|Dev: Kojima Productions|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Joshua Bruce
Like everyone else in the gaming world who can, we here at Cheat Code Central have been playing the ever-loving hell out of the playable trailer for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s surprise scarefest--Silent Hills. This leaves me in a bit of a predicament. Typically, I would just be able to do a preview of the game based on the content of the demo. But in this case, I almost feel like I have played a complete game.
Before I get started, let me just say this particular way of announcing a new game was pure marketing genius. Whether they meant to or not, Kojima Productions delivered something far and above what is usually found in the gaming landscape, and may have just started a new trend. Well, hopefully anyway. If what we’ve played so far is truly the mindset and direction the full game of Silent Hills is heading, we truly can’t wait. Silent Hills is a horror game, pure and simple. But, unlike many of its contemporaries, Silent Hills doesn’t rely on cheap scares or excessive gore to deliver a terrifying experience. It dives much deeper into the horror toolbox than that.
***SPOILERS POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD*** (You’ve been warned.)
Instead of completely leaning on the tried and true horror methods of the past, Silent Hills wages psychological warfare on its player. While there are pop-in scares littered throughout, Silent Hills is more about psychologically uncomfortable and unsettling environments littered with basic human fears of the unknown and the dark. Add to that the total divergence from social acceptance (after all, there is a talking aborted fetus in the bathroom sink) and you have a cocktail of horrifying proportions.
As if that isn’t enough, add in the old-school, no-frills puzzle solving to complete the mixture. No hints. No real direction. Just you, the voices in your head, and a repeating hallway of horror with increasingly fucked up situations that continue to build upon one another until the end, if you can even get there. The final puzzle is so maddening, it has yet to be completely solved by the gaming community at large. If you can resist the urge to flock to the internet for guidance, you will have hours of terrible puzzle-solving goodness in your future. It can become frustrating, but what good game isn’t?
The last layer of minutia that really adds to the ambience of Silent Hills is a plethora of extras that may, or may not be, important in any way. As the player, you have to figure out what’s relevant and what’s not. Do you NEED to locate all the picture fragments? Why is your flashlight red? What does 204863 mean? What is that demonic voice speaking in tongues? Who the hell knows? But one thing is for sure, these things definitely add an extra layer of awesomeness to Silent Hills that I can’t deny.
All of these elements acting in concert create the most immersive, uncomfortable, and just plain scary experience I’ve ever seen in a video game, and it does it all in absolutely gorgeously rendered visuals. Silent Hills looks as though it will show us the true capabilities of the Fox Engine. There is only so much you can do with a derelict hallway, but Kojima Productions seems to have figured out everything that can be. To be such a small environment, it is ridiculously detailed, and the character model of Norman Reedus is amazing.
In short, there is nothing about this game/demo/playable trailer that I don’t like, except for its innate ability to make me squirm and occasionally squeal like a little girl, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it? For what basically amounts to a horror tech demo, this is the most complete gaming experience I’ve ever seen in a free demo. If you have a PS4, GET THIS NOW! Even if you don’t like horror games, quit being a baby and GET THIS NOW! …204863… Honestly, I probably would have paid for this. …turn around… Not at full price or anything, but this could have easily been sold as a mini-game …I said turn around… but I am certainly glad that Kojima Productions saw the benefit of giving gamers something like this, and as a side-effect they have what is likely to be a surefire hit on their hands. …You have been chosen…
I can’t wait for this game. Do yourself a favor, and go play this now.
Date: August 15, 2014