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|Reviewer: lainn||Date: Jan 25, 2023|
|Hands down the greatest horror experience from the ps1 era. During a time when the market was plagued by resident evil clones, Silent Hill did what even the original didn't, exploring the realm of psychological horror and serious themes most games didn't dare to touch.
The thing that really makes this game stand out to me, is the use of the fog. It seems simple, but it aids in the low power of the ps1 and covers the environment popping in around you. At the same time however it actually adds to the experience, not taking away from it. This among other little things really make Silent Hill stand out among other games from this era.
Akira Yamaoka is a master at what he does. The OST in this game can be so soothing, and other times it's the most anxiety inducing sounds I've ever heard. Silent Hill creates its panic from these tracks, and it's a very unique experience I've yet to feel from any other horror game, aside from later Silent Hill titles.
People say that tank controls haven't aged well, and sure. However, you must realize that at the time analog sticks just weren't the standard. This console generation overall very awkwardly grew into the standard controls we are used to today. In my opinion, the tank controls are a minor inconvenience. The game isn't very difficult after all.
Beyond this, the level design and the smart reuse of assets (the entire otherworld concept) is amazing for its time. This game really did everything they could with the little they had. It's rare to see this in gaming, really.
The only thing keeping this from being a 10 is the few concepts from the ps1 era that just haven't aged all to well. Regardless, if you take Silent Hill for what it is, a horror game from 1999, you will be pleasantly surprised to play a game that really does hold up decently well. There's a reason this is one of the most influential video games of all time.
This game is easily one of my favorites ever. The whole experience is so unique, and I haven't found anything quite like it. Playing it after experiencing some modern horror was also interesting, You can see the influence of Silent Hill in almost every modern horror title. While Resident Evil is great, I've always felt like it was more of an action thriller. Silent Hill is the opposite, a true slow-burn horror. It's not the most riveting, or the most exciting, but it is amazing at what it does.
|Reviewer: Chris Michael Winn||Date: Dec 5, 2022|
|A '90s survival horror masterpiece that was ahead of its time.
Silent Hill is probably shoulder-to-shoulder with Metal Gear Solid as one of the most visually refined and realized 3D games on the PlayStation. This is really an early-PS2 game running on the PS1. The decaying, rusty Otherworld is haunting and oppressive, many of the environments evoke a Russell Mills painting horrifically realized in a survival horror setting. The short draw distance due to the fog actually enhances the oppressive, claustrophobic nature of the game. Harry's character model is a little baggy and the dithering effect over the screen is a bit much, but I understand that limitations and concessions had to be made to fit this on a PS1 disc.
This is leaning towards a 10, but the subsequent Silent Hill games have some of the best music ever put to a video game, so I'll give this a 9.5 - I'll have said this word too many times by the end of this review, but oppressive comes to mind. Akira Yamaoka is one of our greatest living composers in any medium and his maiden journey through the dilapidated world of Silent Hill is top-tier PS1 music. Far less melodic than some of the later entries, SH1's soundtrack evokes a nightmarish, industrial hellscape, which is perfect. The sound effects are incredible as well. Ambient noise is used well, enemy sounds are startling, doors opening and closing are crisp, gunshots echo through hallways with effective reverb, fans humming in quiet, empty rooms. Trent Reznor is clearly an immediate inspiration to Yamaoka, and that sense of lonely decay is felt through the incredible sound design.
Most people who play this will have experienced the early Resident Evil games beforehand, most likely, so the tank controls should come easy to most new players. While they are an acquired taste and might be abrasive to younger gamers, once you adjust to them they really enhance the claustrophobic, tense nature of the game design. Personally, I've grown to adore tank controls in survival horror games, I love the feel of the movement and how slow and helpless you feel using them. They really aren't poor controls, but a mindful and deliberate part of the core game design. The checklist nature of exploring, using the map and eliminating blocked routes is satisfying and feels like a cross between early Resident Evil and 3D Zelda. Each building you explore is essentially a dungeon. The game is about eight hours long, never overstaying its welcome and environments are varied throughout, with a large town overworld tying each section together. Gunplay is limited, but combat does feel punchy and satisfying. This really is a puzzle game at the end of the day, however, and the puzzles are actually very good. I'm again reminded of RE1 and how puzzles in that game felt slightly devious but logically sound. Ammo isn't all the scarce, but health management is key and since saves are so infrequent, there is a true tension in surviving each room. It's just such a polished game for 1999 given the console it's on. It holds up extremely well in its gameplay.
Silent Hill is a stunning achievement in the survival horror genre. A gaming experience I think many weren't expecting during its initial release. A truly disturbing, affecting experience on the PS1 in 1999, closing out a legendary console, an entire millennium, and ushering in a new era for the survival horror genre and the next generation of gaming. Only two years later, Team Silent would follow this up with Silent Hill 2, an all-time masterpiece in its own right, later releasing Silent Hill 3 in 2003 and Silent Hill 4 in 2004, both excellent as well. Every gamer, with the nerve to finish it without having a panic attack, owes it to themselves to play through Silent Hill 1, an essential survival horror experience on the original PlayStation.
|Reviewer: Brandon||Date: Jul 11, 2022|
|An amazing psychological horror that will have you jumping out of your seat in suspense.
For its time and platform, the graphics were done well. The fog does a great job hiding the terror behind it and when its dark you truly feel surrounded.
The music is perfect for setting the atmosphere. It elevates an already eerie game to new heights of horror. Your ears will be begging for the sounds of the monsters and background to stop as your heart beats out of your chest. In a good way of course.
The tank controls have not aged well and even for its time it can feel a little jarring. Although it can assist in making you feel more helpless which and in this game that could be viewed as a strength. Ammo is scarce and the puzzles are enticing. The combat is simple but fun. These elements truly help the genre of psychological horror.
A timeless classic that is always a thrill for any horror fan. Although some age can be seen due to the graphics and controls, it is still an incredible game that is worth your time. If you have not given this game a chance I highly recommend you download it now. You're reading this review because you have some interest, right? well, what are you waiting for? Play it!
2nd best game in the series only 2nd to Silent hill 2.