Silent Hill 2 Review
Reviewed by Nov 1st, 2002

The original Silent Hill was (and still is) my favorite Playstation 1 game ever, and when I heard there would be a sequel on PS2, I bought a PS2 just to play it. SH2 was in no way a direct sequel (we would have to wait for Silent Hill 3 for that), just a totally different story set in the same town. We are introduced to our hero, James, a bumbling middle-aged man, in a public restroom. James seems slightly off his rocker from the start, since we learn that he has made this journey to Silent Hill because he believes he has a letter from his dead wife asking him to meet her there.

James retrieves a street map of the town from his car and runs off through the woods. It’s a fairly long and uneventful journey, but it gets you used to the controls. Soon you meet Angela in the cemetery. She is a troubled girl looking for her mother. She points James to Silent Hill and stays in the cemetery. All the wandering in the streets makes you appreciate the size of the town. This game takes place in another section of town than SH1 does. The monsters and the voice acting are more impressive this time around also. SH2 may not look that awesome anymore, but when I first bought it, the graphics blew me away. They were really several steps above the original game, and of course SH2 introduced us to the most iconographic monster of the series, Pyramid Head.

There is a great sense of suspense and uncertainty in the game concerning the events and characters. Sound is used masterfully, and the environments are all very well-designed. The Xbox, PC and Greatest Hits PS2 versions all have added stuff, more endings and a side journey with Maria as the playable character.

Combat can be clunky, but in a way it enhances your picture of James as Everyman instead of a trained warrior. As in SH1, it’s often best to just run away when you’re outnumbered or low on ammo. The buildings are a lot of fun and detailed. The most irritating part is the boat ride, which is done differently on different difficulty settings.

I dont’ want to say too much about the story, but it’s all very well done and leaves you wanting to replay and get all the endings. Overall, one of the best games to come out for the PS2.

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