Silent Hill Goes Down Hill
I have been a huge fan of the Silent Hill series since the beginning. I just loved the creepy atmosphere and character driven storyline. I found this latest installment to be a disappointment mainly because of its lack of overall polish, uninteresting characters, and game play elements/mechanics that at this point feel dated. The combat system has been streamlined to be a faster, more fluid experience, and to the developers credit, it is. The problem now is that they made it almost too easy to defeat enemies. The sense of tension and overall suspense have basically been crushed by this new combat system. Why? Well, when you can slice through most of the enemies in a matter of seconds, it becomes very difficult to fear them. Going back to the dated game play elements/mechanics, one thing that really bothered me was the fact that almost every door in the game was locked, rusted shut, or was jammed. So what the developers are telling me is that a strong, adult male with a military background can't figure out how to break down a brittle wooden door with a fire axe? This is nothing more than a lame excuse to have the player go on a key hunt. Alex Shepard is one of the most boring characters in any Silent Hill game. I mean come on! James Sunderland was a self-centered, cynical jerk, but at least he had a personality! The voice work is pretty shoddy as well. Many of the lines in the game fall flat and often times don't match up with the lip and facial animations. This Silent Hill doesn't look as good as the previous 3 games. Other than the monsters, the game has a very rough and unpolished look. Also, the intentional grainy effect used in previous games looks awkward and out of place on an HD television. One last thing about this game, it didn't really add anything to the Silent Hill legacy. It felt more like a cheap cash grab. I also think that it's time to put the Silent Hill series to rest and try something new.