Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The sounds of silence
My review of Silent Hill: Homecoming is up now at thephoenix.com.
The comparison to Dead Space is unavoidable. As horror games, they couldn't be more different. Dead Space is all surface: it's loud, flashy, and precision engineered. Silent Hill is a bit more sloppy as a game, but it's also the more subtle and disquieting experience. Both are good, but I think the overlap between them is probably as small as it could be while still falling under the general heading of horror. I liked Silent Hill a bit more, although since both games essentially did what they set out to do, I imagine that opinions differ.
I mentioned in the first paragraph of the review some of the glaring gameplay problems. I left one out: You can't invert the Y-axis for your camera controls. You can invert them for aiming a gun, which is something you don't do often in this game. Probably 80% of the combat is with a melee weapon. I'm a Y-axis-inverter since old times, and it took me a good five hours to get used to this. In a weird way, that ended up making the game scarier, since I always seemed to be looking just slightly away from where I wanted to. Given the choice, I'd still have wanted the option to change it.