Silent Hill 4: The Room - PS2

Like the undead monsters lurking in the game, Silent Hill just keeps spawning thick and fast, relentlessly stealing gamers’ money and driving the Konami bus to the eternal gold pot in the sky. But is enough enough? Not if you love horror, and not if your horror of choice is Silent Hill.

The story is fairly immaterial - you (Henry) are stuck in your house and the only way out is to go through the portal in the bathroom, which of course takes you straight to hell. Your time is spent split between your house and the other side of the portal, in the land of Silent Hill, which effectively breaks up the storyline as you progress and the plot unfolds.

For those who have played the game before, you’ll recognise everything, as all the same horror devices have been deployed here. Yet, there is plenty of fog, distorted graphics, beasts of varying descriptions and the eerie background cacophony. Visually, it does deliver, and there is an undisputable faithful and stylish approach to depicting the horror.

Fans may be disappointed that there aren’t many major improvements to the gameplay, and the camera does a good job of confusing the issue as you try to get along. The story starts rather slowly, but there are some good puzzles along the way, obviously aimed at the fan rather than the newcomer. The combat still feels lifeless to me. If the horrific environment does not attract you, then this is a poor substitute for a third-person adventure game.

Verdict

Undoubtedly the hordes of fans will flock to the banner of Silent Hill once again, but there is nothing that makes us change our minds that horror is for horror gamers. Take out the horror, and you are left with an uncomfortable and somewhat boring game. Visually and aurally accomplished, but still confusing to play. Stick to what you know and like and if you are a fan, then you'll want this, if not, I have an abacus you can play with.


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