Review by Ofisil
"Genuine Silent Hill fun"
Silent Hill 3 is an Action\Adventure developed and released by Konami. After two very successful games Konami was ready to make the next step, but instead of trying something new, Silent Hill 3 is basically similar to the first since it is its true sequel, both in storyline, gameplay and atmosphere, (Silent Hill 2 although scary was a bit less aggressive).
For somebody to fully enjoy Silent Hill 3, he surely has to play the first game because what happens in this game is actually the continuing of the original plot. I won't give a single detail about the plot, but believe me when I say that it is great and less mysterious than the previous games because it gives away answers more easily and that is not necessarily bad after two extremely mysterious and full of Huh? moments games!!! Also the main character has more character than the previous game's protagonists, (although I'm still a fan of the good ol' Harry Mason), maybe because she is a teenager, (at last!), I don't know
Remember the original game? Well take the original, increase resolution, models polygon count, add dynamic lighting and better shadows and greatly improve animation with the use of real actors, (like in SH2), and here it is SILENT HILL 3, the most beautifully scary thing in gaming history. All things from the first game are here, alternative hellish worlds, dark corridors, obscure textures\paintings and many more. You'll visit some new areas, like a Shopping Mall, (you're a teenager, remember?), a Dance Studio and many more, (but still no forest, I would love a Silent Hill game with a forest area). The enemies are not so strange like other SH games, (like 2 and 4), and are less scary, but who said that Silent Hill is scary because of monsters, right??? The major improvement in SH3 is probably the main characters and that because of three things, high quality models and texturing, great animation and, (at last), excellent facial animations making Heather the most alive character in the Silent Hill series and an absolute cutie too!!! Of course the irritating camera is still here breaking your nerves and making it harder to fight, but what can we say, it has become a tradition!
As always one of the things that make Silent Hill games scary is the way sound effects and music are used. Most of the time you'll only here your footsteps and nothing more, once in a while you'll hear something like a whisper, a baby crying, a scream, etc. and you'll probably be very, very frightened. The radio static is here also alerting you for enemies and spooking you before the actual encounter. Music is used rarely, (mostly in fights), but when it is, it is very bizarre and creates the right Silent Hillish atmosphere. Weapons somehow still sound very weak, (maybe intentionally), but voice acting has greatly improved, since the previous game's dialogues where a bit slow and without feeling. Heather on the other hand is a very lively girl, she cries, trembles with fear and shouts full of anger sometimes she is even funny, (unfortunately 4 funny scenes are available only in the PS2 version).
In terms of gameplay it is just another SH without major changes. You go around searching for items, solve puzzles, kill monsters and so on. Unfortunately we have fewer puzzles and those that do exist are once again very easy. Something that is very clear from the start of the game is that is has more action than SH2. In the very start of the game you'll meet 3 different enemies. After 1 hour of playing you'll probably meet 70% of the enemies the game has to offer. That is a bit bad for two reasons. First of all, I don't like large amounts of action in a Silent Hill game since it is scarier that way and secondly because after meeting a monster for the 20th time it becomes less scary. Heather is fortunately the fastest SH character so far, (well she is a teenager you know!), both in running and fighting. Speaking of fighting you'll find a new weapon in SH3, which is the machinegun, don't worry though because what it has in speed it lacks in power and you'll only find 2-3 ammo cartridges. The inventory is divided between weaponry, supplies, (ammo and healing stuff), and items, (keys and such), making it easier to find and use something.
I won't lie to you, SH gameplay is just search all rooms, find the item, use the item and move on to next area, the good thing is that is 100% atmosphere so you'll never be bored while searching because you'll always be anxious the next time you open a door, closet, etc. Once again you can choose action and puzzle difficulty separately in order to make the game suit your needs. SH3 of course like most Survival Horror games is very small and linear, but at least there are multiple endings and unlockables available once again to retain the fun.
-Continues the original story
-A very frightening\atmospheric game
-The best looking Silent Hill so far
-At last, good voice acting
-Fast moving\fighting character
-When will the camera become less irritating?
-Still no evading techniques
-Small and linear
-Small amount of puzzles and very easy too
-Alone In The Dark1-3 (PC)
-Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare (PC)
-Silent Hill 1, 2 and 4 (PC, PS and PS2)
As a Silent Hill fan I've very glad this game came out. It has the atmosphere of the first game but has better graphics, it disappointed me in the puzzle section, but what can I say, I've been an adventure fan as long as I can remember but I know that it is a dead genre, (damn trends!!!), since action sells more. Still it is a very good game that every SH fan should play and if you aren't one of us try it and see its beauty
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/26/07
Game Release: Silent Hill 3 (EU, 10/31/03)
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