Hello again, my Halloween loving gamers! It’s time to continue our Halloween Horror Game Countdown! For this week, we’ve got an incredibly weird (and severely weird) survival horror game SEQUEL… Silent Hill 2. Yes, two. Deux, dos, zwei, however you say it, it’s definitely the second one.
Silent Hill 2, developed by Team Silent, a production team that spawned from Konami, was released in 2001 for the PS2 (Lot’s of two’s today). A later extension came out for the Xbox later that year, and was soon released for the PC. The story takes place directly after the first Silent Hill plot. I chose the second game of the Silent Hill series because I believe it offers a uniquely scary experience that stands out from the first (I mean HELLO, have you seen Pyramid Head?)
Allow me to explain…
You play as main protagonist, James Sunderland, a man who decides to return to Silent Hill after he receives a letter…FROM HIS DEAD WIFE. Spooky shiz. The game starts with you leaning over the edge of what looks to be a highway overpass where the letter from his wife, Mary, is being read out loud. She’s explaining how you two never returned to Silent Hill, their favorite vacation destination (FOR SOME REASON) together again before she died. She also claims that she’s living there now, waiting for James to come and be with her. So James begins his journey, and runs into some interesting characters and terrifying and inexplicable enemies along the way.
With every twist and turn you’ll sink deeper into the story, unlock secrets through riddles and puzzles, and unveil the mysteries of the town and what exactly happened to Mary. Will you be able survive the fog of Silent Hill?
As a third person game, I honestly didn’t expect it to be as horrifying of an experience. Yet, it makes you feel more vulnerable than anything. You’re trapped in an immense fog and you literally can’t see, what feels like, two feet in front of your face. There are tons of noises and sound cues that rattle you and disorient you because you can’t figure out where they’re coming from. Is it just a squirrel, or are you about to be devoured by a disgusting beast? WHO KNOWS.
It also utilizes directional sound. For example, you receive a radio at some point at the beginning of the game. When an enemy is near, the radio will start to crackle and spout static. The farther away you are, the softer the sound gets. If you start to move the left of the enemy, the sound is directed towards your left ear. Pretty cool and handy for fighting off nasty creatures.
Unfortunately, there are sone negative aspects to the game itself that throw me off the horror path at certain times. The dialog can get cheesy, and the character interactions are just downright uncomfortable. Honestly, though, the interactions add an extra sense of uneasiness to everything that you’re already dealing with. The beginning, as well, gives away a lot about Jame’s backstory, which makes you miss out on all of the things about your character’s past that you could have discovered along the way. Awkward pace, but it keeps true to its genre in a psychologically insane and scary as crap situations. It leaves you questioning everything, even your own stamina, which to me, is a wonderfully spooky way to keep on your toes.
SCARE O’ METER: 7/10 – The Mist: Hell Edition
With an unnerving story and universally intimidating foes (the thickness of fog, darkness, and uncertainty) are all what makes this game so suspenseful. Some seriously messed up images, jump scares, and surround sound effects persuade you to move forward – even if it means getting past some weird cut scenes. Not my favorite game ever, but one definitely worth giving a shot, especially if you love analyzing horror (or just being scared out of your pants and grossed out beyond measure).
Check out the trailer here and see exactly what you’re dealing with up in Silent Hill.