Movie Review: Silent Hill

As soon as those familiar chords started up over the company logo sequence, I knew we were in business. Here's the breakdown:

  • Presentation: 6/10.
  • I'm including the $10 ticket price in this, though you might find it for cheaper. What that bought me, besides a big empty theater with no other players, was a series of promos I could not skip through no matter how hard I mashed the buttons, and then another 20 minutes of unskipable introductory exposition Hideo Kojima would have been proud of. Also at that price, I could not afford any peripheries like, say, popcorn.

  • Graphics: 10/10. As Ken said when we saw it at WalletRape Cinemas in Perrysburg, "It's like watching it on the PS9!" Everything was crisp, dark and creepy, and loadtimes were not a problem - which is good, because this movie is 80% cutscenes.

  • Gameplay: 7/10. Character control was very limited, and the fixed camera angles were in awkward spots sometimes. Weapon selection was also limited - don't expect to find any extra handgun ammo laying in the trunk of a car or a steel pipe in any convenient place. The distance between sparsely-placed save points was also frustrating, especially considering the amount of bugs, zombie-brats and bosses you have to fight your way through.

  • Sound: 5/10. Sound effects are good - when Pyramid Head drags his giant knives across the floor and slices open doors, it made my teeth hurt. But I was very disappointed with the voice-acting. I understand the actors must not have much to work with, only providing brief soundclips to further the between-slaughter plot, and I imagine a lot of character-developing dialog had to be cut in the port from Japanese. Still, the voices were flat, delivery was a bit off, and dialog fizzled.

  • Storyline: 8/10. The story unfolds along parallel lines, and here we begin to see the franchise's new system being put to use... perhaps overuse. Once things get going, perspective switches back and forth among the main playable characters - the wife, the husband, the creepy little girl and the macho-bitch motorcycle cop (who all appear courtesy of the previous titles). This looks nice but it's a bit frustrating for the player, whose main job is to jump over that pit of hell or dodge that zombie-baby only in order to get to the next lengthy cutscene.

  • Re-playability: 6/10. No word yet on alternative endings; I'll have to play through again on a harder difficulty.

  • Overall: 8/10. Die-hard fans of the franchise may want to shell out the money they're asking these days; the pedestrian horror enthusiast should wait for the bargain bin. Or $1 cinema.


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