First impressions and theory? (Spoilers)
So I've been playing for around 2 hours and I can definitely give some impressions, some good, some bad, mostly good.
Here are some tidbits:
1) The nightmare scenes are confusing to navigate, but having completed two, I have to say that it's definitely a NEW KIND OF HELL. There are tons of animations and windows in which you can be grabbed, and unless you have one hell of a calm intuition, you will get raped a couple of times.
The bad is that the controls do take some time to get used to (since the camera doesn't rotate until the cursor gets to the end of the screen...pretty big gap for an HDTV), and therefore you will probably stumble around in circles before finally getting to the exit you need.
The good is that it FEELS like this chase is actually happening to you; let's face it -- if we were suddenly confronted by demon whores in a frozen forest, chances are we'd not know where the hell we were going until we got there. There are 3-4 full sized houses/buildings in which I just got chased around in during my second chase, and they each have 4-5 doorways you can take. Think of being stuck in a trailor park with a demon serial killer and you have the tension down. You run through any and all doorways you can trying to make space between you and your killer, knocking over anything you can to slow them. That's this game in a nutshell.
The satisfaction that ensues the melting of nightmare ice is pretty good, and I felt as though I had really escaped fatal danger. This is definitely a new sensation for the SH series.
2) The graphics are really good for a Wii title, and are easily on par with previous entries, although some of the detail is gone from the previous games' stagnant environments. The upside is that everything runs silky smooth (except for some "laggy" transitions between doorways during the nightmare scenes) and posters, tombstones, notes, and scribbles can be read perfectly. The game really does look like the devs described it: as a 360 game being played on an SDTV.
The lip-synching is a bit off, but the upside is that character models and enemy models look surprisingly good. There is even some sheen on Harry's jacket, as this is not a flat texture.
3) Speaking of monsters, I've only played what I feel to be a small portion of the game, but I've seen two variations of the flesh monster, both of which fit into one of my possible theories for the plot. One is childishly clingy, and the other is very mature and even sexual.
4) The "feeling" is definitely different in this game. As has been said countless times before, this ain't your tried-and-true Silent Hill remake; this is a new game entirely, and it benefits from it immensely. You'll have to play with an open mind to understand this, as there are MANY changes (no health drinks, weapons, bloody walls, etc.).
5) The controls are pretty hard to get used to, the camera turning that is. Like I said before, there is no turning until the cursor gets to the edge of the screen, which can lead to frustrating runaways when there are trees littered about the field in front of you. Having said that, I have gotten a bit better in just two hours time, so it may be a nonissue if you just sit down with it.
My Theory for the day?
That Harry is in fact a kidnapper, who has stolen an identity by which to take Cheryl into his custody (he doesn't seem to remember that he lives where he lives when questioned, or the fact that he owns a phone when it rings). There are also hints that young women may have been brutally assaulted (phone calls, bloody clothes, etc.), and that a "lunatic" is free among the city.
There's something very "off" about Harry in this game, and I sense something deeper (and possibly more disturbing) than simply looking for a missing daughter. I think the occult stuff is being left out by the way (which is good, because I never cared for the stuff).
I picked up the game earlier this evening. I figured i'd only play an hour because I was very tired. I ended up playing for 4 straight hours lol. I have to say I am very surprised with this game.
For being on the Wii, the graphics are good. If you are playing it on a big screen, HD TV like me, it won't look as good, but it's still impressive.
I like how everything is constantly changing and the monsters are changing based on my Q&A and my actions in the game. I like the use of the Wii remote speaker to listen to voice mails. It makes you feel like you are there.
At first when I seen there was only 1 type of enemy, I was pissed. Now that I have played a few nightmare sequences, I can throw that feeling out. Though these creatures look the same, minus the few times when they change based on your play through, I like them more now than the other SH creatures just for the simple fact they hunt you down relentlessly. In past SH games, you can pretty much just run right past a lot of the enemies and never worry about them catching you. That's definitely changed. Whenever I see the ice world forming, I immediately get freaked out because i know what's coming.
The only annoying thing so far is the controls during the chase sequences. I'm used to them now, but every now and then they still mess me up. When you go to throw the creature off you, you're swinging both controls around. When the creature is off and you resume running, the controller reticle may be off screen from when you were shaking it, thus you may end up running in a direction you didn't want or you just end up being still. I've died twice in the game so far and both times were because of control issues. Like I said, once you get used to it though, it's fine.
As for the parts where you are just exploring. Even though there is no danger, it's still fun to roam around and find different things in the game.
Overall, I'm very pleased with it so far. When I first heard about the game and some info, I wasn't even giving this game a second thought. Now I'm happy I made the purchase and hope they continue using some of the new gameplay features in future SH games.
Regarding the theory, I haven't played the game, but I felt that something was off as well, and that it's not Cheryl's dad. Or even Harry.
I have been riding on the idea that 'Harry' is just someone who has amnesia and thinks he's Harry for one reason or another. We'll see.
~ I died and made you queen ~
If I had my own world, I'd build you an empire
1. I can say that the frozen hell portions make this the most challenging Silent Hill title in terms of enemy AI and pacing. I got lost once in the woods, but then I found something rather interesting. Some of the trees have glowing lights on them, I followed their trail and found the way out. Also, the high school nightmare is quite expansive, and I keep dying. XP
2. For some reason, the frame rate reminded me of Eternal Darkness.
Sometimes, I forget I'm playing a Wii game, and think I'm playing a low-budget 360 title.
3. The monster variations I've noticed so-far are female variations, and a few with torn flesh.
4. IGN stated "you aren't at risk outside the frozen hell", I agree on a logical point, but not on a psychological point. I just ran across the random music box thing in the burger place, gave me the chills.
5. The only problem I have with the controls is shaking creatures off of me and re-centering the camera. But, with practice (which I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of), the controls will be less of a problem.
I like the theory Mr Stick, and it fits in so far. There's not a whole lot to go by, but there's some reason to believe he's a sexual predator. I think it'd be awesome if Climax has the balls to go there for the Cheryl kidnapping.
However, I remember coming up with this AWESOMELY DISTURBING theory for Homecoming prior to its release that STILL fits if you consider it from the beginning; however, I don't think anyone has the guts to go into that sort of disturbing territory:
That Alex was in fact born a girl/hermaphodite, but had to undergo sex-changing modification later in his life that he never recovered from pyschologically. If you consider the monsters, they all fit this theory, and it would've easily elevated this game above SH2 (for me) if they'd in fact used this plot idea.
Schism -- a haunting "slit" mouth/head that flails about as if to say "look at this"
Siam -- man carrying the burden of a female on his shoulders, as if to suggest that despite Alex's desire to portray his manlihood, can't relieve himself pyschologically of the fact that he is, in fact, a woman.
Lurkers -- again, a monster that lives underwater (as a "lurking" secret below the surfact) with a opening on its face, one that resembles femal genatalia (spelling?), from which it screams/breathes
Nurses -- obviously, demons that represent the blatant feminity of those who assisted in his surgery/modification.
Dogs -- ? (when do they ever truly make sense)
I spent many a night dreaming up this theory, and when I actually played the game, I remember how everything seemed to fit, but alas, nothing ever came to pass. The game was still awesome, but it was hard not to be let down. To me, the SH are about psychological trying events and burdens, and it would've been hard to top Homecoming had they the balls to do it.
Is anyone else tired of the "NO, YOU ARE THE MONSTER!", that has been overused in the past SHs? It worked for 2, but after awhile, you come to expect it, it's about as predictable as a young boy saving the world and frankly, It's no longer interesting to me.
Not really. The SH games are about psychologically disturbed people, either suffering within their own minds or being punished by a very real and exlusive hell.
Most forms of stress or burden come from acting on some sort of primal instinct (sex, murder, stealing, etc.). Humans are monsters and this game's whole purpose, I feel, is that.
However, the different ways to express this is certainly close to infinite, so the devs could keep it fresh for a very long amount of time.
SH1) Selling soul to devil to exact revenge/the occult/the psyche of someone's lost their daughter (the mythos were all unreal and existed only in Harry's dying mind, the one still holding on to his daughter).
SH2) James is a monster of guilt (for murder), pity, sexual repression, etc.
SH3) Heather is a product of post-traumatic stress, revenge (on her father, mostly from blame for what happened to her)
SH4) Henry (in my own theory) is a stalker/murderer and locks himself away in his apartment for fear of what he might do to others (or maybe he has become paranoid of the ugly world outside his room)
Homecoming) The emotions that ensue being the older left out/favoritism/sibling rivalry/etc.
See what I'm getting at? There are endless ways to portray the ugliness of human emotions and the bad things we do when we give into our instincts, and since this is what SH is all about, I don't think you can change it too much.
I do agree a bit (as my second to last post suggested about HC's story) that they should, since they are dealing with raw human emotion, deal with some more mature themes next time, instead of the "I'm horny, so i see legs and genitilia (sp?)."
It's not that it's not novel, but sexual exploitation doesn't necessarily have to be a part of everyone's psyche.
I think the story I suggested would have taken the game world by its eyeballs had they been bold enough to depict such a mind.
Thanks for the impressions, guys! I feel like this game may be worth the purchase!
As for the story, I think it can go anywhere. There are multiple endings, after all. I just hope they are interesting enough. SH is all about the story and atmosphere.
I agree with you Xenoswug, I should have been more clear. The idea itself is great, but the execution is getting stale. I felt like Origins and homecomming were trying far to hard to recreate 2. 2 was great because it was an original idea. I dont want to be forced to believe im playing a hero when i know at the end im going to be told "lol nope sorry, you're a bad person.". I feel like there is more than one way to do this. although the thought of having someone innocent dragged into another person's silent hill is interesting to me. i mean hey, sometime terrible things happen to good people.