Genre: Survival Horror
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: March 20, 2012
The Silent Hill HD Collection takes two of the series’ best entries, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3, and updates them with high definition graphics. Cutscenes are vastly improved due to the enhanced visuals, as are the lighting effects. Character models, along with the environents are also improved, although less noticeable. The high definition graphics do an admirable job of making the games feel even eerier than they did years ago.
Silent Hill 2 ranks among the greatest survival horror games of all time, and deservedly so. The amazing soundtrack and generally creepy locales mesh together in a way that isn’t often seen. The HD collection doesn’t add a whole lot to the formula aside from the previously stated boost in graphics, but then again why mess with such a highly loved title. You do have the option to opt for the new voice cast, although I personally prefer the original voices. Not to say that the new voice performances aren’t well done, but I just can’t help sticking to the originals.
The tank controls can still be immensely annoying at times, especially when trying to turn around on a dime after glimpsing the horrifying Pyramid Head. While I’m glad that modern day horror titles don’t implement them, Silent Hill 2 just wouldn’t feel the same without those tank controls. I do, however, wish that James could swing a 2×4 with more speed than a real person could swing a sofa. There were quite a few instances where an enemy would hit me two or three times in between every one of my swings.
Another thing that can be a nuisance at times in both titles is the fact that there is no autosave feature. So if you haven’t saved in two hours and you die, you are going to have to redo the last two hours. Saving frequently can save you a lot of headache down the road. Both titles also still feature the obtrusive camera angles that can cause more deaths than a lack of skill. Nothing is worse than running towards an enemy with your weapon ready, only to have the camera swing around to where you can’t see the enemy in front of you. It often results in taking unnecessary damage and spouting forth innumerable expletives.
The monsters in Silent Hill 3 are both more varied and more aggresive than the ones in Silent Hill 2. If you wish, you can bypass a great amount of the enemies in Silent Hill 2, which is not always the case in its counterpart. Still, I have to say that I personally don’t think Silent Hill 3 has any single enemy that’s quite as unsettling or disturbing as Pyramid head. The fact that you can’t kill him solidifies the dread he imposes when you encounter him.
The fact that the enemies are more aggresive in Silent Hill 3 makes its larger arsenal more appropriate. You can acquire a katana, maul, and even a flamethrower. While the more varied selection of weapons makes monster killing easier, it also takes away from some of the fear and dread of facing a group of enemies. The limited weaponry of Silent Hill 2 keeps things more balanced and is scarier because of it.
The HD Collection doesn’t really offer anything as far as extra features go, other than the new voicework. There are no behind the scenes videos, commentary, picture galleries or anything of that sort. While having two of Silent Hill’s greatest entries in HD is a treat in and of itself, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that there weren’t any real extras packaged with the titles. Even a short recap of the Silent Hill series up to this point would have been a nice addition.
That being said, it’s hard to complain when you are getting two top-notch survival horror games remastered in high definition glory. Silent Hill 2 and 3 continue to be amazing representations of not only survival horror, but also of video games as a whole. If you have never played these two games then this is undoubtedly the way to experience them. If you already own them however, then I’m not sure the updated graphics are enough of a draw to repurchase them in this collection. Either way, the fact remains that these are two outstanding games that deserved to be updated for a new generation of gamers who may not have been able to play them upon their original releases.
- HD graphics
- Both games are still very creepy
- Solid voice work
- Annoying camera angles
- No extra features
Article from Gamersyndrome.com