Silent Hill Homecoming Review
Reviewed by May 1st, 2009

And here we have a monster that rips off the Lying Figure monsters from SH2, except it shoots smoke instead of acid. Lame.

This is an overgrown emo kid who likes to cut himself and play with dolls.
Some of the dolls he plays with cut him. Wouldn’t you?

Pushing cabinets: a favorite pastime in Silent Hill.

Polaroids! They’re everywhere!

Miners. There are no fucking mines in Silent Hill.

Alex’s mom. She’s bummed about having plastic hair.

Alex has a Robbie toy. He gets all the good toys.

Some of you know I’ve been playing these games for hundreds of years now (Editor’s note: slight exaggeration) and may be wondering why I hadn’t played this yet. The answer: I was waiting for a normal PC version, and they just have a downloadable version, so I was busy bitching about this for months and months. It’s also available for PS3 and Xbox if you have one of those, though. In my last Silent Hill-related rambling here, I mentioned some of the gripes I had before even seeing the game, and these have not changed. I don’t much like that Alex is a a soldier, because it takes away from the Everyman quality, which is why it’s so endearing when Harry Mason was unable to hit a monster with a shotgun at point blank range. This is probably to make up for the fact that the monsters themselves are bigger, faster, and stronger, something that probably shouldn’t happen in Silent Hill, since it turns it into, basically, Resident Evil. I like RE, but Silent Hill should have a different feel to it. So my gripes here are not entirely due to the game sucking, because it doesn’t, but because it lacks the plodding, creepy factor of previous games. It sort of fails as a Silent Hill game, but it succeeds as an action horror game, and it does have it’s creepy moments. It’s also bloody as all hell. It could be argued, I suppose, that the reason the first several games succeeded in being scary (well, the first game anyway) was that they didn’t throw buckets of blood at you at every turn. They showed a bit more restraint. While some of the levels are fun, and the monsters are cool in a Resident Evil sort of way, none of the imagery here is really causing me to soil my pants in the way that alternate Midwich Elementary did ten years ago. The monsters are scary in a “holy shit a 10 foot tall mutant came out of nowhere and is attacking me!” kind of way, unlike the Mumblers in the school, which would lurk in the shadows and slowly creep up on you. Some scenes obviously only exist to show you the cool way that they made the fabric flow in the breeze. Then they’ll go and give you a cut scene where the lips aren’t even synched. Also everyone in Silent Hill now has plastic hair. Also: miners. There shouldn’t be miners in Silent Hill, because there aren’t any mines in Silent Hill. Pyramid Head looks like the movie version, and the nurses do that annoying dance like in the movie. Apparently the designers just watched the movie instead of playing the games. On the other hand, one really cool thing they did add is that when you slash a monster with a weapon, you can now see the damage show up, and the monsters get all bloody and gory before finally going down. This makes it feel a bit more like a splatter movie, but it does add some realism in a way. The House of the Dead style slash on the side of the screen when Alex takes damage kind of suck though. Combat is a bit crap at times, as is the AI with certain of the monsters. Another thing I found hilarious is the way Alex busts through doors both ways. I’m pretty sure hinges on most doors don’t work that way, not to mention that it adds a bit too much drama to something like opening a door, especially in situations where another character is there. I mean, there’s Alex’s mother sitting calmly in a rocking chair, and suddenly Alex busts down the door waving a giant combat knife and she doesn’t even look up. There is also the fact that, unlike the characters in the previous games, I really didn’t give a damn what happened to Alex or his cronies. I just couldn’t bring myself to care. All of the characters vaguely annoyed me. The voice acting is pretty decent for a videogame, but it still irked me at times. Maybe I’m just a peevish bitch though. The story had potential, sure, and it was better than I expected, despite plot holes, too many ties to the movie, unexplained phallic and vaginal symbolism, crappy fog, bad hair, and lack of sympathetic characters. As stated before, it succeeds as an action horror game, but fails as a Silent Hill game.

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