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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.0
Visuals
8.0
Audio
8.0
Gameplay
7.5
Features
8.0
Replay
4.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Konami
DEVELOPER:
Konami TYO
GENRE: Horror
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
December 21, 2001
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Silent Hill HD Collection

Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

More in this Series
 Written by Andrew Smith  on January 23, 2002

Full Review: Mommy? I don't wanna play anymore?


The Silent Hill series has been among the best in the survival horror genre in recent years. Mentioned among games like Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark, the original Silent Hill marked its place in history. Now enter the sequel, which takes place with all new characters and a brand new storyline. You play as James Sutherland, a man who received a letter from his long time dead wife. Now he will embark on the town of Silent Hill, hoping to find out if his wife is actually alive.

Visually, Silent Hill 2 is set to impress. It's obviously ported from the Playstation 2, and although it doesn't take full advantage of the Xbox, complaints are few. The characters and monsters look very good, as they are well detailed and animated. Many of the monsters are disgusting and can be vomit-inducing to those with weak stomachs. Outside environments are covered in uninspiring fog for the most part. The fog effects seem kind of lame, and I would have hoped that they would have taken more time on an element that is such a key part of the game. Included in the game is an option to cut off the ?noise filter?, which actually takes off the grittiness for a much cleaner look. Overall, the graphics get the job done, but are not faultless.

Silent Hill 2 does a great job sound wise too. Monsters can make some truly horrifying sounds. I'd say they sound twice as bad as they look. Most of the other sound effects are fairly plain and basic. The music is very unnoticeable for the most part; occasionally it will pick up with the action, adding to the overall effect and scariness of the game. The voice acting is also very good, however not groundbreaking in any sort. Probably the most important part of the game's sound effects are the well places noises, such as whispers and children crying, that really keep you on your toes and it goes a long way in maintaining that fright factor.

Gameplay in Silent Hill 2 is much like that of the Resident Evil series, and, of course, like the original Silent Hill. The majority of the game consists of solving puzzles. But this time around, less emphasis seems to be put of the combat portion of the game. As I said before, the monsters sound twice as bad as they look, but they aren't half as tough. You start out with a pretty basic board with a nail in it, and killing the monsters seems easy even then. The AI is just plain horrible and enemies take little effort to kill. You will soon find yourself just running through and ignoring them altogether. Thankfully, the games story and clever puzzles will keep your attention throughout.

There is also an Xbox exclusive episode, dubbed ?Born From a Wish?, where you play as one of the game's main antagonist, Maria. According to Konami, this addition takes 4-6 hours to complete, though, it does seem that a two-year-old would take that long to complete it. However, there is really nothing to complain about, this is by far the best Xbox exclusive add-on in any game to date. Also, this helps in differentiating itself from the PS2 version.

As with the majority of games in the genre, there is very little replay value to be found. The biggest reason to play the game is to uncover the creepy storyline and solve all the puzzles. After that there is really no reason to go back to the uninspired monsters of Silent Hill. I can't see much enjoyment being found in playing through it again.

Bottom Line
In the end, Silent Hill 2 is a good game for those who enjoy the survival horror genre. The storyline is incredibly scary and will keep you coming back for the next progression. If you aren't familiar with the series or the Resident Evil games, you will want to make sure you rent this one before you decide to buy, this game isn't for everyone. Although, fans of the original will surely eat this up.


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