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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories • Page 2

Past remaster.

The tactile nature of the puzzle design works particularly well on the Wiimote, too. Initially it tasks players with manipulating objects, lifting latches and pulling locks back, but you're soon asked to be more imaginative. Discarded empty drinks cans can be picked up, rotated and shaken. With a bit of patient manipulation, eventually your search yields a key rattling around in one of them, and simply tipping it upside down and shaking allows it to drop out. As simple as that example is, it demonstrates thoughtful use of the Wii's controller, which we so rarely see.

But these initial good ideas are nothing compared to some of the excellent ones implemented as the game progresses. After meeting police officer Cybil Bennett for the first time, you get a phone, revealing a whole array of new actions including taking photos, retrieving voicemails, texts, making calls and even using a GPS map. As you wander around, strange feedback noises emanate from the Wiimote, and when you eventually reach the source of the static a voicemail pops up and you hold the Wiimote speaker to your ear like a real phone to hear the messages - most of which add to the generally tragic back-story, fleshing out the previous inhabitants of these deserted locations.

Sometimes, calls and messages come in out of the blue from Cybil, or even Cheryl as the search intensifies, and the role of the phone during your adventures grows as you go along. Elsewhere, you can also use the camera function of the phone to take snaps of ghostly 'apparitions', which fully reveal their origins once captured, both in terms of the image captured and accompanying voice message chillingly transmitted to the handset.

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You looked better in the dark.

Other interesting narrative devices allow players to zoom in and read posters, pictures and any items of interest at their leisure, rather than picking up discarded notes and journal fragments in traditional fashion. More often than not, Harry also delivers his thoughts on these items, all of which infuse the environment with a credible sense of place. Any phone numbers you come across in the game can also be called up - mostly just to add a bit of intrigue to the game, but sometimes to help you solve specific puzzles. The phone implementation really is fantastic, and quickly becomes an integral ingredient in the game's appeal.

A Silent Hill game wouldn't be complete without the usual dosage of nightmarish apparitions and otherworldly scares, of course, and Shattered Memories delivers on that front too. This time around, rather than turning the world to filth and rust, the developer literally freezes the walls around Harry, who has to rush through a mazelike environment dodging faceless ghosts until he finds a predefined exit.

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