Silent Hill: Homecoming – So I find it scary… what the hell!

Being a big fan of Silent Hill and everything associated with it (yes I even spent a couple hours reading many a plot analysis of the series… seriously it’s interesting alright!) I finally got the chance (and time) to sit down and crack open SH5 for the Xbox 360.

I took my time as I had heard some not so favourable reviews and general chatter across the boards giving it the thumbs…. well not so much down but to the side-like. So anyway, I popped it in and didn’t expect anything flash or grand, but within 5 minutes I was hooked. It opened up so well that I couldn’t stop. However as I went along I did start noticing things here and there that made me think back to those ‘scathing’ reviews. In particular, the frame rate dips weren’t so awesome. It took me a little bit to accept this and move along. I don’t remember this ever being an issue with previous titles and certainly not to a point where I actually noticed it.

Then the textures became an issue for me. I know SH is famous for their ‘noise’ filters shot over visuals, but some of the textures just look plain bad. I mean I am pretty sure that if I pop in SH3 or 4 i’d see clearer textures in part and if not, the 360 is more capable then this. If it was compensation to keep the game at a steady 30-60 FPS I could understand but… yeah.

So that was an issue at first and a big one, it certainly detracted from the experience for a good hour in my head. Eventually I let it go and continued, and yes it is dark and yes you can’t see where the hell your going at times even with a flashlight. But for some reason I believe this added to the experience. I mean you walk down a corridor and you don’t instantly see the entire place like it’s soaked in daylight. So you move slower and have that weapon at the ready, all the time being mindful that anything could pop out at any time… and then it doesn’t… and then OH CRAP it does! I am not sure what kinda hardcore horror/thriller buffs reviewed this game, but I found myself feeling just the same that I did walking through a hospital in the original Silent Hill game – that feeling was, I hope there is a save point around this corner because i’d like to take a good break from this feeling of sheer terror that has been building up inside of me for, oh I don’t know, the entire time I’ve had this game on. That’s worth the money alone for me – strange huh? 😉

Anyhow, that’s just me. I like it so far. Perhaps when I hit the end i’ll have a different perspective, but for now it’s great for what it is. But please, whoever works on the next SH title for 360, push the textures a bit more please. I don’t want to see muddy crappy looking basins in HD damnit!

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.