Silent Hill Homecoming *Non Spoiler*

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PostSilent Hill Homecoming *Non Spoiler*
by Hulohot » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:28 pm

Non Spoiler Review.

I am unsure how I feel about Homecoming. On one hand it has the best gameplay in the series so far, but on the other hand it just feels different and I'm not sure if it is good or not. I like it but want to say to myself "Is this what we have waited four years for?"

I certainly did enjoy this game, but when it is stood next to previous entries in the series it just does not feel the same in terms of quality and fear. Fear as usual is created through the use of sound and imagery (However the imagery does feel a bit cut and paste at times) and through the brutality of the monsters. You will get destroyed by these monsters many times and this alone makes the game fairly scary, but once you get used to how the game (and the scares) works, you can easily breeze through an area destroying everything you come across with your axe. At the beginning of the game I found myself walking through most areas, dreading the next encounter. But nearing the end of the game I knew that a scary sound would not result in anything nasty occuring.

The atmosphere is brilliant. You almost get a nostalgic feeling when exploring the Shepherd house for the first time, reading Alex's comments on things in the house and his memories as a child.You really get to understand the family. This character development really makes this entry stand out from the rest of the series as it adds a whole new layer.
Unfortunatley, graphically it is the weakest of the lot. There are some bad textures, bad hair textures, bad lip synching and the characters look like they have faces made of solid plastic at times.

The story unfortunatley strays into cheese fest territory, and has lost the unique style of the previous Silent Hill titles. The direction they chose to go reminds me of a cheesy american horror movie, however I can forgive this because of the few twists and the certain choices you have to make near the end of the game. Anything cheesy is forgiven and you suddenly realise that the whole story works fairly well.

One thing Double Helix must be congratulated for is creating a hugely layered story, with symbology, huge unsolved mysteries and a lot of questions for fans to argue over. They never present too much information, but just enough to make it worth discussing. There are some hidden things for you to notice too, but that is straying into spoiler territory.

I am certain that in time, as I research the story to Homecoming it will grow on me. But right now I feel that it is a bit dissapointing when compared to The Room.

Perhaps my biggest gripe is that the first half of the game feels dull. This is because there is hardly any story there, you are just going from point A to point B, sometimes taking part in a fetch quest and you just do not know why you are doing it. This makes the game seem uneventful and pale compared to the previous titles. Some level design is pretty dull too and the otherworld does not kick in that often and you are left exploring derelict empty buildings which gets a bit boring after a while.

Overall Homecoming is a decent addition to the series, but is certainly one of the weakest.
Whilst the end is pretty epic and worth talking about, the game as a whole feels a bit empty, boring and uneventful. There is a decent story to be found but it will require looking through a lot of discussion boards to fully understand everything in Homecoming.

Edit* The amount of depth in the story is actually astounding. Now that I am looking over it there are just so many questions, so much to debate. A lot of theories and a lot of evidence, but questions that counter it. The storyline as a whole is actually brilliant the more you look into it. Therefore I am bumping the score from a 7 to an 8.



Where the hell is my Pyramid Head fight! Appearing only twice (Three if you get a certain ending) in the whole game is just cruel.

The twist is pretty good. I did not see it coming (The fact that Alex was responsible for Josh's death. It made me feel really bad for Alex as I quite liked him.

Choosing to mercy kill your mother or not, and seeing her get stretched to death was horrible. I felt so bad. Brilliant moment, the same with his dad Adam. I felt sorry for him, he was a good man really just forced to do bad things. I found the relationship between Adam and Alex fascinating and was sad to see things end that way.

I love the fact that the first section of the game, with Adam wheeling you through the hospital on the gurney actually hinted heavily at the story. The shadows in the rooms showed Fitch cutting up his daughter, Mayor Bartlett burying his son and Judge Holloway suffocating her daughter. Then the way their children came back as bosses to kill their parents was just awesome! Then when Adam gets destroyed by Pyramid Head, heavy symbology there.

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