Silent Hill 3 (PlayStation 2) Review

By Athanasios 25.09.2016

Review for Silent Hill 3 on PlayStation 2

Silent Hill? Classic, extremely successful, genre defining. Silent Hill 2? Added to the recipe, with the end result turning into something very tasty. Silent Hill 3? Judging by the reviews of the time, it was magnificent, and had actually managed to stay on the same path as the other two… which is quite the feat, when compared to the many notoriously disappointing "number threes." For some strange reason, though, people have "forgotten" about it, in a way. Was it because its success came due to its name, or are there some deeper reasons behind that?

Heather, the teenage protagonist of this horror action-adventure, has heard the calling of the strange town of Silent Hill; a calling that started with the death of her father at the hands of a hideous monster, on behalf of Claudia; a weird fanatic who wants to "Bring paradise to earth" (talk about ambition). Oh, and by the way, daddy's name was Harry Mason.

Don't know who that is? Well, maybe this journey into fog and gore won't be as entertaining as it's supposed to, because Silent Hill 3 continues the story a lot of years after the events of the original, and while it does all it can to help newcomers understand what's going on, it's the veterans who will get the most out of the storyline. Now, in terms of overall quality, the plot is actually quite good, albeit a little disappointing when compared to the first or the bolder second one.

Screenshot for Silent Hill 3 on PlayStation 2

The first flaw is that this sort of repeats Silent Hill's story: cult wants to do demonic stuff, the hero(ine) must stop them - the end. The second one is Heather's motivation. Revenge for the death of a loved one is not bad, but it cannot compete with the tension behind finding your daughter, or the mystery of finding a wife who's supposed to be long dead. As a whole, however, it is an interesting and dark tale that most will surely enjoy.

In terms of atmosphere, while it simply offers what the first did, just in a graphically upgraded environment, and, although it doesn't quite reach the unique aura of the second title, it manages to offer a beautifully morbid and engrossing world that, in parts, feels as if it's the best Silent Hill when it comes to the visuals - and if those weren't enough, the creepy sound and weird ambient music (or lack of) will do the trick.

Screenshot for Silent Hill 3 on PlayStation 2

Without a single doubt, you will feel far more alone and scared in this one. Strangely enough, though, Heather leans more to the Resident Evil kind of hero. Despite her showing her fear much more effectively, she turns out to be the most battle ready, too. Faster, with some minor side-step manoeuvers and blocking techniques, along with better weaponry at her disposal… Not to mention that due to the fact that she is a teenager, she tends to be a bit of a smartass every now and then - which is a good thing.

Other than this, the gameplay has stayed pretty much the same. Wander around, explore each room, unlock doors, gather everything not nailed to the ground, read clues, fight enemies, solve puzzles, and so on. It's Silent Hill all over again, which means that those not impressed by previous iterations of the franchise should better stay away. That isn't to say that it's identical, though.

Screenshot for Silent Hill 3 on PlayStation 2

Like Silent Hill 2, it's possible to set the difficulty setting for action and puzzles the way you want. What makes this better in the puzzles department is that the there's a great difference between the medium and the hard setting, since medium puzzles just need the player to think about how the clues at hand can help, while in hard knowledge of non-game material will actually be required. In conclusion: genuine Silent Hill fun for the whole family. Is everything fine and dandy, though? Not really.

For starters, and while the genre was never big on length, this is way too short and linear - and, yes, even when compared to the already linear second game. Typical of survival horror action-adventures, there are tons of unlockables, the journey is very speedrun-friendly, and the rating system in the end is a nice reason to repeat everything once more. The biggest "flaw," however, seems to be that, although great as a game, Silent Hill 3 doesn't have what it takes to stand out from its older siblings.

Screenshot for Silent Hill 3 on PlayStation 2

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Series fans will love Silent Hill 3. It's beautifully dark, deeply atmospheric, it successfully continues the plot of the original, and it offers very good survival horror gameplay, despite the fact that some of the typical flaws of the genre still persist. The only "true" flaw is that it's more of the same, and while that will be enough for most, it's also the reason why it will always stay in the shadow of the previous and superior titles.

Developer

KCET

Publisher

Konami

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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