23 February 2017

Review: Silent Hill 2 (Playstation 2)

When I first purchased my Playstation 2 (I worked an entire summer to be able to afford it) I did it because I had heard of the new Grand Theft Auto and that it was in 3D. The thought alone was enough for me to work my butt off and come autumn I had enough to buy a console and a few games. I bought it second hand, so I did not get to choose which games came with it but I was happy as long as Grand Theft Auto 3 was part of the deal. Hiding among the other titles was this mysterious game called Silent Hill 2. I did not care to look closer at it and instead I invited some friends over and fired up GTA 3. We played it for an entire weekend and had a blast. When sunday came one of my friends stayed late to see what this Silent Hill 2 was all about, so we tried it out. Suddenly, the night was over. We played the game through the night and when the sun came up we were done. What. A. Ride.

Silent Hill 2 was the first game to really show me what games can do. What great sound design and the power of suggestion could do together to build up tension I never thought were possible in a game. My friend was equally impressed and we ended up getting Silent Hill 3 when that came out, and during the wait we laid our hands on the first game on Playstation 1. By the time I am writing this I have every Silent Hill game out there. At least that is in the main series. I even have the P.T-thing on my Playstation 4 even though it is pulled from the store. It has become my absolute favorite series of all time and I have several tattoos with Silent Hill artwork.

The other day I figured I would play through Silent Hill 2 again just to see if I was being to nostalgic about it. Is it really that good even today? I have now completed it once again just to be able to say yes, yes it definitely is. It is every bit as great now as it was back then. There is something about masterpieces that makes them age with dignity I guess. The deep psychology behind every area, every enemy, every NPC encounter, every piece of history found... The sheer terror coming from incredibly well thought out mixes of noise and deranged music is awesome. The combat is clumsy at best of course, but that just adds to the stress. Sometimes it might even feel a bit unfair but it never really crosses that border and becomes all out broken. It is a matter of planning your attacks and pay close attention to your surroundings. And this is where I think some people might find the Silent Hill series a bit bland. The ones that do not pay attention to the story. There are plenty of horrifying symbolic events and details to discover, but if you want an action horror game like the later Resident Evil parts then you will be disappointed.

There are several endings to Silent Hill 2 as well, so make sure to play it different each time you come back. Something I can almost guarantee you will do. I have lost count on how many times I have visited the town of Silent Hill - both in this particular game and in the series as a whole. I like it in Silent Hill. We should go there someday.

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