|System: PS3, X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Double Helix Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 30, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There's something about Silent Hill games that has always delivered on the fears of players. Whether it is the fog that shrouds everything or the shadows that bounce off the walls, appearing to have a life of their own, you can always count on a prolonged endorphin rush. While all this is still true for Homecoming, I was expecting a little more. This is Silent Hill's next-gen debut, and the expected level of realism just wasn't there.
Don't get me wrong, there are instances where it does clearly represent the next-gen experience, but if youve played any of the previous titles, you will see many of the same things that have always plagued the series. For example, if a character is wearing a pair of shorts, it blatantly looks like two cylinders glued together. The character faces are typically great to look at, but there is the occasional inconsistency in how the characters look; sometimes Alex just doesn't look like himself. However, its typically more humorous than distracting.
One thing almost guaranteed to make you chuckle in a Silent Hill game is the voice acting. However, and thankfully, I have to say the voice acting in Homecoming is not always bad. For the most part, it sounds very smooth and skilled. There were instances when it shocked me so much I missed a couple game moments because I felt like I was watching a film with solid actors and actresses. Of course, the occasional cheesy voice over or poorly delivered line would bring me back to my senses. The sound effects are topnotch and work well with the atmosphere of the game. Akira Yamaoka returns once more to deliver an amazing score, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn lends her melodic, sultry vocals once again to the soundtrack of Silent Hill. If you have been a fan of the music of Silent Hill, this one will not disappoint.
As good as Silent Hill: Homecoming is, there is one troublesome issue worth mentioning; the inconsistent framerate creates a bit of a lag in the movements. However, you will generally only experience this when using the free-roaming camera. The camera works well enough, but it occasionally feels like they removed one of the key features that made Silent Hill great. I would have loved an infrequent return to the angles they used to use in Silent Hill games to make them even scarier.
While there are things that don't quite feel right with Silent Hill: Homecoming, there is more than enough to hold it up as a great way to enter the month of October. This game delivers on the experience you have come to expect from the franchise. It will also give you reason to begin clamoring for the next installment. The folks at Double Helix gave me the Silent Hill I wanted: a nerve-racking, scary as hell experience to hold me over this Halloween season. Any fan of Silent Hill should be checking this out, and anyone just needing a good scare can join in the Homecoming.
CCC Project Coordinator