Silent Hill Origins • Page 2

Come back! Come back! Actually, don't.

And, just like all the other Silent Hills released over the past nine years, the combat's a bit clunky, inaccurate and frustrating. The camera system rarely gives you a chance to see what you're fighting before they're eating your face, but at least an auto-lock targeting system ensures you don't waste too much precious ammo.

The one major addition to the gameplay is the need to duck backwards and forwards between the light and dark world via the various mirrors that you encounter. While this adds a great deal to the puzzle side of the game, it does also add the unwelcome headache of having to flick between different maps far more than at any point in the entire series. One section in particular is a complete nightmare, with three large intricate maps covering three floors - effectively giving you six maps to pore over at once. At times like these, you wish the series would introduce a mini-map or come up with some sort of map overlay.

Elsewhere, one area that's a bigger disappointment than it was on PSP version is the drop in visual quality, because of course the other recent Silent Hills were on PS2 anyway, and even next to 2001's Silent Hill 2 this game suffers in comparison, with stilted, angular character models and cut-scenes that are alarmingly rudimentary compared to the peerless work that Team Silent managed early on in the console's lifespan.

You can forgive such aberrations in a PSP game - the smaller screen helps mask some of the more disappointing visual elements - but blown up on the big screen, things like human character models are jarringly basic. Conversely, the enemies you face, and the game's environments, are fairly close to replicating the trademark style and vision, although admittedly totally lacking in either inspiration or imagination.

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As ever, the nurse is a gigantic tease. STOP THAT!

Overall you can't help feel that the least we can expect this long after Silent Hill 2 is something which matches what has gone before. With Konami passing the series around external developers, there's a growing sense that the publisher isn't treating the brand with the kind of respect it deserves. Is it really enough to rely on the audio masterwork of Akira Yamaoka to carry forward the spirit of the game? The answer has to be no.

We can only hope that Silent Hill Origins marks a temporary period of neglect. In its own right, it's by no means a bad game; it chugs along at a decent pace, and ticks all of the right boxes in terms of atmosphere, puzzles and narrative - and we certainly approve of the greater emphasis on puzzles after the combat-centric gameplay of The Room - but it's hardly going to convert anyone either. Its willfully old-school design and clunky combat belong in a bygone era, and for the optimistic price-tag Konami has slapped on the game we've every right to expect more. Only the most hardcore of fans will have time for this; the rest of us should wait for Homecoming.

6 / 10

Read the Eurogamer.net review policy Silent Hill Origins Kristan Reed Come back! Come back! Actually, don't. 2008-05-14T06:00:00+01:00 6 10

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