Number 09: Silent Hill 2
I only put Silent Hill 2 in this spot only because I feel Silent Hill actually induced more fear and vulnerability on me as the player. James Sunderland isn’t a Hollywood action star he’s just a normal guy going to Silent hill because of a letter he received.
Silent Hill 1 & 3 are both scary (never got a chance to play 4), but their story was more of a common video game theme. Take down the evil that is Silent Hill and victory is mine game over. Silent Hill a true enemy is never truly established. The game certainly gives you many choices to choose from but ultimately you’re left to your own decision on who a true antagonist really is.
In this game you are absolutely pathetic. You do not have cool combos or first person shooting machine gun explosions going everywhere. You are a pathetic weak man using whatever weapons you find to defend yourself with. The game is dark, foggy, and rusty which paints a truly spooky atmosphere for the player. Your best friends are the radio you carry, your maps to help you from going insane, and your flash light that never seems to die (which thank goodness a dying flashlight isn’t a game mechanic).
There are some bad points to the game, the voice acting can be considered… unbearable. James’ voice in the game sounds awful, as if the voice actor was reading his lines for the first time and the director just rolled with it. Tank controls can be a real pain if you are not used to it, and the camera can be scarier than the actual monsters in this game at time.
I really like the story of Silent Hill 2. It takes a real time fear that people have and turned it into a psychological mess. The hidden themes and symbols get the player intrigued and interested in finding their meanings. I love learning about the messages that each monster has and what the significance of characters in the game have with James and the town. With the combat being bad it makes encounters with monsters all the more spooky, and the puzzles are entertaining to solve as well, sometimes frustrating though.
If you can get a chance to play this game I highly suggest you play it on the Playstation 2 like I did. PC and Xbox versions are alright, but I feel the Playstation 2 does the most justice. I high suggest staying away from the HD collection mainly because of the fog effects.
Silent Hill 2 in my opinion is one of the creepiest games in the survival horror genre, especially with the strong lack of them today. If Silent Hills can bring justice to the genre or the Silent Hill series I will feel hope again, but until then I feel Silent Hill 2 is the best in survival horror. It doesn’t need jump scares and it didn’t need constant gore. It had the right amount of creepy and fear which is what survival horror should be about.
If there was one thing I did always find goofy about Silent Hill 2 it was Happy Burger.
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