Silent Hill 3
Scare factor: 10
Fun factor: 9
Replay value: 9
The next chapter in the story of Silent Hill, the peaceful lakeside town. This game has you taking control of the 17 year old girl, Heather, who has the bravery of a man who has been through war and who has a history as twisted as a double helix. I won't give away the entire storyline, but this third installment of the Silent Hill story has a lot to do with the story of the first game, so if you haven't played the first one, you may end up not fully grasping the story. The game starts with Heather waking up from a creepy dream about being in a strange amusement park, to find herself in a mall café. She leaves the café and calls up her dad, (whose identity I will not reveal). She then encounters a creepy detective who claims to know something about her birth and won't stop following her. Heather slips into the ladies' room, to get away from him, and out a window which is where her story begins. She explores nightmarish versions of the mall, hospital, the Lakeside Amusement Park, and even the old church in Silent Hill. She meets a woman named Claudia who speaks of Heather's "true self" and a man named Vincent who seems just as crazy. Heather doesn't know who to trust in this world where her only true friends are weapons and a broken radio.
The graphics in this game are surprisingly detailed and realistic for a PS2 title. All of the parts of the game are done with the in-game graphics, even where you'd expect to see cinematics. Hair and clothes move naturally and the characters expressions are most impressive; the characters show true emotion without words because of the attention put towards their facial expressions. The lighting in the game is also done very well, what dim light the game allows shows three-dimensional shape. The game also features scary new monsters, even the nurses have been re-vamped and are scarier than ever.
The sound in this game is effectively creepy. I would have liked to, however, heard more of the sounds throughout the game. Some of the areas lacked a piece of character because of the (too) seldom noises. The noises that are in the game though are quite scary and the radio has different, scary static patterns.
The voices are very well done also. The voice actors chosen for the game express emotion through their voice and add to the characters' overall personality. Also, their words were well written. The words that each character chooses to say in the different situations goes with what you'd expect that character to say and how you'd expect them to react.
Another thing that I found very interesting about the game is that you can see what Heather thinks. When you click on something in the room, it'll show what she thinks about looking at that particular object from her point of view. It doesn't say something like "A dead dog on a dinner platter", instead, it tells you Heather's reaction to such a thing. I thought that was really neat, especially since she's a teenager. So, you get a teenager's perspective to all of the creepy surroundings. Even in the inventory screen, if you examine objects, you'll get an interesting comment to go along with it or sometimes even a hint at what Heather thinks you should do with that particular object.
This game also features new weapons and new outfits. In the game you can use weapons like the katana, a mace, and a sub-machine gun. After you've beaten the game, you can even use the "beam saber". After you have beaten the game you will also get a new option where you can enter different codes to get different outfits for Heather and you can change them throughout gameplay.
All in all, I'd say Silent Hill 3 is the perfect addition to any survival-horror catalog of games. It has a perfect blend of in-depth storyline, developed characters, dark and disturbing graphics, creepy monsters, strange noises, and even a few puzzles. Also, when you buy the game it comes with the soundtrack, so that's an added bonus! What are you still reading this for?! Go buy the game!!