There’s meant to be certain connections between this game and the first. How well were those tidbits given out?

The links between this game and the first start off subtle at first and then quickly descend to being pretty in your face, as you realise who Heather is. Though, I suppose that it’s entirely possible that if you’d only ever played Silent Hill once and never got the “good” endings that you would have no idea who Heather really is.

The core gameplay between each of the games seems fairly similar. Do they feel similar as well? In what ways?

Silent Hill 3 shares the same system as the second game, you can switch between moving in a more 3D manner or do things in 2D, that’s how the game labels it. Despite hating how the first game controlled, which was only 2D, I’ve kept with that setup, because I found 3D too unwieldy in this and the previous game.

” I won’t say that I understand Silent Hill, outright, but I know for sure that you wouldn’t want to holiday there and that there’s a high risk of ending up as some kind of sacrifice.”

Yay! It’s unlocked!

The second game had a separate difficulty for puzzles and action. Does this have a similar system? Which did you go for?

The same system was back and I went for Normal on both counts. I didn’t have to, but I felt that if I’d gone for Easy that there was a chance that things wouldn’t be challenging enough for me in some ways and so I wouldn’t have gotten the right level of terror out of the game. Interestingly, I think there were fewer obvious puzzles in this game and far more “find this object to deal with this object”.

You should be getting used to the controls of the games by now. Are they becoming less awkward or is it still purposefully difficult to add to the sense of terror?

Combat is perhaps the most frustrating part of the games. Silent Hill 3 and 2 are far more generous with ammo, but it’s very difficult to land successful shots on enemies and it can vary how many shots it takes to take down even the same enemies.

Continuing the comparisons, it seems the games keep a certain aesthetic and atmosphere to them. Are there any differences?

You spent very little time in Silent Hill this time round and certainly far less in its iconic fog. There was, for me, an overuse of the hellish dimension and while this was backed up with the game’s plot, Heather could have equally spent time in locations that looked normal, but had monsters lurking in them.

Heather gun

Heather fending off an attack with gun in hand. It looks like it could have been a screenshot from Resident Evil 4-6…

Part of the problem with ongoing horror series like this and Resident Evil is that they tend to turn into action games as the series progress. Does it feel like this is starting to do the same?

No, Silent Hill 3 is still not an action game. In most cases it’s inadvisable to go around killing enemies and in fact in this one they respawn more than in the previous games, so you’d just be wasting ammo, at least on your first playthrough you would be.

This is a series first – a female protagonist. Does this change the narrative at all?

Her gender doesn’t change the narrative, only her genealogy. But I was uncomfortable with the use of the Fetus Terrible trope , which Heather is able to get away from, but not the only other female character in the entire game. I did like that Heather didn’t shy away from what was happening to her, but at times I think they played on her immaturity (she’s 17) in ways that wouldn’t have happened had she been male.

Douglas-Cartland

This is Douglas Cartland. Please wish him a warm welcome to Silent Hill.

How do the other characters cope in this title? Do they seem to fit the purpose of the story?

All of the characters in the game, this time, have a purpose and a place in the story. None of them seemed unnecessary, which was the impression I got from several in the second game. I think it does take a bit too long to ferret out the motivations of Vincent, who remains aloof for too long a time.

How much of a semblance of the story have you managed to glimpse yet? Is the town beginning to make sense?

The town is definitely making far more sense now. I won’t say that I understand Silent Hill, outright, but I know for sure that you wouldn’t want to holiday there and that there’s a high risk of ending up as some kind of sacrifice.

I heard you hated the ending system in this game. Why is that?

Unlike the previous games where you would potentially get different endings on your first playthrough, this time you only got one ending regardless and would have to replay in order to get a different one. This means that your in-game actions had no impact during a first playthrough, which is a shame, as I really liked having that feature available from the beginning in 1 and 2.

In terms of narrative, does the ending make sense? Also, does it work within the narrative of Silent Hill?

The main, “good”, ending of this game makes the most sense out of all of them so far. It works within the mythology set-up by the previous games, however I am left wondering what else could possibly happen in Silent Hill. How can there be a fourth game?

“…your in-game actions had no impact during a first playthrough, which is a shame, as I really liked having that feature available from the beginning in 1 and 2.”

Silent Hill 4

Coming soon to Hex’s Pile of Shame: Silent Hill 4 – The Room.

Is this a game you’re willing to play again, or is once enough? Also, are you looking forward to playing Silent Hill 4: The Room?

I don’t really want to play this game again, I didn’t enjoy it as much as 2 and it has fewer endings to chase after. I’m unsure if I’m looking forward to playing The Room, as it feels like, plot wise, there would need to be some pretty decent reasoning as to why anyone would head back or go there for the first time.