Silent Hill HD Collection Review (PS3)

This review won’t be much of a game review, but more of a comparison of the Silent Hill HD collection to the original games. It seems like a lot of classic games are getting HD upgrades, remakes or remastered versions of themselves. If they aren’t made well it kind of ruins the original game experience, but if they’re made well it’ll give the original game an enhanced experience.

Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 are the two most popular games of the Silent Hill series (Silent Hill 2 is my absolute favourite) and are the two games included in the HD collection. A nice little extra added to the collection is ‘Born from a Wish‘, a kind of prologue/side-story to Silent Hill 2 where you take control of Maria, the female lead in the aforementioned game.

Okay, now onto the comparisons. First of all, the games voice-over work has been completely redone. If you’ve played the original Silent Hill 2 game, you’ll know how awful the voice work is (in a kind of so-bad-it’s-good kind of way). In the remake, the quality of voice acting is much better. A nice bit of trivia – the new voice actor for Maria is Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, the lady who sings pretty much all of the vocal soundtracks for the whole Silent Hill series. I think the new voices are okay, but if you don’t like them you can actually choose to play the game with the classic voice, but only for Silent Hill 2; you don’t get to choose for Silent Hill 3 for some reason. I don’t understand why you can choose for one game and are forced to accept the new voice work for another – it might have been better to just either let the player choose or force them for both games for consistency’s sake.

Secondly both games received higher resolution textures. I’d imagine this was a pretty hefty technical job for the team, especially for Silent Hill 2 – it was probably made in a really old engine. In terms of keeping the whole creepy art style and atmosphere that’s a different kind of difficulty in itself, but I feel the remade textures have been done pretty well. Both games still felt dark, creepy and in some parts gory and this is the most important thing about upgrading the textures in these games. Atmosphere is everything in Silent Hill, if they had done the textures wrong then one of the most important aspects of the game would have been ruined. I’m glad they were done right! The minor downside is the CGI cutscenes weren’t redone and they look pretty dated, but on the upside they don’t detract from the games at all and I guess you can see how far technology has come for fully rendered scenes.

I guess my biggest gripe about this HD Collection is the actual gameplay. Don’t get me wrong, the original games played great – for their time. Having everything but the gameplay updated makes playing the game feel strange; like a current game which has super clunky controls. I had never noticed it before, but were James’ attack animations always that bad? Also, I would have thought they could have updated camera movement and positioning. There were always sudden camera changes within the Silent Hill series, but you would think if you were remastering the games you would add in a few more gameplay tweaks like smoother camera transitions or character controls. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, but ever making the characters move more gracefully or tweaking their animations would have made this HD collection feel more like a remastered edition rather than a game which just has better textures and sound slapped into it.

Overall, I think Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 are great games. They always have been and always will be. However, I don’t think the HD collection gives the games the justice it deserves. Sure the games look prettier and sound a little better and that would have taken a lot of effort, and there would have been a lot of pressure to make sure everything stayed true to the originals, and Hijinx Studios did a good job in that regards. But without tweaking the gameplay to update the games a little, it doesn’t make the remastered/HD title for me. The Silent Hill HD Collection isn’t really worth what it’s priced, that’s how I truly feel, although it is worth trying especially if you’ve never played any of the Silent Hill games before; the updated look will probably help newcomers stick with it a little longer.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: