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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Silent Hill’ haunting

Generally, one place people tend to feel safest is in their homes, but in Konami’s latest addition to the survival horror genre, “Silent Hill 4: The Room,” the place that is supposed to be most secure turns into one of the most dangerous places to be.
“Silent Hill 4” strives to continue the same frightening path that the three previous games in the ‘Silent Hill’ series have taken. The staple of all the ‘Silent Hill’ games is their creepy atmosphere, and this one continues with the tradition.
There is once again a new main character and scenario. The character is given a variety of weapons and bizarre things happen without explanation. There is a tie-in, however, to the second game and many familiar ‘Silent Hill’ images.
This is the first game that does not take place in the town of Silent Hill. It actually takes place in the nearby town of South Ashfield. The main character, Harry Townshend, is trapped inside his apartment and there is no way to communicate with the outside world from the start of the game. The phones don’t work, and no one outside his apartment can hear him. The door is locked with several chains and someone wrote an ominous “Don’t Go Out,” which is signed by a mysterious stranger.
After some exploring, Harry discovers a hole in his bathroom. He crawls through it and is taken through strange and creepy worlds. The areas Harry explores include a subway, a forest, a prison and two apartment complexes, one of which is quite familiar.
The creators have taken a new approach to this game – this is the first one in the Silent Hill series that the controls are not character-centered, which means that to make the character move forward, the player has to press up, no matter which way the character faces. Instead, the controls in this game are player-centered, which means the character will walk the direction that is pressed on the controls.
The newest addition also has a new real-time menu that allows players to access items without pausing the game. This in itself lends to the tense atmosphere because enemies can still attack Harry while the player cycles through the menu.
Unfortunately, the menu only holds 10 items and certain items like bullets don’t collect in one group. For example, if a player wants to carry 30 bullets, then three boxes of 10 would take up three of the slots. A player, without carrying anything else, not even a weapon, is able to carry only 100 bullets. However, a storage box in Harry’s apartment can hold an infinite amount of items. Thus, item management is key to this game.
This is also the first Silent Hill game to use the first-person perspective. When Harry is in his apartment then the player is in first person, and when he is in another area the game is in third person.
It has decent replay value with the possibility of four endings. This does well to keep the player interested in the game, and the player can feel some considerable panic when faced against some ghosts and not having the correct items out.
Many of the areas are dark and foreboding. As Harry explores, he learns of dark things that have happened in these places.
Ghosts are new enemies to the Silent Hill series. They float, fly through walls and cannot be killed. There are silver bullets that Harry can collect to stun ghosts, and there are swords that Harry can use to impale the ghost and immobilize it for the rest of the game or until he pulls the sword out. There are also pendants and candles that ward off ghosts as well.
Overall, “Silent Hill 4” does well to continue the series and is scary enough to send chills down the player’s spine. It is even a decent play if a person has not played the other three games in the series.
In the end, Konami does a good job of creating a creepy atmosphere that can unnerve a player as he or she plays the game that Tech TV called “the town that sanity forgot.”

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