Silent Hill Origins - updated impressions

Prequel resurfaces after months of silence - find out why it's better now

More interestingly, the weapons you'll find can actually break after a set number of uses, meaning you'll constantly have to scavenge for new ones - like TVs, toasters, coatracks, pipes and knives - that are scattered around each environment. It won't be on the same level as Dead Rising, but there should be enough stuff lying around to weaponize that you won't be caught unarmed too often. Naturally, you'll also be able to find assorted guns, which will auto-aim like in previous games in the series - the laser sight from the original version of the game is long gone. As for whether Travis is as lousy a shot as those who'll come after him, well, we'll find out soon enough.

Less-clumsy action aside, Silent Hill Origins is shaping up to be a worthy entry in the iconic horror series. It looks great on the PSP, with awesomely eerie flashlight effects and smooth, detailed visuals. It's also a lot creepier than its relatively sunny previous incarnation, with more paranoid camera angles, darker interiors and an overall more oppressive atmosphere that promises to bring back the series' trademark sense of dread. Even better, the stupid, zombie-like "Affected" that populated that version were nowhere to be seen, and we're told they've been cut altogether. To give you an idea of just how far the game has come, we've put together this comparison:

As our demo continued, Travis battled his way through a few more faceless nurses, eventually ending up in an operating room with a huge mirror across one wall. But something wasn't right - the room in the reflection was a nightmare covered in rust, and the little girl who stopped Travis in the road suddenly appeared in it and smeared a bloody handprint on the glass. As Travis reached out to touch his own reflection, everything went haywire and he woke up on the other side. Sadly, that's where our time with the game ended, but it was enough to get us looking forward to its release this fall.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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