|Posted on December 15, 2009 at 9:40 AM|
This review can also be viewed here
Silent Hill Shattered Memories is the latest game in the Silent hill Series. It was developed by Climax Group and published by Konami. It was released on December 8th 2009.
Like every other game in the Silent Hill series, Shattered Memories is a Survival Horror game. Players take control of Harry mason, who after a nasty car accident has lost his daughter Cheryll in the mysterious town of Silent Hill.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories is a re-imagining of the first Silent Hill game, although the premise and characters remain the same the gameplay and game itself are very different. In addition to a completely different otherworld (the Ice world) a radical change to the game is its emphasis on evading creatures instead of fighting them. Combat has been all but removed from the game (if monsters do get you, you can shake them off) so when the otherworld takes over you’ll be running instead of fighting. According to an interview with one of the developers this was done to make the game scarier, because this time around players do not have the protection of a gun.
Another radical change to the game is the addition of a Psychological profiling system, before the start of every level in the game there is a brief “intermission” where you are with your psychiatrist Dr. Kaufman. During these intermissions you will be asked a series of questions or to do certain activities like coloring a picture, grouping photos together or lining up statues in a certain way. These seemingly mundane tasks are the basis of your Psych profile, however you answer your questions, group your photos and statues and color your pictures will dictate how the characters and monsters react and change towards you. Not only in Dr. Kaufman’s office but what you do during gameplay will also have an affect on this.
So if during gameplay you spend most of your time looking at posters with girls on them you may notice the monsters (rawshocks) start to take on a feminine appearance and also get a different ending than someone who wasn’t easily distracted when playing. Like the disclaimer at the beginning of the game says “this game gets to know you, it watches you and plays you as much as you play it”.
Other features of the game include the return of the puzzle solving gameplay found in other silent hill games, puzzles are key to the gameplay because certain places cannot be accessed without first solving them. Puzzles are simple when you first start out but get increasingly difficult as the game goes on, if this is a turn off do not worry. Another great feature (or in this case gameplay element) is the cell phone like puzzles are key to the gameplay the cell phone is key to solving puzzles. Your cell phone is capable of picking up “echo messages” found in the environment. These messages contain clues to solving these puzzles, but beware these clues are very subtle so listen closely.
Lastly Shattered Memories has a realistic flashlight mechanic, like Dementium the Ward the flashlight lights up the environment very realistically and is important because it helps you finding “echo messages” and various other things
The Graphics in Shattered Memories are (based on what I’ve seen) the second best looking Wii game of 2009 (The Conduit is still in first). The characters are highly detailed and little things like seeing Harry’s breath while he’s running, individual snow flakes being lit up by the flashlight or seeing your reflection in a mirror as you walk by it make you appreciate the work Climax group put into this game.
Gameplay wise on top of good looks the game also runs extremely well, the framerate is top notch even during chase sequences (sometimes). While linear in nature the game still has a degree of exploration to it.
Unfortunately fans of the series may be disappointed by the lack of combat, and the fact that Rawshocks are the only type of monster that appears in the game. On top of this the game is kind of short (8-9 hours depending on how you play), chase sequences are not only difficult but they get very repetitive after a few times, and when compared to its predecessors Shattered Memories isn’t really scary.
Overall Silent Hill Shattered Memories is a very impressive game, the numerous new gameplay elements (especially the psych profiling system) work very well, the story, characters and voice acting are surprisingly believable and also very well done and lastly while not as scary as its predecessors the eerie music and sudden sounds help the game retain some of the scary the series is known for.
Silent hill Shattered Memories is a great game and gets a 9.0 out of 10.
Silent Hill wiki
This review can also be viewed here
Categories: Wii/WiiU Reviews