2 comes out with only some small gripes. The controls can and will still get on people's nerves, so if you were never a fan of the control style this game won't change that. The lip-synching in the game can also appear slightly off, but that's just nitpicking. Also, if these type of games never were your thing, well they still won't be. Overall, with its flaws, Silent Hill 2 is one gaming experience no one will be quick to forget. It uses a combination of sight, sound, imagery and imagination to create the scariest game on any home console. Turn off the lights, grab your controller and enjoy the horror of Silent Hill 2.

- - Justin Celani

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