Despite its disappointing brevity, all reports seems to suggest that Shattered Memories is the first worthwhile addition to the Silent Hill that fans have been waiting for and as such is well worth celebrating. While this "reimagining" of the first game takes some serious departures from the original, and as such should probably be approached with caution, it offers an incredibly creepy atmosphere and a deep and emotive storyline that will stay with you long after the six hours playtime is over.
While the PSP and PS2 versions retain the same great story and gameplay, I highly recommend that you opt to buy the game on the Wii if you can. Apparently on Nintendo's console feels brilliant to play, with excellent, intuitive controls and improved visuals and offers a far better experience. (Zavvi have the cheapest price for Wii but only by a couple of pence).
However, if it is the PSP or PS2 version that you are after then Zavvi are doing a pretty sweet deal, selling both at just £17.95 and undercutting Shop To's runner up price of £21.86 (for the PSP or PS2), by nearly £4.
- Click here to buy Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for £17.95 from Zavvi (PSP)
- Click here to buy Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for £17.95 from Zavvi (PS2)
The plot begins in the same way as the original Silent Hill, with players taking on the role of protagonist Harry Mason who regains consciousness following a car crash to discover that his daughter Cheryl is missing. However from this point on the plot takes a radical detour, offering a completely new experience. The action occasionally cuts away from the town of Silent Hill to a therapist's office where gameplay moves to a first person perspective and the psychological themes at work are further explored.
Gameplay has changed too. The game "observes" and evaluates the player's behaviour and choices in the psychiatrist's office and changes in accordance; the decisions that the player makes affects multiple aspects of gameplay such as the monsters that you encounter and the behaviour, gender and clothing of the NPCs that you meet. The Silent Hill that Harry explores is no longer fog-ridden and prone to suddenly melting into an industrial nightmare of blood and rust; now it is snow-ridden and prone to suddenly freezing into a wintry nightmare of ice and glaciers. Combat has been entirely dispensed with and now, instead of awkwardly slapping deformed monsters with a wooden plank or golf club, you will be doing a lot of running. An awful lot of running.
When serious rumours first arose of a Silent Hill remake, the most persistent was that this new game would be based upon the atrocity that is the Silent Hill movie. Thankfully these turned out to be unfounded and Harry remained Harry instead of being swapped for the supposedly more palatable female parental figure (as per the film) that was rumoured.
Like most fans of the series, I am approaching this newest incarnation of the Silent Hill myth with a good deal of trepidation but remain tentatively optimistic.
Thanks to chun_li at Hotukdeals!