By Jonas Ward
Set in a dark New England town, “Silent Hill” developed by Konami has been a favorite for vintage PlayStation fans. Since 1999, the original “Silent Hill” has been one of the most quintessential horror games that greatly influenced many horror and thriller games to this day.
“Silent Hill” is like a traditional Stephen King novel shoved into a video game. The main protagonist is Harry Manson, who crashed his vehicle in the town of Silent Hill while going on a road trip with his adopted daughter Cherly. The reason why Harry crashed his car in the first place is because he swerved to avoid hitting a phantom girl in the road that he thought was real.
After the accident, Harry’s daughter went missing from the vehicle. Harry decided to set out on foot to search for his missing daughter only to find clues to something more diabolical. The town of “Silent Hill” is actually the home of an ancient cult that has cursed the town and anyone who dares try and pass through it. Harry has to decide whether he wants to save his daughter, or get out and save himself.
The gameplay of “Silent Hill” is definitely not on par with a modern video game. Developed for the original PlayStation, a landmark console at the time, “Silent Hill” was able to harness the full power of the PlayStation. The game has fixed camera angles like the original “Resident Evil” for comparison. Players will direct Harry across streets, through hallways and into rooms for most of the game. The main lightsource in the game is the flashlight that Harry carries with him.
The controls for “Silent Hill” are simple. Players can move Harry with a touchpad, shoot with a set series of buttons and interact with objects easily. The main downfall for a game this old is the fixed camera angle. Players may lose sight of Harry stuck against a wall or in a corner due to the fact that they can not move the camera to observe their surroundings. The game moves the camera for the player, which can be infuriating to say the least, but it doesn’t ruin the experience.
Players are able to shoot monsters, interact with objects and traverse different locations in the game, making it really entertaining to play. Some players describe an extremely heavy and eerie feeling while playing the game, which is something “Silent Hill” is known for.
The graphics for “Silent Hill” are what players should expect for a game released in 1999. In-game graphics are blocky, but not awful. Objects are static for the most part, and characters like Harry look like a modeling dummy with clothes on. The cutscenes on the other hand were incredibly ahead of their time for 1999. They look like something that could possibly be produced for the PlayStation 2 or a very early PlayStation 3 game. “Silent Hill” is incredibly story based, so nice cutscenes add to the game greatly.
“Silent Hill” is easily one of the most successful horror games of all time. The success spawned a vast amount of sequels and multiple live action movies. The game has influenced many developers to come up with their own competition for “Silent Hill.” The Konami development team knows how to create a cursed legend that has been horrifying players since its dawn.