Jul 17, 2008

Usually, a venue like E3 proves to be a bad venue for a game like Silent Hill Homecoming. The usual hustle and bustle of the E3 show floor makes for a game focused squarely on atmosphere to suffer. So, why was our playtest of Silent Hill Homecoming in a closed room with headphones so uninspiring? There are a number of issues that come to the top of our minds: the lackluster graphics stand out, for once. However, the most frustrating aspect of Homecoming is how familiar it all felt. Returning to Silent Hill on consoles after an adventure like Silent Hill IV: The Room is strange. Regardless of the execution found in that last Silent Hill title, one couldn't deny the interesting premise which took the series in a slightly different direction. Homecoming, on the other hand, plays it safe and feels like an HD remake of Silent Hill Origins (PSP).

For those that are hankering for a new Silent Hill game, perhaps this by-the-numbers offering will satiate that itch. However, the setting is much too familiar, and the setup is just not that compelling. Waking up strapped down in a hospital bed, our protagonist Alex Shephard must break free and find clues on his missing brother. Combat works just as it has before: lock on and swing various melee weapons found in the environment.

Once again, Alex will find an endless array of locked doors and must navigate a convulted series of delapidated passages to solve random puzzles that get in the way. There are a few things of note that make the adventure a bit more intuitive. The map is taken from Origins, and informs you of where you've already been. The added physics engine makes interacting with the environment even creepier than before: walking into a bottle may make it fall down and the sudden noise may cause you to jump. Of course, the sound design and music are just as incredible as ever.

If it were five years ago, we may be glad to see the inclusion of QTE elements in Silent Hill Homecoming. Players will interact with certain objects and on-screen indicators will have players mashing the corresponding buttons. While the added drama is appreciated, it's far from revolutionary.

The monsters we've seen in the game range from the familiar to the dramatic. All of the enemies we encountered were animated beautifully (if beauty is synonymous as grotesque). One particular enemy stood out above others: a smog creature that has a glowing red lung. It thrust around violently, moving erratically. The music got our pulse pumping as we tried to shoot at its much-too-obvious weak point.

Unfortunately, the build we played on PS3 was rather unstable. At random times it would crash. After two crashes, it got a little too frustrating to repeat the same sections over again. Obviously, Konami will fix this before the game's release later this year. For fans of the franchise, Silent Hill Homecoming may offer everything they need. However, after so many iterations, we can't help but feel like this is a tired game.


Related Posts


Playstation Access Diseñado por Wpdesigner y adaptado por Zona Cerebral