Pre-E3 06: Silent Hill Origins first look

Fans of Silent Hill who were disappointed by the movie's endless exposition can get a different, more interactive look into the town's history this winter. In Silent Hill Origins for the PSP, they'll step into the boots of a waylaid trucker who finds himself trapped in the town somewhere between South Carolina and Hell. Set before the first game, this prequel will finally reveal what happened to make Silent Hill the way it is.

Konami has promised that the game won't reveal too much of the plot, and we can say with certainty that the teaser trailer we saw didn't either. It did introduce us to the main character, a bearded guy driving a big rig, and showed us lots of random shots of meathooks, eerie hallways and a truck being engulfed in fog. Oh, and monsters. Lots and lots of twitchy, malformed monsters and mysterious cloaked apparitions, one of which carried a big, big knife and looked strangely familiar. (We couldn't tell for sure who it was, though; he was hiding in the darkness behind a bunch of meathooks.)

However, we do know that the new hero is haunted by memories from his past, which appear to be reflected by the town itself, and that he'll come into contact with familiar characters like Dahlia and Alessa Gillespie. We also know that the game will feature a new camera system specifically created for the PSP's small screen (we're not sure what that means, but we're hoping it'll remedy the usual irritations with the PSP and 3D games), as well as a "barricade" feature that lets the hero block monsters from entering rooms. Finally, the game features an adaptive control scheme that will change depending on the situation; for example, to enable you to dodge and fight more easily during action sequences.

Like most of the series' plot twists, learning about Silent Hill Origins only opens up more questions. Still, we're looking forward to seeing how this shapes up later this year.

May 9, 2006