Silent Hill 3
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

• Graphics
• Sound
• Story
• Scare factor

The Bad

• Too short
• Too linear
• The controls

 
Grade
A

Silent Hill - when one thinks of such a name it brings on memories of past experiences with Silent Hill 1 and 2 and you remember all the horrid and disturbing parts of those games. Now Silent Hill 3 is out and prepare to be scared out of your mind! Silent Hill 3 continues the ever loving franchise and connects more to the first Silent Hill.

Silent Hill 3 is the story of a young teenager named Heather who is just a ordinary teen having fun at the mall, but soon things take a turn for the worst and this young, innocent girl is thrown into a nightmarish reality. Why is she experiencing all this? Well to tell you anymore would ruin the fun.

Poor Heather is really just thrown into the mix of things here but of course there are other sinister things going on. The story takes awhile to get going but it's interesting nevertheless and gives you a lot of backstory for part one. Now if you have never played one, no big deal - they talk about it and let you know what happened. For those that did, I'm sure you'll feel the connection more so then just reading about it. Lots of nice little subtle things that let you know it ties in with the first one.

As Heather, you must wander around your environments and solve clues and puzzles to continue through the game and proceed onward. Much like your typical survival horror games but be warned this one throws so many enemies at you at once and believe me you will be running away often. The difficulty of the enemies and the amount of them really adds to the tension of the game and keep you afraid of walking around anywhere. Too add to it all the game also has the classic Silent Hill atmosphere to it. Luckily, Heather can still side step with the L1 and R1 buttons and she can run pretty fast (unless wearing her bullet proof vest - although it offers more protection, it makes you run slower then anything I have ever seen). While the controls can be clumsy at times. If you haven't gotten used to them yet then there is no hope for you liking them now. Also, Heather will find many weapons throughout the game, although not a lot of ammo for them per say. Most of the time, it would be wise for you to conserve it as you'll be needing it for the boss fights. Plus you always have your melee weapons. The pacing of the game is great as well. You get thrown right into the mix from the get-go and it really never lets up. Makes for quite the nerve-wracking experience.

Now while Heather is transported to this lovely hell you get to experience a feast for the eyes. This game is really pushing the PS2's graphics and the detail of the characters faces are amazing to say the least. Anyone who has doubt about the PS2's graphical capabilities need to see this game in action and there is a particular effect about halfway through the game which had my jaw dropping in fear and in amazement and still the load times are really nothing. Konami really knows there stuff. Also the sound is an important part of these games and SH3 definitely delivers. The soundtrack alone can scare you and the sound effects that play at random parts really play with your mind as well. Even the voice acting is pretty well done - not the best, but certainly good enough to listen to.

So all this talk and nothing negative to say about it. Well, the game does pretty much everything right expected out of a horror game. The graphics, story, backgrounds, even voice acting are done well. The controls haven't been tweaked at all, so once again (and I say it so much since I review lots of horror games) the controls will bother some people. Also, some will say the game is too short and linear, but really it's about the same length as the rest of them only they cut the pointless wandering around that was in the first two. Also, the game is just plain difficult, the enemies come at you fast and unmercifully, but then that's just nitpicking and it adds to the experience.

In the end, SH3 really adds a new level of terror to the Silent Hill franchise. It has the same great atmosphere and tension from the first two games all while adding tons more enemies and more tension because of it. The puzzles are well done and make more logical sense this time out and overall the story is good and gives you more sense of what was going on in the first one. Plus, it comes with the whole soundtrack included so that's a bonus right out of the box. In conclusion, Silent Hill 3 is a great addition to the series and one not for the weak of heart. Make sure and bring your flashlight. Its one dark ride.

- - Justin Celani

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