What is up everybody, I’m your friendly neighborhood Spanish dad crossing the border to give you a review. Today we are reviewing an old game-Silent Hill 2, released September 24, 2001. Silent Hill 2 is widely seen as one of the greatest horror games of all time. It is looked at through rose-tinted glasses, but me? Nah. I will look at the game as what I am, not what I am expected to believe. I’m going to review it in 2020, not in 2001.
Now, I’m switching it up from reviewing gameplay first, since the team that made this game focused on the plot first. The plot follows James Sunderland, who goes to Silent Hill, a fictional town in the northeast of the United States, to find his wife, who wrote him a letter 3 years after her death. Soon, he finds himself in a nightmare world surrounded by the physical manifestations of his guilt. Not putting it lightly, Silent Hill 2’s plot is perfect. Pyramid Head, the manifestation of James’ sexual frustrations, is introduced in this game. Nurses are in this game. The game has 6 endings, all of which Konami keeps ambiguous on which is canon. Personally, I don’t know about you all, but I believe Dog is the canon ending. The story also has no connection to Silent Hill 1, so no Harry Mason (unless you get the UFO ending).
This is where we get into problems. You see, the controls in 2020 are atrocious. I played the PS2 original years ago, but I played the Xbox 360 HD Collection one recently, and I instantly noticed the issues. It is so hard to shoot, I swear. The combat feels repetitive in the beginning just traversing Silent Hill when you have the steel pipe and you are fighting Lying Ones. The game picks up, and you are introduced into some intriguing characters like Maria, an overly sexualized version of James’ wife Mary. This leads into one of the worst aspects of early 2000’s gaming-escort missions. Overall, every boss fight is legendary. I especially liked the ways to exploit bosses. Not like Dark Souls exploit. The fire-every-bullet-in-your-gun-and-the-boss-dies exploit. I love that about games.
Another thing worth talking about is the environment. The environment is extremely complex for a PS2 game. Silent Hill is the same, just some buildings and the iconic fog. It is the nightmare world that shines. Walls are covered in blood and barbed wire. Enemies are everywhere. The rooms span from pitch black to glowing a bright red. The designers of the game really put some effort into the game.
Overall, Silent Hill 2 is what the fans day-in of the greatest horror games of all time. The chilling environments, the stomach-churning enemy design, the nature plot, everything in the game pushes it forward towards downright terrifying. The gameplay hasn’t aged well at all, but overall, the game is a must-play in horror.
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