Silent Hill 4: The Room
The premise is intriguing -you play as Harry Townshend, who awakes after suffering nightmares for several nights to find that his front door has been chained up from the inside, and that nobody outside of his flat can hear his cries for help. Worse still, a mysterious hole has appeared next to his toilet, leading to slightly altered versions of the world he knows, complete with a menagerie of gruesome creatures guarding a series of cumbersome puzzles. The flat then basically becomes a hub to which you can return via the holes which appear through the 13 or so levels, where you can access your inventory trunk and the one and only save point.
At its best. The Room competently exercises the strengths of its predecessors, and you can quite easily become drawn into its disturbing and uncomfortable world. The story, once it gets going, holds the location jumping together well, with a steady stream of plot advancements, and is pitched at just the right level to keep you interested.
Bog Of The Damned
Silent Hill's usual excellent design and presentation is in attendance, along with a decent quality soundtrack, although this is let down a tad by the blurry and incomplete-looking textures which suffer without a low-res TV screen to hide behind.
Where it really shoots itself in both kneecaps is in the laziness of the conversion, coupled with the same old problems inherent with the series. Despite getting a release at around the same time as its console cousins, it's obvious that whoever was responsible for porting the code across has made no effort to take advantage of the PC's capabilities. The virtually unusable mouse and keyboard controls make the use of a USB game pad essential, even during the game's unexplained switches to a first-person perspective during the sections in the flat. Tasks as simple as wandering around are frustrated by the controls reversing as the camera angle jumps, while during the frequent combat bits you'll spend more time fighting with the clunking movement mechanism than with the denizens of Silent Hill.
There's a pretty reasonable game underneath it all - hell, we'd even go so far as to say it's sporadically entertaining. There's just so much that irks though - being forced to revisit levels later on simply irritates, while making it more difficult to reach your save point from about halfway through the game is an absolute bloody cheek. Diehard fans of the series probably won't mind, but it's a shame that addressing some of the age-old problems couldn't have been part of the series' new direction.
Download Silent Hill 4: The Room
Henry Townsend hasnt set foot outside his small apartment for five days. Its not that he doesn't want to leave, its that he cant. His windows wont open. He cant break through the walls. The phones dead, and nobody seems to be able to hear him outside. The front door? Its bound by heavy chains and sealed with a series of huge locks. But there just might be a way out after all. Henry woke up this morning to find a huge, gaping hole in the back of his bathroom wall. God only knows how it got there, who made it, and whats on the other side but chances are its going to be bloody, loathsome, and disturbing beyond belief. After all, this is Silent Hill, the survival-horror series so fed up that it makes Resident Evil look like friggin Scooby-Doo!
Along with the surreal opening scenario, Konami has divulged the first cryptic details concerning the fourth episode of this psychotic series. Unlike the third chapter, which formed a concrete link with the original title, this falls Silent Hill 4 for PS2 and XB will be another departure, a new plot luring unfamiliar characters to the twisted New England town. According to Producer Akira Yamaoka, players can still expect familiar elements maybe even a few unexpected revelations. Theres not a direct connection in terms of the story lines. You might, however, see some people that you would never expect. There's a common theme of the alternate world of Silent Hill.
Surprisingly, the producer has an even more shocking admission: "I can say that the story is darker than the past games. Since Silent Hill 2 contained a scene where a pyramid-headed beast violently raped a creature composed of adjoined sets of mannequin legs (it was, yknow, an embodiment of the protagonist's sexual frustration with his wife who was, urn, crippled by illness before he ended her life), a darker story is a bold claim indeed. Henry cant stop himself from climbing into the hole, as he badly wants to get out of his apartment, explains Yamaoka.
The theme of the story lies in solving the connection between the room where you live and the alternate world. Why is the alternate world tied to your room? The real question remains: Do we really want to find out?