Silent Hill 3 Is definitely the best one yet out of the series, and anyone that would call themselves a fan of the first two should thank their lucky stars that Konami decided to go with the trilogy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Silent Hill 3 isn’t without it’s immediate flaws.
It has a few, but luckily, none of them take away from what the game was truly meant to be.
Silent Hill 3 is full of rich graphics, superb voice acting while staying true to, and improving on, the unsettling level design and story lines that gave the previous two installments a belly full of potential. While SH3 has plenty of things going for it as a whole, the storyline is whats going to keep you picking up the controller in order to trudge innocent little Heather through the perils of Silent Hill. The unfolding of this story, and the feeling of “what could possibly be next” keeps you engrossed long enough for you to forget how many hours you may have logged. The Silent Hill series was never one to be tagged with the word addicting, but number three has seemingly done enough to keep the controller in your hands. Unfortunately, as addicting as the game may be for you that doesn’t necessarily mean that the controller will get the chance to be in your hands for an extended period of time as Silent Hill 3 Is most likely the shortest one in the series. Lack of length isn’t particularly a feature in any game on the market, but since SH3 keeps your interest swirling with beautifully polished graphics, character models and level detail, along with realistic and creepy sounds, on top of a creative, well thought out storyline you’ll be too engrossed in all of the above to be more disappointed than gratified when the credits roll.
The game starts off with you in the role of Heather, a young teenage girl that seems to have found herself in a bloody, nether-world amusement park filled with bloodied bunny suits on the ground that may or may not contain human bodies. After looking around at some of the abominations that are contained in cages and hanging from a merry-go-round, you’re directed to the only door that can be opened. This is one of the games minor drawbacks considering the doors with “broken locks” tend to direction you to one or two doors that are able to be opened giving SH3 a linear one path feel. However, the level design and the lighting can get you a bit lost at times if you’re not taking your time to suck in your surroundings. Getting lost is a problem even if it is few and far between considering a lot of the puzzles are find this, and then use it on this. This isn’t such a bad formula, but it is when the solution is 15 inches to the right of the problem, in the next door. Although, if you like puzzles more difficult than your action you’re able to set the two of them separately to Easy, Medium, and Hard. There’s not a giant leap of difference between Medium and Hard, but it’s enough to be noticeable and so it serves it’s purpose.
An odd change of pace is the location of maps for the certain levels you’re in. They aren’t one of the first items you’ll find upon searching anymore, and sometimes, if you’re in a rush you’ll find yourself not finding one all together and opting for the trial and error approach. Battles are easily avoidable with some clever maneuvering, and the controls help the clever maneuvering to be much easier than in previous Silent Hills. The implementing of a 3D controlling system is either a blessing or a burden depending on who you ask, and thankfully, you’re given the choice to switch between 2D and 3D control schemes respectively. Both control schemes are smooth even though there’s an obvious difference between them, and the only thing wrong with the control in general is the camera. Though the camera won’t get in your way too many times, with all the quick movement involved in the game it’ll tend to get a bit confused or swirl around you more times than you’d like. The L2 button gives you the luxury of positioning the camera forward, but even then in certain situations it gets hung up.
Graphically Silent Hill 3 is nothing short of pretty. The characters are extremely well detailed right down to their motions and facial expressions. Nothing seems out of proportion on them, and it’s clear that they were worked on hard by their artists. The monsters are the same way, although, sometimes it seems like they worked a bit too hard on making them scary and simply over did it. They could have done a lot better with their features, considering one certain monster is shown eating the face of a dead human, but when it turns there’s nothing to resemble a mouth or a face at all, more like a spinning panel. The sounds are just as good as the graphics even though they may feel a bit repetitive at times.
Three different endings gives you the choice of replaying the game three different times if you enjoy it that thoroughly, other than that though, there’s not much that will keep you coming back to Silent Hill 3 after it’s been defeated. A beautiful game with an impressive storyline makes Silent Hill 3 a must pick up for any fans of the genre, the series, and more.