Review by RYAN WASHINGTON 2004

Reviewed: 06/09/03 | Updated: 06/09/03

Silent Hill 3, Konami's sellout, biggest disappointments

I love the horror genre, it is probably my favorite genre.
My review of Silent Hill 3.
I originally posted this on 5/4/03 and I feel I need to update a few things with this game.

Graphics (8/10)
Wow, what can I say about the graphics, this is one of the best looking games on Playstation 2 but there are a few problems. First off there are some really low textures. I don't know how Konami could let some just plain ugly textures go by without correcting them. The second problem is the frame rate, Silent Hill 2 ran about 40 FPS. Silent Hill 3 runs at around 30 FPS with it dipping ever so often and sometimes coming to a complete halt while trying to load the game. The third and final problem with the graphics is the lighting, with the Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams release on Xbox and PC I was hoping that Konami would add better lighting for Silent Hill 3. While there is an improvement over Silent Hill 2 it's not as great as the Xbox or PC version. As for the good, the monsters seem to be a lot more detailed and artistic this time around. The indoor areas look slightly better than Silent Hill 2. And there are great special effects they've added to the game. As I said in the beginning this is one of the best looking games on PS2 but when compared to GC, PC, and Xbox it can't compare. Hopefully Konami will improve some of the problems on their PC port of Silent Hill 3.

Story (0/10)
The story of Silent Hill 3 is a mix bag. I feel that it falls short when compared to Silent Hill 1 and 2. It doesn't have the mystery that Silent Hill 1 has. The game feels like it's trying to mimic the mystery of Silent Hill 1 but it just isn't happening. I felt that they were trying to shock you with a big secret midway through the game that I figured out in a half hour. There are no real surprises with the game, and no emotional connection with the characters (except maybe Heather) like there was with Silent Hill 2. Originally I gave the story review a 5 but now I'm changing it to a big fat zero. After originally playing through the game I thought the story was so so but after thinking about it for awhile I've come to the conclusion that Konami sold out, they ran out of original ideas. So they connected this game to the original Silent Hill. The clear up most of the mystery of Silent Hill. They're basically saying no more discussions on Silent Hill were explaining the whole game to you. AND they can't even close some of the plot holes. This story is just ridiculous and shameful. The mystery of Silent Hill is gone, the Silent Hill story is dead.

Gameplay (4/10)
Let’s face it; most survival games have never had great gameplay. They tend to focus more on story than gameplay. Control is almost exactly the same as Silent Hill 2, no real improvements made. Although Konami has given options to configure the controls none of them give you an option to kill monsters without getting frustrated.

The camera is an improvement over Silent Hill 2 in many ways. It seems much less of an afterthought this time around. Like the developers actually cared about the camera placements. The only problem I have with the camera is that they do not allow as much freedom with the camera this time around.

Sound (6/10)
I found the sound to be rather disappointing. Most of the sound effects are reused from Silent Hill 2. A real disappointment there. As for the background music I feel that Akira Yamaoka is trying to hard to have something completely different from the first two games. And the worse part about it is that it sounds like a bad mix of Silent Hill 1 and 2's music. There are also the vocal tracks. I don't know where they got the singer but she has no talent at all, and the lyrics are horrible. Maybe Konami should have played D2 and listened to the beautiful song sung by Arto Lindsay. And the final thing to review in this section is the technical aspect of the sound. The developers had previously said in interviews that Dolby Labs will have to look out. And I can say that Dolby has nothing to worry about. The sound in the game is no where near as good as Dolby Digital.

Replay Value (6/10)
This one was probably the hardest category to review. I have beaten the game twice and there seems to be loads of things you can unlock. The problem with this game is that this game doesn't seem like it will hold my interest enough to replay the game over and over again just so I can unlock new clothing for Heather. I guess if you feel like unlocking these minuscule items then you'll have a great time. Also I should note the game is pretty short. I beat it in 4 hours and 13 minutes (about 30 minutes faster than my first SH2 time, 1:15 minutes for SH1 playing on normal for all settings). My second time through I was able to beat it in 2 hours 4 minutes (still watching all the cutscenes). This is more action oriented and straight forward with not as much wondering around as there was in the previous two games.

Buy or Rent?
Rent without a doubt, I wouldn't even say rent if you're a real fan of the series since the beginning. Almost everyone will be able to beat this game in a rental and if you like it enough go ahead and buy it. There are still a lot of things you can do.

Conclusion
Overall connecting the story to the first game is one of the stupidest things Konami has ever done. They could have had it been more subtle, they didn't need to connect as much as they did. It seems that Team Silent doesn't even want to deliver a good story any more. While other parts of the game have their good points Team Silent had always talked about wanting to deliver a good story first. Maybe that's why so many people left after the first and second game because they knew the series was going to fail. It's a shame that anyone would even consider this to be a good game. I pity you for not knowing what made Silent Hill so good. I wasn't even expecting that much from this game it's not the disappointment I experienced from Silent Hill 2, I just finally realized it's a bad game. I spit on the Silent Hill name and vow never again to play any of there games. I have destroyed everything in my Silent Hill collection. I even broke Silent Hill 1, all of my copies because Konami ruined this series.

I wish that Silent Hill was never created now, to have something so grand then have a bunch of new people at Konami come in and say ''Oh were going to return the series to it's roots by butchering the original creators ideas.'' I am disgusted by this effort. This is not me reacting negatively to Silent Hill 2 after my disappointment with the game. At least Silent Hill 2 left the first game alone but 3 just put all the games in the gutter. I hate Konami, I hate Team Silent. I hate the fanboys that support this awful game. And I hate the lousy journalist that hype up bad games.

I give this game a 1/10. I'm sure Silent Hill newbie’s and Resident Evil fans will find this game more enjoyable but for everyone that ever debated theories about this game, everyone who bought the game, all the members supporting the game in the beginning, the 3 letter usernames, all of them, should be disgusted with this game.

Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

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