Rent, don’t buy ‘Silent Hill 4’ | TheUnion.com
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Rent, don’t buy ‘Silent Hill 4’

“Silent Hill” is a derivative of the survival/horror genre made popular by the highly reproductive “Resident Evil” series. Unlike “Resident Evil,” “Silent Hill” is actually good. Playing “Resident Evil,” it’s like fighting against reichs of re-animated fleshbags with only a passing interest in either me or my brains. Do they have something better to do? It’s a little offensive, to be quite honest.

Playing “Silent Hill,” which I first discovered on my Playstation 2 as “Silent Hill 2,” is an experience that only a test tube child born from the band Tool’s video director, Adam Jones, and Nathaniel Hawthorne could have fully realized. It seems to me that I must have written about him, “Silent Hill 2’s” antagonist, a sort of butcher of men from America’s wildly extravagant witch hunting days, in the angstier and gothier of my freshman year pit-of-despair phase.

So I waited patiently for “Silent Hill 4” to arrive, with videos on the Internet promising scenes reminiscent of the movie “The Ring,” an intriguing back story, and yes, more blood and rust. Unfortunately, the press managed to cover all of the best scenes in the game in a Bruckheimer-esque orgasm of strobing visuals and random groaning noises, which is available as the introduction movie to the game itself.



One particularly gruesome part that the movie gave the right hints about and didn’t fully exploit was the main character’s battle with a long-haired female ghost. I watched in amazement when, after my character managed to knock her onto the ground, she was able to drag herself away with her fingernails, leaving a trail of hair behind as it fell from her deteriorating scalp.

Unfortunately, this is the only ghost in the game that was actually scary, unless you are afraid of ghosts, in which case you will find yourself in a scary situation almost constantly.




If you can look past this, you might find the storyline engaging if you can identify with the main character, a photographer who shops at Express and owns more pairs of shoes than a photographer ought to. He one day winds up trapped in his apartment, unable to contact the outside world in any way. As these sorts of things go there is, of course, a hole in his bathroom wall that leads to some dimension of insanity and evil that is the predominant conception of “Eden” throughout the “Silent Hill” series.

Something was different about the feel of the game. Maybe it was the heavy amount of anti-aliasing used, but it felt cartoonier, and therefore more like a game, I suppose, than the others did. I was only drawn as far as the graphics could bring me; I hit a wall and couldn’t pass into that dimension where I felt as if I was actually the one swinging desperately at the specters on the screen. This was enough to keep me from endorsing Konami’s fourth iteration in the “Silent Hill” series as something that should be consumed at an alarming rate, rather, maybe just rent it.


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