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    Silent Hill 3

    Game » consists of 7 releases. Released Aug 06, 2003

    In the third installment of the Silent Hill series, a teenage girl named Heather finds herself drawn into the demonic world of Silent Hill after a strange encounter with a detective in a local shopping mall.

    vookatos's Silent Hill 3 (PlayStation 2) review

    Avatar image for vookatos

    Been there, done that

    Silent Hill 1 and 2 are all-time classics in the survival horror genre.

    While many people would argue that Silent Hill 3 captures the same niche or even surpasses its predecessors, it could never hold me for long.

    I have finished the game now, and I can finally understand why.

    Silent Hill 3 is a good and scary game, and it has nearly everything that made Silent Hill 1 and 2 great. However, it's this familiarity that made me feel like the game has nothing new to say.

    As opposed to Silent Hill 2, the third installment continues the story of the town of Silent Hill and its cult. This time, you control Heather - a charismatic and cool daughter of the first part's protagonist. Heather is great and is easily the best part of the game. She provides more flavor text than any of the previous protagonists and does so with a certain attitude that they lacked. While it was interesting, and somewhat humorous, seeing stone-cold Harry and constantly puzzled James bumble through the foggy town, Heather feels more alive than both of them combined. A rude, rebellious teen that manages to convey the constant feeling of dread.

    Silent Hill itself also feels more alive than ever. Somewhat literally. The art style of the game has shifted, for the third time. Depictions of the dark otherworldly hallways combine aesthetics of previous parts while adding a new, bloody and fleshy feel, to its dirty metallic environments. Change of location also helps with that. While other protagonists remarked on how hard it is to actually leave the town of Silent Hill, it never felt like it was given enough focus. This time, the horrific world of blood and rust shows that it's not localized to Silent Hill, and will actively hunt our heroes if needed.

    The atmosphere of the game, thanks to its memorable sounds, its absurd locations, and its terrifying monsters is, as always, sublime.

    However, playing Silent Hill 3 doesn't feel as fun for me. One of the reasons why becomes apparent shortly after you start the game. As you progress towards the mall that's slowly morphing into the nightmarish otherworld and defeat the boss, as you descend into the subway or make way through the sewers, you begin realizing that the game has a very different pacing from previous installments.

    Silent Hill always had "dungeons": places within the town where you would complete puzzles and slowly make your way through the maze, however, the third game takes it a step forward by effectively removing any downtime between dungeons. Never thought I'd miss those moments where you would traverse fairly empty foggy streets, yet without them, the game feels so much smaller and more oppressive.

    Mind you, this oppressive feeling isn't good. It's suffocating. It made me want to quit the game far more times than any of its predecessors, which I usually complete in 3-4 sittings. Not having any breaks between opening doors and killing monsters doesn't feel right. Seeing a 6-story dungeon right after escaping three other ones in a row just makes me feel tired. Even when you arrive in the town of Silent Hill, you can only explore a part of it before encountering an invisible wall (not even a usual unexplainable gap in the middle of the street). Heather's got stuff to do, but so did Harry and James.

    The game reuses some of the locations from Silent Hill 2, which makes me think it was rushed. Frankly, I think it would be far more appropriate to see PS2's take on Alchemilla Hospital from the first game, yet the game railroads you into Brookhaven Hospital from Silent Hill 2. I can only imagine that this was done due to time constraints.

    Even thematically, I can't help but feel like the game is a strange mix of first and second parts. The big theme this time is Birth, so you'll encounter plenty of imagery and subtext about the subject. The unfortunate issue that comes with this theme is that childbirth is very much interwoven with sexuality - a topic that Silent Hill 2 explored in detail. Combined with the fact that story is largely based on the original Silent Hill, I feel like the game doesn't really do anything new.

    Of course, there are individual sections that spring into my mind when I think of Silent Hill 3. Sounds, scenes, and events that unsettled and scared me. However, the big picture remains muddy. The famous mannequin scare might be better than any of the little moments from Silent Hill 2, yet the overall story and narrative of the second game always felt more coherent.

    Ultimately, I would like to repeat that Silent Hill 3 is a good game. It's fun and scary, and it has plenty of unlockables and hidden secrets, which I've always enjoyed in games. However, as an actual horror story, it feels way too derivative. You could argue that it's straight-up unnecessary. Frankly, thinking about its story elements now, I can't help but picture the original Silent Hill. Somewhat dated and clunky, yet original and powerful.

    Makes me wish Heather got a better story than cleaning up after her father.

    Other reviews for Silent Hill 3 (PlayStation 2)

      Silent Hill 3 (PlayStation 2) Review 0

      Konami's Silent Hill series is known for being among the most atmospheric, and-let's face it-gory video games to date. In all the series' releases, the games have sold millions of copies worldwide, acquiring a fairly large and faithful following. Silent Hill 3's story centers around a young girl named Heather, who wakes up from a dream in a mall at closing time and finds herself confronted by a man claiming to be looking for her. This detective, Douglas, claims to know something about Heather a...

      3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

      Doesn't Capture the Same Feel 0

      Ever since the first Silent Hill game debuted on the PS1, gamers and horror fanatics alike have been mesmerized by the characters and the world that Silent Hill has to offer. This new installment in the extremely popular horror franchise was brought to you by the same developers that made the first one, Konami. Konami did a tremendous job with the first game and took the series to greater lengths when Silent Hill 2 debuted on the PS2. Silent Hill 3 is another solid game, but I’m just not feeling...

      0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

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