Sunday, April 11, 2010

Game Review-Silent Hill 4 The Room

Ah, Silent Hill 4 The Room. This game has been torturing me throughout the last week, with its horrible controls, sloppy gameplay and little-to-no comprehensible plot. I bore it to the end, however, so I could finally write a review on the game and dish back some of the pain it has constantly given me.

In the town of Ashfield (Yes, not Silent Hill), a man named Henry Townsend wakes up in his apartment to find his door chained on the inside. Worse, he can’t use the phone, and no one seems to hear him screaming from his window. After five days when he’s down to his last chocolate milk and bottle of wine, a sudden hole opens up in his bathroom. That hole is a warp zone to other places in the town of Ashfield.

Let me describe Henry Townsend in one word-he’s a moron. He’s the kind of guy who will literally look at the bloody corpse of a female who’s been ravaged by monsters, and blankly ask if she’s okay. He also has little-to-no personality, and can't manage much more than staring silently at his love interest most of the time, as though trying to remember his lines. He’s the type of guy you would want to get killed off first in a horror movie, and would be embarrassed to be associated with until then.

The only credit I have to give is his love interest, Eileen. Eileen is attacked and almost killed by a serial killer, suffering horrible wounds in the process. Henry then visits her in the hospital, and asks her to follow him through five different worlds invested with monsters. Eileen accompanies him and actually fights with a broken arm and only one working eye. That’s pretty hardcore. Unfortunately, she suffers from a random bout of stupidity towards the end and so does the antagonist, Walter Sulivan, who really got the wrong message when he was an orphan and believes an actual apartment room gave birth to him (yes I am serious).

The controls in this game are so bad they are almost unplayable, and this is especially true in the first five minutes when the game will jump in and force the player to turn a certain way, in a not-so-subtle attempt to look at something. Every time you do look at something, however, the eye icon will be just above and to the left of an item, giving the impression that you’re looking at the wrong thing. You will tend to struggle with bad camera angles and a buggy fighting system. An actual tutorial system might have also been helpful, as it took me some time to realize that I can’t kill some enemies.

Silent Hill 4 the Room is also very repetitive. You essentially go to five worlds-Subway World, Hospital World, Apartment World, Building World, and Forest World (yes, that is their real names. Imaginative, isn’t it?). And after completing those worlds, you get the fun chore of going through those worlds again. You will also go to your apartment a million times, as messages are often left there.

If you get past the game’s faults (which is a pretty big assumption) the game does have a few genuine scary moments, especially in hospital world. The game also has four different endings, depending on how you took care of your apartment and Eileen. No UFO ending, unfortunately, which is generally tradition with Silent Hill games. But this isn’t a Silent Hill game either.

FINAL GRADE: ½ star out of 5. It’s easily one of the worst games I’ve played for a long time.

If I were Henry Townsend, I wouldn’t count on getting my deposit back…


E.J. Wesley said...


It's a shame, because I really liked some of the early iterations of the franchise. Have you played Dead Space yet? It has a very Silent Hill vibe, but really took the genre to a new level (in my opinion). At any rate, nice review!

Aubrie said...

Have you seen the Silent Hill movie? I haven't played the games, but I thought the movie was pretty scary. :)

Natasha Bennett said...

I haven't seen the Silent Hill Movie yet, but it's definitely on my list of movies to watch. It is *really* difficult to get Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3 where I live, and I'm still searching for them.

Dead Space is also on my list too, because I heard that was really good.