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In reality Silent Hill is probably the last place on Earth we’d want to visit - we’d sooner spend a bank holiday in Baghdad. But atmosphere-wise it trumps even Resident Evil’s Raccoon City on the scare-o-meter. This latest game in the series (a port of the recent PSP title) reveals how it all began in a plot involving a troubled trucker, a mysterious fire and loopy locals with a terrible secret.
As ever, it’s a creepy adventure with eerie locations, frequent moments of extreme tension and some of the most horrific monsters imaginable. The game doesn’t stray far from the series’ established formula, but landmarks such as the hospital and asylum have rarely felt more authentic. Better still, the puzzles (so often hit and miss) are actually rather good multi-part stumpers combining collecting stuff, fiddling with switches and the crossing of dimensions.
But Origins is far from perfect. The major stumbling block is, as ever, the clumsy camera and combat. Travis (that’s you) will often enter rooms with the camera facing away from the action which leaves you open to attack from the more unpleasant townsfolk. Even with added quick-time events and a broader range of weapons the combat is limited and leaden, and it only gets worse when there’s more than one freak to bludgeon. Personally, if we were beset by the horrors of Silent Hill we’d be swinging that 2x4 like a hoodie high on Red Bull, but trucking Travis appears to prefer a more laid back approach.
Origins proves that Silent Hill is still worth a visit, but it does little to advance the series by re-treading on old ground. We can’t help but wish that Konami would give it an overhaul to rival that of Resident Evil 4...
Apr 23, 2008
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