Silent Hill 3

Silent Hill 3

Overview

As the continuation of the original Silent Hill, the newest addition to the series has a lot to live up to. The original game was known for its bizarre yet intriguing storyline and for that to be continued without ruining the game, Silent Hill 3 must improve in every field to make it a hit. Were the people at Konami able to pull that off? Well we’ll just have to wait and see.

Gameplay

Throughout Silent Hill 3 you play in third person view as the heroine of the story Heather. She is a normal girl who has her world twisted inside out and back again by an accidental twist of fate. Heather is equipped with weapons to defend herself against the strange monsters that appear throughout the game, and with each difficulty setting she is either better or worse at controlling those weapons. There are both guns and melee weapons available to Heather in the hell-like world she enters.

Before you begin a game you have the choice of a difficulty setting for both Action and Riddle ranging from easy to hard. No matter what difficulty levels are selected, the game scenarios and endings will be the same. Once you have beaten the game, you unlock special options such as "Extra New Game" which is a new game with added bonus material, "Costume" where you input codes to acquire new outfits for Heather to wear during gameplay or even new weapons to find like the Beam Saber or the Infinite Ammo Sub-Machine Gun.

The camera angles can get confusing at times since they continually change and you have little to no control over the camera. The only time this is a huge problem is during a certain point in the game, but the camera is like that on purpose to make the challenge harder for the player. As far as controls go they are a bit tricky to get used to, after you are used to them though they feel comfortable. There is no other way to possibly make the controls work anyways, so as along as you get used to the sensitivity of the controller then you’ll be right at home.

The voice acting is done quite well. Heather sounds like the average teenage girl, and also has that frightened sound in her voice only when she should. The other character’s voices are well done also. Claudia for one sounds like the insane maniac that she is supposed to be. Although the voice acting is good, the lip-syncing could be improved.

The music that is played in the background of the game is eerie enough to scare young children at times. That all adds to the overall effect of music being used in games. The same goes for the sound effects. At times you’ll hear the sound of a wolf howling while walking down a dark hallway. There is a flaw though, throughout the whole game Heather’s footsteps sounds like she’s only walking on one foot for the entire time, since her feet make exact the same noise over and over for each foot. Sorry but that just doesn’t happen in real life.

The loading times don’t really get in the way of the game. Actually the loading screen is quite an interesting thing to watch, it’s almost too bad that it doesn’t stay longer. Then again playing the game is much more fun then staring at a loading screen.

There are three different endings to the game, the normal ending and the possessed ending are two, which you get is determined by a point system that you get to view after you the complete the game. The third ending is the UFO ending, you receive this ending by killing all the enemies with only Heather’s Beam Saber, the drawback is that this ending is during the middle of the game making the game seem immensely short. That’s a bad thing seeing as of how the game is already short as it is.

If there has to be a bad drawback to the game, it would have to be how short it is. I’m sure it could have been longer. Maybe there could be a couple more levels before you actually get to Silent Hill. The game lasts about 4 hours in total, but it’s still an enjoyable 4 hours. Then again there is a lot of unlockable stuff, and three different endings to get so that in a way makes up for the lack of gameplay hours.

Graphics

The graphics are amazing for Silent Hill 3. The character models, monsters, backgrounds, just everything is amazing. Heather looks and acts so real at times you tend to forget that she is just a made up character in a videogame. Even the other characters look and act as real as humans, it’s actually almost like watching a movie. The only really scary thing about the game other then the storyline is how real everything looks. You just never know when you are going to run into an eaten up corpse that looks so real that it makes you want to barf.

Fun Factor

Playing Silent Hill 3 is an amazing experience, from its top-notch graphics and soundtrack to its in-depth storyline, and never knowing what might just decide to pop up when you peek around the corner. With all the un-lockable features this game has to offer, it will have you playing for days. Being able to get an Unlimited Ammo Machine Gun is a pretty good reason to play the game through more then once. We also can’t forget the three different possible endings. With all that and more, Silent Hill 3 is defiantly a great game to check out.

Overall

Silent Hill 3 has an almost entirely flawless gameplay value. The only bad thing about it really is how short it is. The memorable storyline will have you thinking about the game and the characters even after you’ve beaten it. The soundtrack that comes with the game makes it even more worth buying. So if you like creepy, disturbing games then you should try Silent Hill 3. This also means that Konami did everything they had to do to make this game great. Awesome job Konami!

Former owner and editor in chief of Darkstation.com