Review by REFreek

Reviewed: 01/02/04

Definitely not for the little ones

Well, it seems that the only video games series that has ever given me nightmares, unsurprisingly turns out to be the Silent Hill games. Now of course you would think that because of that, I would stop playing them. Think again, especially since the new installment is even more entertaining (and disturbing) than the other two. Konami really outdid themselves with Silent Hill 3, and if this is just a taste of better things to come (which I'm sure it is) I cannot wait for Silent Hill 4. But let's start out the review shall we?

Storyline 10/10 - First off I have never given a Silent Hill storyline lower than a 10. Why you ask? Because the storyline is always so intriguing and at the same time, never lets you know everything concerning it. Hence the confusion players always experience when they play Silent Hill games.
The story goes like this: You are Heather Mason, who is nothing more than a seemingly innocent teenager who enjoys the usual ''girly'' things. Such as the mall, candy, whatever. But what she does not realize is that the past has a way of catching up with people, and when it catches up with her, she's going to regret it ever did. Just out of the blue almost, weird things start happening all around her. The ''dark world'' shows it's ugly face again and weird freaky abominations appear, doing anything to harm her. The worst part is, Heather is about to find out that the past can be much worse than one thinks.
When you first start playing, you are inside a town that is not Silent Hill but is close to it. And as I have read, anything town or person within the proximity of Silent Hill is prone to it's evil powers. But later on, through different actions of consequence, you will eventually find yourself in the familiar hellish town yet again.
Of course you will find the usual memos and such, letting you gain a little more knowledge behind the story. But keep in mind Silent Hill games will NEVER let you know things so easily. They never have and I doubt they ever will, and gamers like myself prefer it that way.
But what I will say, is Silent Hill 3 is actually the proper sequel to the first game. Silent Hill 2 was a seperate story altogether, and once you play you'll see what I mean.

Graphics 10/10 - If you thought Silent Hill 2's graphics were awesome (which I did), then the graphics of Silent Hill 3 will blow you away. The characters are so life-like. Body language and such move very fluidly, and where the monsters are concerned, the blood and gore all over them shows through really well. The environments are way more horrifying, with blood and decaying matter streaked all over the walls and floor. There are also parts of the game where the walls seem to have a mind of their own, with trails of blood moving together until the whole entire room is filled with the stuff. There is one part of the game that is entirely freaky when it comes to this, but I won't spoil it for you.

Control 9/10 - Well, the control has not improved much from the last game, and neither has the camera. So I am going to give it the same rating as I did with Silent Hill 2. The control is still jittery and the camera still has its problems. Focusing on monsters can be somewhat of a chore in close quarters, and if you are playing on hard mode you will really come to despise this. Honestly, I think Silent Hill is going to be another one of those games where the control never really changes drastically, such like Resident Evil. But to be honest with both Resident Evil and Silent Hill, I never ever found the controls to be so frustrating that the game is unplayable.

Sound 10/10 - As you probably already expected, the sound in this game is fantastic. Every moan/roar from the monsters is crystal clear as well as every other unknown noise. Such as when you are walking down the hall and you hear clanking of chains, yet no one's there. These little tidbits will scare the hell out of you, and they have always been present in Silent Hill games. This game also comes with it's musical soundtrack, and what's weird is that sometimes the music can sound like some kind of ambient techno. But this does not hurt the game at all, oddly enough it adds more to the scare-factor that you hope for. And there are actual lyrics to some songs, which has never been presented in any Silent Hill game before.

Execution 9/10 - It seems that the acting gets better every time, but there are still hints of cliches and whatnot. But nowhere near as bad as the first game, that's for sure. The puzzles are just as tough as you would remember them to be, no matter what difficulty you are playing the game on. Honestly I do not have the patience to solve them so I just read walkthroughs. The monsters are just as dangerous and lethal as the ones in Silent Hill 2. Out of all the monsters I have encountered in each game, the ones called Double-heads (two headed ''dog things'') scared the poo out of me. Sometimes they appear out of nowhere from behind the corner or out from the shadows. Scare-factor galore. There are way more occurences that will make you jump out of your seat in this game than any other Silent Hill game that you might have played. I guarantee it.

Replayability 10/10 - Silent Hill 3 has more secrets than all the other ones combined. There is an Extra Costume mode that you will acheieve once you beat the game once. After that you can type in codes that will give Heather a different costume. Apparently you have to finish certain tasks in order to get these costume codes, but after getting the mode you will not have to. Just look on this site for the codes and you'll be all set. However, you will have to play the game more than once if you want to get all the weapons and endings. There are three endings, one of which you can only get after getting a certain costume. Secret weapons include an unlimited ammo machine gun that will help you get another ending, and a beam saber. The beam saber looks like the lightsaber that Luke Skywalker uses in the Star Wars movies, and it is actually pretty effective when fighting enemies.

Silent Hill 3 is the best game in the series, by far. It has enough scare to make you jump at the same time, has enough secrets to keep you playing more than once. I beg you, please keep your children away from this game. If you let them play it and they get nightmares, you have no one to blame but yourself. Be a responsible parent and limit their video games to Spyro the Dragon or Crash Bandicoot. Silent Hill games are rated Mature for an obvious reason, and they will frighten the hell out of you. Whatever you do, do not play in the daytime! Play in the nighttime with the lights off, it's fun.:D:D

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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