|Release date:||16 November 2007|
Silent Hill, the eerie town that hides a hellish past, is revealed for the first time on PSP.
Stranded in Silent Hill, truck driver Travis Grady is forced to contend not only with its hellish denizens but his own buried past.
An engrossing storyline, iconic adversaries, fiendish puzzles and a haunting soundtrack, composed by Akira Yamaoka, keep this PSP debut in the nightmarish vein of its predecessors on PlayStation 2.
Silent Hill is laden with atmosphere, the town transitioning between vacant streets and buildings, and a decaying realm of nightmare, populated by twisted, faceless inhabitants.
Gameplay, like the disturbing look and feel, is classic Silent Hill but with additional features included for PSP, such as the way in which the control scheme changes intuitively for each situation.
- Discover the secrets behind the horrifying town of Silent Hill
- Guide Travis through this nightmare realm, arming him against the beings that lurk in the shadows
- Intuitive controls change depending on your situation
The origins of fear
Silent Hill: Origins reveals the violent history of the sleepy lakeside town, and it's not for the faint-hearted.
While driving near the sleepy town of Silent Hill, truck driver Travis Grady is trying to figure out the nightmares that have been haunting him, and why they seem so familiar. Suddenly, a figure steps out of the fog and in front of his truck, causing him to swerve and almost crash. A young girl runs away just as Travis spots her and, thinking she may be hurt, he follows.
He follows her to into a burning house after hearing screams from inside. Risking his own life, he retrieves the burnt body of a child from the house and collapses shortly after returning to safety. He wakes up on the deserted streets of Silent Hill an indeterminable amount of time later and heads for the nearest hospital, which is also unusually quiet...
Set seven years before the original game in the survival horror series, Silent Hill: Origins examines the dark secrets of the town and its sinister otherworld, accessible through certain mirrors. Grady must conquer his own fear, as well as the hordes of monsters trying to kill him. It must be pointed out that this is a scary game that includes scenes of graphic violence, and it is not suitable for children.
Visually, Silent Hill: Origins retains the series' unique look of empty streets bathed in fog and dimly lit hallways with decaying walls. And like its predecessors, the game uses a grainy filter that gives the graphics an antique quality, like an old 8mm film. One of the greatest visual accomplishments is the transition between the normal world and the depraved otherworld, which is characterised by its blood-stained walls that pulse as though they are alive.
Gameplay is driven by exploration, and progression requires a combination of puzzle solving and combat. Initially, Grady can protect himself with either his fists or a number of items that can be found lying around, such as televisions and lengths of pipe, and later on in the game he can use firearms. Although sometimes fighting is essential, this is a game of survival rather than attack, and often the best solution is to run away.
Puzzles generally revolve around finding keys or objects in order to open an as yet unexplored area. An early example takes place in a hospital, where you must collect plastic organs and place them inside a training model to gain a key. The clever part is that each organ must be placed according to their actual position in the body. Intelligent puzzles like this are what set the Silent Hill games apart from others in the survival horror genre.
Completing the eerie atmosphere is the excellent soundtrack composed by series veteran Akira Yamaoka. Sound is very important in identifying threat as you enter a new environment, and the score captures the sense of something sinister lying in wait around the corner perfectly.
Silent Hill: Origins is an incredibly atmospheric game that combines a compelling story, intelligent puzzles and gruesome combat and it is well suited to its adult audience. Fans of the series will appreciate the insight into the town's history and newcomers will revel in the look and unique approach to action gaming that the series is famed for.