Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
At the end of the day, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories isn't a bad game by any means
- Intriguing psychological angle, looks great for a Wii title, fantastic voice acting
- Far too short, nightmare sequences are frustrating, way too easy to get lost
An ambitious reimagining of Konami's spine-tingling masterpiece, Shattered Memories proves itself an innovative, if flawed take on one of the forefathers of the survival horror genre.
My first exposure to Konami's Silent Hill series of scare-fests was back in 1999, fresh off of a week-long bender of Resident Evil 2. Ready for even more malformed monsters and mutant crocodile menaces, I was somewhat surprised when I powered my Playstation on to find an incredibly different environment than RE2's Raccoon City. Instead of facing a horde of genetically altered flesh-eaters, I was met with twisting camera angles, hauntingly melodic background music, and faceless creepy crawlies straight out of Jacob's Ladder. Silent Hill's titular fog-infested locale was frightening in a much more psychological sense, creating a general sense of uneasiness and anxiousness that offered a nice change of pace from RE's conventional Romero-esque scare tactics.
The franchise hit a high point with the scarring Silent Hill 2, a journey through the psyche of a tortured widower that garnered both critical and commercial acclaim; after a relatively successful direct sequel to the original with Silent Hill 3, the franchise slowly headed back to obscurity with the remarkably dissimilar Silent Hill 4 (originally not even a Silent Hill title), then ran safely back towards the horror conventions it tried so hard to stray from with the American developed Silent Hill: Homecoming. Despite its masterfully frightening origins, the Silent Hill series fell victim to contrived and confusing plot twists, as well as several inherent gameplay issues such as unwieldy cameras and a slow, cerebral pace that proved too taxing for survival horror fans accustomed to Resident Evil's gut-wrenching pace.
Luckily, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories returns to the game's glory days by re-imagining the first Silent Hill and combining it with a more psychological ploy that harkens back to the classic second installment; Harry Mason is still searching for his daughter in the barren villa of Silent Hill and as the game progresses, players slowly begin to unravel the mystery of the town and the man who haunts its snowy streets. But rather than being a direct remake, Shattered Memories has an interesting twist: the developers -- Climax Group, the promising minds behind 2007's handheld prequel, Silent Hill: Origins -- bills it as a game that "plays you as much as you play it." Every so often, the core action will be broken up by small psychiatric sessions, prompting an unorthodox doctor to ask you almost uncomfortably personal questions about your hopes, fears, and sexuality. Depending on your answers, the game will shape itself as more tailor-made for whoever's playing it. After all, what's more frightening than a horror game that knows what scares you?
While the psychoanalysation angle is certainly an ambitious one, I just didn't feel like it went quite far enough. Two separate playthroughs of Shattered Memories with polar-opposite answers did alter character dialogue and appearances, but the game's simplistic puzzles and repetitive nightmare sequences were left entirely untouched. Add in the fact that the game can easily be completed in about five hours, and there isn't an awful lot to keep players around for another playthrough.
The aforementioned nightmare sequences are especially disappointing: Unlike previous Silent Hill titles, Harry is unable to actually fight his faceless foes, instead resigned to meekly pushing them aside and scurrying away. Discretion is the better part of valor unless, of course, you're mired in a dense fog that surrounds a labyrinthine city, at which point it just becomes jarringly annoying. Harry does come equipped with a GPS on his cell phone, but the level design is so straightforward -- every path but the one you are meant to take is blocked off by a convenient wall of ice or some other debris -- that it's almost completely useless.
At the end of the day, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories isn't a bad game by any means -- it's an incredibly original and ambitious project, but the weight of its problems, both old and new, keep it from being much more than a nostalgic love letter addressed to diehard series fans.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager - ReinsuranceNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- FTChange Manager - Large Transition ProjectNSW
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- TPFull Stack .NET DeveloperWA
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerVIC