Now, I’m a fan of the Silent Hill Series. Originally released in 1999, Silent Hill became the new face of survival horror games after Resident Evil. Published by Konami, Silent Hill was based on psychological horror, based around a ghost town filled with unusual creatures, heavy combat and illusion. I’m not one for negativity, especially when it comes to gaming. I don’t usually find a game that I don’t like but I suppose there is a first time for everything.
Silent Hill Homecoming was released in 2008 by Konami as the sixth installment of the franchise. Alex Shepherd is a Special Forces office who returns home to find his father and brother missing, and his mother going stir crazy. He begins to search his home town, Shepherd’s Glen, leading him to Silent Hill. Searching for clues and some sort of knowledge as to what has happened to his father and brother. Puzzles elements also play a part in Alex’s findings. Photographs, key entries and things he finds, help him piece the puzzles together, allowing him to get caught up within the twisted side of Silent Hill.
Alex soon discovers that many more are missing, as he notices a notice at the police department. His childhood friend, Elle. Alex finds his brother Josh in what appears to be a cell, he doesn’t look up at Alex, however he does demand that Alex finds him his toy.
Josh runs away, Alex tries to catch up with him but loses him once more. Alex eventually finds out that his father was part of the towns secrets and was heading to the town to resolve these problems, Alex heads back to speak with his mother. He doesn’t make it as he is knocked unconscious as The Order, a cult within Silent Hill, kidnaps his mother.
Alex, Elle and Wheeler, take a boat across the lake to find Alex’s father in Silent Hill. Elle and Wheeler are captured by The Order and are taken to Silent Hill Penitentiary, where Alex must attempt to rescue them. After finding his mother, he must make a decision. Bare in mind that any decision you are suppose to make, changes the games outcome.
Alex loses Wheeler but find a church where he finds his father in the confessional booth. Alex must choose whether he forgives him or not, again this changes the games outcome! Alex later runs into his father again who tells him that he was never a soldier but a patient in a mental hospital after an accident. He begs him for forgiveness before he is killed by Pyramid Head.
Alex continues to pursue The Order in their underground facility, Alex is captured by Judge Holloway, who later reveals the real reason for the capture of his younger brother, father and mother. There was a pact from 150 years ago which was broken. Four families were to move to Shepherd Hill to later return and sacrifice a child. The Shepherd family did not sacrifice their child and therefore The Order were reunited to appease their God. Judge Holloway attempts to kill Alex, who defends himself and kills her. Alex continues his mission to rescue Wheeler and Elle, to find Wheeler injured. The player (Alex) must make a decision which again, impacts the game and what happens next.
Alex realizing he was the sacrifice, he experiences a flashback with himself and Josh being out on the lake with their father who presents Josh with a ring. Alex feels jealous by this gift and attempts to take it from Josh who falls into the lake and drowns. Alex’s father is furious and tells Alex that he had ruined it for them all. Alex then taking the place of Josh for the sacrifice. Unable to deal with Josh’s death, Alex’s father sends Alex to a mental hospital. The Orders pact was broken.
After fighting the final boss, Josh’s spirit, Alex has one last chance to apologize and make peace with Josh, he is met with Josh’s body and leaves the chamber.
There are five possible endings to the game which is determined by what action is carried out. I find this makes the game interesting. Being in control of what happens in the game is something that I liked. Now, what happens at the end of the game, including whether the player kills Alex’s mother, forgives Alex’s father, and saves Deputy Wheeler. There is also another positive ending to the game where Alex comes to terms with his actions and is reunited with Elle and is taken back to Shepherds Glen.
Throughout the game, you notice features and characters which have been carried on through out the Silent Hill series, such as Nurse and Pyramid Head and of course the siren which still makes me jump from time to time.
I was impressed by the Nurses in Silent Hill Homecoming. Annoying and a nightmare to kill, as soon as they hear you within range, they will slice you into little pieces, but I think they’re pretty damn hot for being dead nurses. The only way you can kill this affectingly without using you minimal ammunition is to use knifing sequences.
The only issue with the game play I think was that ammo was ridiculously limited. There would be rooms with cupboards and drawers, all had nothing in them! I know things like ammunition, health and other items will be scarce but this was just ridiculous. I found myself feeling frustrated while playing this game.
Silent Hill has always given the eerie atmosphere and has been successful when it comes to the scare factor. Homecoming had a very good atmosphere, very dark and eerie. The fog always makes me jump when I see it outside these days, but I think there could have been masses of improvement with the typical game play and resources. I was very disappointed that there was more frustration than fear. It was like you knew what was coming.
I am slightly disappointed with Silent Hill Homecoming. I feel not enough was of the game itself. It didn’t give me that scare factor I feel it deserved! Fans of Silent Hill would probably agree, but if you don’t agree, let’s chat! If you’re new to Silent Hill, please try any one but this one first. Experience the fear and you’ll see what I mean.