Review by Conquerer
They've come to witness the Beginning. The rebirth of Paradise, despoiled by mankind
It all started in 1999, when the first Silent Hill was released. Silent Hill offered a great storyline, great graphics, promising gameplay, and the one thing that it still has - the horrifying atmosphere. Many people will still agree even today that the first Silent Hill was the scariest. I would have to agree but Silent Hill 3,I would say, is better in almost everything else.
Storyline - 9/10
Silent Hill 3 is the sequel to the first Silent Hill and doesn't have really anything do to with the second. The storyline starts off rather slim with you not knowing much at all. A 17 year old girl named Heather is shopping at a mall on a typical Sunday and she falls asleep at a table in a restaurant. She has a nightmare about her in the Silent Hill Lakeside Amusement Park with different types of messed up monsters. Why she is dreaming about this is unknown. After she wakes up, she exits the restaurant and calls her dad. While she's on the phone, a man in his 50s seems to be waiting for the phone. So when Heather is done, she gives him a sign that she's done and he shakes his head. Heather starts walking away and following her is the man. He approaches Heather from behind and says he'd like to speak with her. His name is Douglas Cartland and he's a detective. He asks for a half hour of her time. It is about Heather's birth but she's not interested and enters the close by women's washroom to get away. Later on, you encounter a strange woman named Claudia and she mentions Heather leading "us to Paradise" and seems to know who Heather is. Heather doesn't know what's going on and she wants to know.
The storyline in Silent Hill 3 is pretty good but I don't think it's really close to that of Silent Hill 2. The storyline does evolve A LOT, further on in the game. Around half way you understand everything because of a long video explaining everything. The storyline has a lot of depth, but it's not as good as Silent Hill 2's amazing storyline. It's pretty deep and is about cult-ish stuff which isn't too interesting in my opinion.
Gameplay - 10/10
Gameplay is a little bit different this time. Not much, but it has a better feel. You still get some of the same weapons as in the other Silent Hill games, including a Handgun, Shotgun, Katana, Knife, and Steel Pipe. But there is one completely new weapon to the Silent Hill series. There is now a Submachine Gun, which is an Uzi 9mm. For those of you thinking so, this weapon did not ruin the series whatsoever; you get the weapon past half-way through the game and it holds 32 bullets in each magazine. You only get a few magazines for the gun, and the gun is not really good at all, anyway; it does shoot fast, but 1 bullet from it is equal to half the power of the Handgun. Reloading is now great in Silent Hill 3. You can also reload from the menu like previous Silent Hill games, but you can equip the ammo for the firearm you're using and just press R3 to reload - it's pretty fast. When you equip a firearm, it automatically equips the ammo for it so you can reload easily, but you can equip health items also so you can press R3 to heal. Anything else in the supplies section of the in-game menu you can equip and press R3 to use, which is a great new feature. Another new feature is a bulletproof vest. It cuts down the damage 15% when attacked by enemies, and when you block (another new feature) attacks, you will lose no health. So gameplay has definitely improved.
Graphics - 10/10
Absolutely amazing graphics! Definitely some of the best graphics you'll see on PS2. This game also has the best looking and most detailed character models for any game yet. There is no match for the character models and won't be until Silent Hill 4 comes out. Not only are the character models amazing, the surroundings are also very detailed. Bloodstains, rust, corpses, etc. Silent Hill 3 also has the "grainy" effect called Noise Filter that Silent Hill 2 had. The idea of it is to make the game seem like and old horror movie. It's pretty cool but you can take it off in the options menu whenever you want, unlike Silent Hill 2, where you had to beat the game first. When the noise filter ("grainy effect") is off, the graphics look absolutely amazing! Konami always pays attention to detail, even small things. Having one of the best looking games out right now is pretty cool, especially when it's one of your favourites.
Sound - 9/10
I did expect more from the sound but there's nothing really wrong with it. Silent Hill 2 had amazing songs and had a lot of them. There are some good songs but not nearly as many as in Silent Hill 2. This game has a perfect credits song and people that have played Silent Hill 1 will find it familiar, but a little different. The Silent Hill 3 soundtrack comes free with the game in North America and it is great. It has all the good songs, if not all the songs, from the game in it. There are a few amazing songs on it like the last two and some others, so you should spend some time listening to it if you get it. I gave the sound 9/10 because it's not as good as that of Silent Hill 2, but it is very good.
Controls - 10/10
Now the control of the game is a lot better. Your character runs a lot more freely now, which feels great! You don't turn sluggishly anymore and you can run pretty fast. But when you have a heavy weapon in your hands, you won't run as fast. The game has pretty much the same controls as Silent Hill 2. Start now pauses the game, and Select opens your inventory (just like in the first Silent Hill). The menu is a little different but it's better. It's a lot more organized so you can find items easily. It's sorted in items (key items), weapons, and supplies (health and ammo items). So if you want to restore you're health, equip a certain weapon, and use a key item, it's a lot easier to do.
Atmosphere - 10/10
This is probably the least scary Silent Hill, but it still has amazing atmosphere. Who doesn't enjoy the darkness and loneliness of the Silent Hill games, honestly? The game has many dark and scary moments. Especially one part after half-way through the game. I won't ruin it for you though because it's a great experience. Strange and scary sounds add a lot of atmosphere. The game's soundtrack improves the game's atmosphere a lot. Songs totally match the situation you're in. From sadness to insane, this game has it all! The game experience really changes when you're playing with headphones. It's very intense. But for the best experience, play at night in the dark (no lights on, with only your TV illuminated) with headphones, or with surround sound and a sub woofer - nothing is better!
Replay Value - 9/10
There's actually a lot of replay value in this one. There are only 3 endings, but there are now a lot of extra weapons and costumes. Some extra weapons are: Unlimited Submachine Gun, Flamethrower, and Beam Saber. You have to unlock these first, obviously, and then you can use them in a replay game. If you use extra weapons, there will be a small rank deduction. This is actually pretty good, because if you expect to get a really good ranking, you can't just use the Unlimited Submachine Gun for everything. But it doesn't deduct much, anyway. There are also 10 extra action levels ranging from Extreme I to Extreme X. So if you're a hardcore Silent Hill fan, you'll have a lot of fun beating them. There are some other extras too, including flashback moments from Silent Hill 2, if you have a completed save file for it. They're not exactly flashbacks, just things to remind you of Silent Hill 2 moments. Good times, good times.
Rent or Buy
If you enjoyed Silent Hill or Silent Hill 2, then this is no exception! Even if you're new to the series, there's are high chance you'll like it. If you like horror and adventure, this is the perfect game for you. If you do plan to buy this game and you want to understand the story, consider buying or renting the first Silent Hill. Because Silent Hill 3 is the sequel to it. And it wouldn't hurt to play Silent Hill 2 either. If you enjoy this game after you play it and you're missing other Silent Hill games, go out and buy them - try eBay also. If you're not really interested in this game, then you might want to check out some screens and videos at a good gaming site. And if you're still not sure, rent it to see if you like it. And I'm sure you will.
Overall - 10/10
Overall, Silent Hill 3 is amazing game! With insane horror and suspense, I'm sure you'll love it. If you want a bone-chilling experience, Silent Hill is the way to go. And also considering buying Silent Hill 4: The Room when it comes out later this year. Don't wait to buy Silent Hill 3, buy it now!.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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