Game: Silent Hill 2
Genre: Survival Horror
Certification: 15 (DK)
Length: 8-15 hours
Review Date: September 8, 2004
Silent Hill from 1999 wasn't a major success but it wasn't a flop either. Horror games back then was kind of rare and therefore SH had no trouble being called the no. 1 game in that genre.
Konami, known mostly for Metal Gear Solid, decided that they wanted to continue the SH series and it should be interesting to see if they've managed to bring something new into the game instead of playing it safe. Because many developers do that. They enhance the graphics, come up with a title and call it a sequel. It's obvious that I don't respect that... not at all. Luckily Konami didn't do that.
STORY: We take on the role as James Sunderland, a man who seems to be about 30-ish. The game begins very quickly and with many questions unanswered. The first movie sequence, as seen below on this page, show James in a deep state of frustration. He's located in a small public bathroom and looks into himself in a dirty mirror. Like he's trying to gain sight of something the player can't see, like he's trying to look inside himself. A haunting tune begins playing while all this is happening and you quickly realize that Konami aimed for much more than your average shallow game.
James, who is now a shell of what he used to be, has lost his wife Mary three years ago. But for whatever reasons he receives a letter from her. A letter that begs him to come to Silent Hill, where him and Mary has spent endless nights together. But how can that be? She died three years ago! Or did she? James is now torn between choosing with his heart or his brains. He chooses the heart and takes off to Silent Hill where the game begins.
In the eerie town of Silent Hill you'll encounter many scary monsters. You can outrun most of them if you choose to or you can simply put up a fight. The weapons aren't there to cause havoc, so don't expect any fancy rocket launchers to take out those enemies. A wooden plank is all you start out with (something that would be normal if YOU were there yourself) then a hand gun, a shotgun,a metal pipe, a rifle and a huge great sword and if/when you complete the game once you are able to get your hands on a chainsaw. Yeah... SH2 is all about realism, well if you take away those monsters.
Graphics: Because of the fact that the game was made in 2001 I can't give it THAT much of a high score in graphics. The game has this grainy effect, that almost makes it look like a movie, to it which enhances the experience for the player. So all in all I'm really satisfied with the eye candy in this game. I mean, you can't expect that much from a 3 year old game. There aren't really any sharp edges anywhere to be found that would make it look ugly, so don't worry about that.
Sound: Probably the best part of the game along with the story. The sound in SH2 is something to take notice of. Akihiro Imamura did an excellent job here with EXTREMELY haunting tunes, sound effects and it all got this industrial sound to it. You've got to hear this for yourself. Konami is especially famous for really caring about the sound and music of a game. And it shows here.
Silent Hill 2 is a VERY deep game about inner feelings, the handling of a loss of a person, about letting go. It's a game that's bound to leave you with a melancholy feeling, anger or even depression. The game's story is much more than a simple story... it brings us to a personal place no one should have to visit; the inside of a tortured man's head.
The Story: 90%
There's a great story to be found in the game, but you have to pay attention. There's a lot of symbolism and I would recommend a plot analysis for you to fully understand what's going on, but I think you should play through the game once before you do so.
The Graphics: 65%
Graphics wise the game is as you might expect now three years after it's release. But it's still actually surprisingly good and is more than enough to scare the Bejesus out of you and isn't that what it's all about?
The Sound: 95%
The Soundtrack is simply amazing and screams quality! The ambient eerie sounds you'll hear throughout the game is meant to scare you and does a great job. The sound was actually designed so it seems like it's coming from every possible direction; above, behind, beneath you and so on.
OVERALL: 85% (Not an average)