Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Preview

Developed by Climax, and the latest Konami instalment of a franchise celebrating its tenth year in survival horror existence, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a “re-imagining” of the original Silent Hill. At best it’s a remix. It takes elements of the original story and changes them. Now, it appears we have a Harry Mason who wears glasses. While this might not seem such a big deal now, sooner or later, that additional detail will have its own fiery thread on a fan based forum somewhere. It can’t be easy trying to satisfy an existing fan base. As one deeply concerned fan points out, “Stick Harry Mason in glasses if you will, but if you ever give Walter Sullivan a haircut, there’ll be trouble.”

Thank goodness then Climax seems to be aware of this. Having already tried their hand with Silent Hill: Origins, they have an idea of what Silent Hill fans are about and while disposing Silent Hill’s nightmare world of its blood and rust might seem like a request for assisted suicide, it does at least show Climax have the big, bouncy balls of bravery. Some fans won’t like it and Climax must know it.

But perhaps it is necessary to ditch what arguably has been tainted since Silent Hill the movie.  What the player gets here is ice, huge shards of it shooting from the ground and consuming lampposts, benches, buildings… You name it. This nightmare world blends in well with the “snowy” reality, interrupting it as if maintaining dominance over a dysfunctional relationship. Also, its transitions are said to be less predictable than in previous instalments.

And even without this new nightmare world, Shattered Memories seems to be anything but predictable. The game is said to be affected by the decisions you make, varying from answering Internet quiz like questions in a therapist’s session to examining the town’s scenery. Everything in this world seems to carry with it its own consequence. What might it mean if you choose to spend a longer time looking at an abandoned six pack of beer over someones family photo? Shattered Memories seems to show so much complexity, it could even exceed the multiple ending structure found in Silent Hill 2. Not a bad record to break.

Climax have taken a story and turned it into something almost unrecognisable. While this is sure to be a worst nightmare for some fans, others might appreciate having something a little different. Want to relive those happy moments when you, quite inexplicably, threw red glop over a mad bitch on a roundabout? Or the time when you ran into that sweet nurse, who started bleeding to death while someone off screen played acoustic guitar? Well, you can’t! This is a re-imagining! Go and cry about it with your PlayStation. The rest of us, meanwhile, can look forward to the hopefulness of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which is due for release on the Wii, PS2 and PSP later this year.

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  1. Another screwup. I mean, once again a Silent Hill game that has nothing to do with Silent Hill – developed by a non-japanese studio(not to mention non-Konami) for a portable console. Didn’t they learn from Homecoing and Origins?

  2. Mhm, I liked the Silent Hill games for the sole purpose that they were the disturbing kind of scary. I mean, how many antagonists in a survival horror can be accurately described as a rapist? The scene with Pyramid Head and the two mannequins was pretty stirring.

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