It’s hard to believe that Silent Hill 2 came out over ten years ago, in September of 2001 for the Playstation 2. It was followed by an extended version, which included an additional side story, for the Xbox a couple of months later as Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams and then Silent Hill 2: The Director’s Cut again for Playstation 2 the next year. Silent Hill 2 is the bizarre story of James Sunderland’s multidimensional search for his deceased wife. Strangely, he received a letter from her asking him to meet her in Silent Hill. James’ dark psychological journey is a tense, melancholy affair that may be too disturbing for many.
Silent Hill 3 was originally released almost two years later, in May 2003 for the PlayStation 2 console only. It is a direct sequel to the original Silent Hill game and tells the story of an adopted teenage girl named Heather. Though Silent Hill 3’s content is not nearly as emotionally disturbing as Silent Hill 2, Heather’s quest to uncover her personal history and resulting fight for survival is an atmospheric and dark tale. Both games feature an eerie, ambient Akira Yamaoka soundtrack that hold up to time surprisingly well.
As loved as Silent Hill 2 and 3 are, the Silent Hill: HD Collection hardly does the games justice and is one of the poorest of the remastered collections. Besides the re-recording voices, which arguably infuriates more people than it pleases, Konami has done little to the original games. The resolution of course, has been improved and the fog has been lessened some to increase the sharpness but the draw distances weren’t adjusted to compensate. For a series that relies so heavily on atmosphere, it is also surprising that Konami did not add 3D like some of the other remastered collections.
Silent Hill: HD Collection certainly fills a need for survival horror fans but the remastered games could have used a little more sprucing up. As much as many adore the psychologically dark and twisted stories of Silent Hill 2 and 3, what Konami has released will strike many as cheap. There is no reason to recommend the game to those that still own the originals and a machine to play them on but for those that haven’t played the two games and if you can get used to the controls, Silent Hill 2 and to lesser extent Silent Hill 3 are iconic, must play games.
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