Silent Hill Origins - updated impressions

A prequel to the first Silent Hill, Origins opens with Travis barreling his 18-wheeler down a lonely highway in a rainstorm, only to stop short when he sees an eerily familiar little girl in the road at the outskirts of Silent Hill. She wanders off as he leaves his truck cab, and so he does what any expendable character in a horror movie would do and follows her into the night. It isn't long before she leads him to a burning building, where he rescues a horrifically burned teenage girl (whom we're going to go ahead and guess is the series' twice-reincarnated villain/hero/victim Alessa Gillespie), only to collapse from smoke inhalation - as familiar air-raid sirens wail - once he's carried her to safety.

He wakes up on a park bench in downtown Silent Hill, now completely fogged in and devoid of life. Travis, not getting the hint that something's horribly wrong, makes his way to Alchemilla Hospital (a name that strikes fear into the hearts of Silent Hill fans) to see what happened to the girl he saved. The hospital's empty, too, though, except for one doctor - Michael Kaufman - who brushes Travis off and disappears into an elevator. Refusing to take "we haven't had any new patients in days" for an answer, Travis takes the elevator up a couple of floors, and that's when the faceless nurses attack.

Luckily for Travis, there's a sledgehammer just conveniently lying around, and this is where we got to see the game's beefed-up fighting system in action. For the first time in Silent Hill, you'll actually be able to pull off different attacks with the deadly objects Travis finds scattered around the town. Tapping the attack button, for example, unleashes a quick strike, but holding it down will charge up a much more powerful blow. Each weapon will also have a unique finishing move, and you'll be able to parry close-up attacks with a button-mashing minigame.

Mikel Reparaz
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.