Thursday, October 17, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 109 - Silent Hill 3

For day 109 of Eric Vs. 365, and our fifth horror video for October, we ramp up the scary with a visit to good old Silent Hill. Silent Hill 3, to be precise. Eric has quite a history with this series, in that he has no history with it at all. Fooled ya! Click to read why and watch gameplay right here.

Silent Hill is one of the few franchises I have never written a review for. Some omissions are obvious, like Nintendo or Sony exclusives since I ran an Xbox only site for 12-years, but I did my best to cover everything else as best I could. I just never felt comfortable with Silent Hill so, not only did I never review it, I never even requested a review copy in the first place. The only other big mainstream franchise I never covered was Dragon Age. In the case of Dragon Age Origins and DA2 I did get review copies but couldn't get into it and opted to not write anything at all. I didn't even request DA Inquisition.

Back to Silent Hill. The reason why I never covered it is because I was just never really a big fan of survival horror. I love horror, but the stress and pressure of most survival horror games, and in particular Silent Hill, always makes me feel physically ill and I decided long ago I just didn't want to deal with that if I could help it. I can play other games fine - Resident Evil isn't really scary at all, for example - but Silent Hill was just so oppressive and overwhelming that I never got into it despite trying multiple times. I may not have reviewed it, but I did own copies of Silent Hill 2 and 3 back in the day that sat in my shelf for a long long time without getting played.

I have watched Let's Plays of Silent Hill games and know the stories and get the gist of it. That combined with my own feeble attempts at trying to play it has helped me nail down why I don't really like the franchise. A main complaint is that I don't like how everything is freaking locked, but you have to check literally everything in order to progress. That isn't fun. Puzzles always require backtracking back and forth through the same mazes of passageways and unless you have your map open constantly it's impossible to remember where the hell to go and which doors are freaking locked.

I also really don't care for how dark the games are. Not in content or tone, I mean literally the lighting. You can't see anything in interiors in Silent Hill 1-3 and I think it sucks. It's so dark you can't see what you're doing or even what you're supposed to be scared of. Homecoming and Downpour weren't great, but at least you can see what you're doing. All of this combines to create a franchise that I just don't really care to play. Sorry.

I'm also sorry for the funky shadows in this Silent Hill 3 video. I played via PCSX2 with higher resolution and anti-aliasing on which does strange things to the shadows. The game looks amazing when the shadows aren't freaking out, though, so I left it that way.