The Silent Hill series is one of my favorite video game series of all time. The first time I played the first Silent Hill on the PSone, I was genuinely creeped out by it. The story, the sparseness of everything, the fog, all of it came together to make for a perfect gameplay experience. Since then the series has had some great (Silent Hill 2) and not so great (Silent Hill 4) moments, but it still stands as one of the great franchises in video games. This brings us to Silent Hill: Origins. It’s a prequel to the series. It gives a lot of back story to the town of Silent Hill, but some things hinder it from being great.
The plot of the story revolves around a truck driver named Travis Grady who happens to be traveling near Silent Hill. After certain events unfold, he awakes in Silent Hill, unsure of how he got there. What unfolds is an interesting story that fits perfectly in the in Silent Hill mythos. The best part of the plot though is the background you are given on Silent Hill itself. While the first Silent Hill game purposely left some things unanswered in order to let the player fill in the blanks, this game answers some of those questions and gives you information about the events that led up to the first game. This is definitely a high point for the game and welcome to any avid player of the series.
Origins was ported from the PSP, but that doesn’t affect the graphics in the least. This is a good looking PS2 game, with the grainy, rugged look of the previous games. The ever present fog is still present in Silent Hill causing the feeling of dread that’s always present in the series. There are new creatures to see in Silent Hill this time around, and they are just as disturbing as the previous games. Conjoined twins, weirdly twisted and deformed human like creatures are just some of the horrors to find here. The sound effects are equally disturbing, random noises, the groan of the monsters, etc all draw you into the story. Unfortunately, the soundtrack doesn’t fair as well. The music, when played, is forgettable and repetitive.
The controls are one of the low points of the game. If you have played previous Silent Hill games, you will have to adjust to different buttons doing different things this time around. Unfortunately, there is no way to change the controls. The gun play is also a little spotty. Sometimes you hit your enemy, a lot of the time you don’t. Melee attacks have always been a little slow in the Silent Hill games, but in Origins, they are painfully slow, even with a weapon that should have short quick attacks. A wacky camera also causes you to die or at the very least have to waste healing items more often then you should. Often times you find yourself being hit from unseen enemies, which can become frustrating over time.
Silent Hill Origins is a definite must play for fans of the series. The story answers some of the lingering questions from the series and gives you even better insight into Silent Hill itself. Even with the gameplay issues, a very fun game is to be had here. If you don’t count yourself a fan of the series, or if you are a new player looking to get into the series, I would pass on this one. While the story stands on its own, the surrounding characters aren’t explained well because it’s assumed you have played the previous games. Definitely play the previous games before you venture into Origins.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.