|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While holding true to the same mechanics of combat from the series, Silent Hill: Origins provides a few new techniques for players to experiment with. For example, the new grappling system allows players to react with certain buttons presses to get out of the grasp of your enemies. There's a huge emphasis in varied melee weapons this time. Unlike previous titles where the lead pipe could be revered as the best weapon in the game, here the melee weapons break after a period of time.
You are provided a "health" bar for the weapons in the corner. These weapons are varied from broken poles and knives to hammers and even portable television sets. This not only increases the "exploration or die" magic of the series, but it also makes you think smart when facing your enemies. While the "live to fight another day" aspect has always been in the series here, it is dependent on the players misuse or excessive use of their weapons that determines that. Another thing that will make the fans happy is the new Barricade system. This helpful new mechanic allows player to block off doorways to further protect themselves from danger or harm's way. You can really feel the tension build as you block yourself into a room to escape the horrors on the other side of the door. Other than those additions to the gameplay side of things, Origins retains the magic of what has had fans returning repeatedly.
Another trivial gem that will have fans excited to play this title will be the return of the "Other World" used in the first and third titles. While I agree this is a small thing, it is worth mentioning due to the visuals of the game. It has always been easy to dismiss the graphics of a Silent Hill game due to the filters that are used or because the characters don't look quite right. However, to the horror fan these things truly captivate us and express a fantastical sick world that only we can appreciate. Origins does an exceptional job at creating these horrific visions that we can carry around with us. The grainy filtering mesmerizes the world of Silent Hill in a way that today's next gen graphics sorely lack in many ways. With Origins sticking to what made the series wonderful, I was impressed to see how close the PSP could photograph the deranged world of Silent Hill.
Equally impressive is the soundtrack. While this should come as no surprise, it was a comfort to hear the sounds of eeriness pour from my handheld, though I do have to admit you lose some of the "mood" music when not playing with headphones on. Of course, you can play without them but in order to truly experience the game you have to play with your headphones snug around you ears. Then again, I also believe the best way to play these games is in darkness with your surround sound turned way up, so I might be a little biased.
Silent Hill: Origins does what I was worried it could not. It delivers an enjoyable experience on your handheld in the world of Silent Hill. Interweaving the storyline of the original title with this one and setting the stage for all that came after, it really opened and answered many questions. While the combat system may be nothing revolutionary, it does hold true to the basics that we have come to love from the series. If you are a fan of the series or need to feed the horror genre need you have on your handheld, Silent Hill: Origins gives you what you want when you want it.
CCC Project Coordinator