Title: Silent Hill 3   Developer: Konami   Type: Strategy Action Shooter
Absolute PlayStation2


"Moving away from the mist-shrouded streets of the first two games, Silent Hill 3 focuses on a new female character. Heather, a gentle teenager, is on a trip to her local shopping centre when her life is turned upside down."
Silent Hill 3
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David Barry  "When The Silent Hill Franchise Began Way Back In 1999, It Was Released In A Flurry Of Hype, But To Mixed Reviwes, Immediately Gaining ‚cult Classic’ Status.

Its Sequel (which I Have Also Reviewed Here) Was A Far Superior Game, And A Complete And Total Departure From The Hollywood Shocks Of The Capcom Games. It Blended Unprecedented Characterisation With An Engrosing Storyline And Extreme Atmosphere, Becoming Revered As The Standard-bearer For The Survival Horror Genre.

Much Is Expected Of This Third Game In The Series Of Four, But Can It Live Up To The Lory Of Its Predecessors?

Make No Mistake About It, The Graphics Will Leave You Open-mouthed And Wondering How A Four-year-old Platform Can Manage To Produce Such Incredible Visuals. Heather Looks Every Bit The Sullen 17-year Old, And Her Cast Of Supporting Characters All Look Like Plausible, Everyday Folk Who Just Happen To Be Caught In A Resort Town That Slips Between Dimensions. The Monsters, As Ever, Are Twisted And Perverse, Shambling And Squelching About With Maleficent Intent, And Do Their Job Nicely. The Backdrops, However, Are The Real Stars Of The Show. Insanely Detailed ‚reality’ Sets Combine With Just Plain Old Insane ‚alternate Reality’ Locations Like Bleeding Hospital Rooms, Crying Coridoors, And Defiled Churches, To Create A Locked-in Sense Of Claustrophobia. Incredible.

The Sound Is A Huge Improvement Over Sh2. The Monsters Sound Meaner, The Characters Sound More Believable, And The General Eeriness Is Greatly Enhanced By The Sound Effects. One Problem, Though: The Music Here Is Pure Man-rock, And Bears Little Or No Relevance To The Character, A 17-year Old Girl. Gone Are The Melancholic, Neo-goth Melodies Of Sh 2, To Be Replaced By Songs That Remind You Of 1990 Teen Angst Seattle Moments. Not So Good.

Oddly, Controlling Heather With The Ps 2 Analog Stick Is Not A Good Idea. She Becomes An Unresponsive And Shuddery Wreck. With The D-pad Is Far Superior, And The Rest Of The Moves, (i.e. Shooting, Combat Weaponry, Walking, Examining Etc) Is Pretty Much Unchanged From Sh 2, Except For Two Notable Things: You Can Now Block Some Enemy Attacks By Holding The Circle Button In Combat Mode, And Finally The 1st-person Perspective Button Seems To Be More Responsive. Just For When You Really Want To See What The Man Is Doing On The Ceiling With The Two Little Girls With The Dangly Legs ;-) Menus Are Also Now Separated And Categorised Into Much Better Sections, Like ‚weapons’, ‚supplies’ And ‚items’. It’s Easier Than It’s Been In The Past. Another New Addition To The Fight Action Is ‚sneaky Mode’, But I Couldn’t See The Advantage Of This.

Now, Here Comes Trouble:

Five Hours And Twenty Minutes. Think About This, People. Five Hours And Twenty Minutes!!!!!!!!!! That Is Nowhere Near Enough For A First Play Of A Brand-new Major Game Release!!!! Three Words Spring To Mind: Short, Short, Short. Silent Hill 3’s One Major Flaw Is Its Insane Brevity. Repeated Playings, As Ever, Are Shorter Still, And The Whole Thing Really Doesn’t Have A Chance To Get Off The Ground. The Hospital Level Is Complete In About Twenty Minutes, The First Time You Play It. You Get Next-to-no Time Exploring The Town Of Sh Itself. The Fairground And Haunted House Are Touted As 2 Separate Levels But Even Together Don’t Last As Long As The Second Apartment Block In Sh 2. Granted, The Beasts Are A Lot Tougher In This Outing, And There’s Next-to-no Ammo To Be Had Once You Leave The Fairground, But This Game Is Altogether Too Easy For Its Own Good. A Severe Disappointment."
Graphics  20/20
Playability  43/50
Sound  5/10
Lastability  7/20
Last updated on 2003-05-26 and based on views after owning/playing for approx 3 days.

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What was your overall verdict on this game:
Very Poor - an embarrassment to the console
Nothing spectacular, but still functional
Quality visuals that clearly show the power of this machine
Graphical masterpiece that is amongst the best currently available
Pushing the visual capability to it's absolute limit
This game has graphics that were never thought possible on this console

Makes little use of the CD capacity and audio hardware
Functional sounds that compliment the on-screen action
Quality atmospheric sounds that are highly effective
Music and effects that greatly enhance the overall enjoyment
Sounds like this were never thought possible on this console

PLAY-ABILITY (The way the game actually plays)
No fun to play, control is bad, gameplay lacks ideas
Offers moderate enjoyment but lacks a reason to play regularly
Quality title that has all the features you would expect
Top-notch title with nearly flawless gameplay
Little room for improvement and the best game of its type
Introduces new gameplay aspects not thought possible for this console

Wouldn't even buy for your worst enemy
Life-span would be a short rental period
Recommended purchase which should offer a weeks enjoyment
Has the potential to still be played regularly weeks from now
This will remain a popular game in your collection for months
You will enjoy playing this game occasionally even years from now

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