Today, as I walked into Gamestop to check out the summer sales, I was not expecting to see the game that I had wanted to purchase since I first got my PS3 and went shopping for games for the first time more than a year ago. But as I went through the plastic cases on the shelves, some blood-splattered and some dotted with brightly-colored heroes, something caught my eye. Behind a fantasy game displaying a sword-wielding, armor-clad medieval protagonist, was a copy of “Silent Hill: Homecoming.” There was no mistaking the rusty-colored blood smears and distorted monstrosities, it had to be Silent Hill. I was delighted to stumble upon this pre-owned copy, as ever since seeing one single, solitary copy on that first shopping trip (I left it behind in favor of the Silent Hill HD collection) I had been desperate to find it.
As soon as I returned from this shopping trip, I ran up to my bedroom to start playing. I then played up as far as (*SPOILERS*) the first save point directly after retrieving Josh Shepherd’s Robbie the Rabbit toy from an ominous, blood-oozing gash in the glass. I managed to get my arm ripped off once,by whatever sinister force lurked behind the bloody glass, from not pressing the red circle quickly enough. That was my first death in the game.
I must say, my first impressions of “Silent Hill: Homecoming” are very good. The opening cutscene, in which the protagonist, Alex Shepherd, is being wheeled through a dimly lit hospital corridor on a gurney, was considerably more gory than some of the more subtle, haunting openings of other games in the series, but it worked. I enjoyed the part of this scene where Alex glances up at the person wheeling the gurney, to see a surgeon clad in blue scrubs, with a bloodstained mask obscuring his mouth.
I have not played very much so far, but I am definitely eager to play more. The combat controls are pretty good, though at first I kept forgetting to go into fighting stance before bashing “X” to knife some demon nurses lurking within the rooms of the hospital. You soon learn to get used to these controls, when faced with three demonic, deformed nurses, classic Silent-Hill style, all armed with knives and showing rather a lot of cleavage. The graphics are impressive, and tie in with the bloody, grimy, dark, decaying feel of the series. The save-points are placed very conveniently, and quite regularly so far. At the moment, there are enough health drinks lying around to keep Alex alive, without letting the player become too complacent or at-ease. If you move fast with your combat knife (and don’t get your arm bitten off trying to retrieve a blood-soaked Robbie), you should be okay.
Whether or not I would recommend “Silent Hill: Homecoming” remains to be seen, but so far I have only positive things to say about this game.