Silent Hill: Homecoming Review


Yes, I am well aware that Konomi’s Silent Hill: Homecoming was released in 2008, but not everyone went out and got the game as soon as it came out, and maybe you had forgotten it ever existed.  I know I did until a week ago, so I threw that bad boy on my Gamefly queue and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.

The Silent Hill: Homecoming story is a simple one.  You play as Alex Shepherd, a “war veteran” returning home to Shepherd’s Glen, which just happens to be across the river from Silent Hill.  He finds his hometown in shambles and his brother missing.  It is now up to you to uncover the secrets the town and its founding families are hiding and find your little brother.

Reception for this installation in the Silent Hill franchise was moderate at best, and I can see the reasoning for this.  The story was great, and I am a big stickler for storylines.  The game makes you want to progress through it to see what’s going to happen next.  Without giving anything away to the people that have yet to play it, I wasn’t at all expecting the interactions that happened between Alex and his parents.  Every time I played the game, at the same spot this creepy ass wheelchair falls down the stairs I would jump. After the first time I would expect it but it would still make me jump; that is the creepy atmosphere you want in a game like this, and SH:H nailed it.

There are 5 possible endings in the same spirit of the Silent Hill games of old: 1 Good , 3 Bad, and the UFO ending.  Now, if your trying to 100% complete the game you will want to review the links at the bottom, as you will definitely need their help.  Each ending has a required task that needs to be accomplished if you wish to unlock the weapons and costumes.  Make sure you do your first play through on easy and go for the UFO ending so that you unlock the unlimited ammo laser pistol.  Then start your game again, this time on the hardest difficulty; using the laser pistol makes the game incredibly easy.


Gameplay-wise the game is on par with all the other survival horror games of 2008.  Your best weapon, though, is going to be the knife/dagger because ammo for the other weapons are almost nonexistent (save all ammo for boss fights which can become a little annoying).  I like the improved melee combat controls;  they were very fluid, but the firearm combat controls could have been better.  My problem with the game was that I’m used to playing  games where you kill an enemy and they drop more ammo for you.  This made the game a little quicker, but the lack of ammo in Homecoming definitely makes it seem more realistic.  Puzzles in the game can also be a problem, seeing as how you won’t always be told where you have to go.  I would either invest in a guide or just pay close attention to every note that you pick up (I will put a list of walk through sites at the bottom of the post).

I had a little bit of a problem with the voice acting- some of it was good and some of it not so much.  Now, I understand that not every game can be like Mass Effect, God of War, or Batman: Arkham Asylum, but at least have the characters mouths move with the dialogue.  Also, some of the animation was on the sketchy.  I mean, characters’ hands should not be going through objects in cut-scenes.  That’s a time when the player should be able to sit back and marvel at the work and craftsmanship you the developers have created for us.  We should not be sitting there asking ourselves, “Why did his hand just push through to the center of that manhole cover?”

In conclusion, Silent Hill: Homecoming isn’t a bad game.  It was fun to play and if you’re in it for achievements or trophies, this will be an easy one.  Unless you are a devoted fan of the Silent Hill franchise I would suggest renting this instead of buying, because it can be 100% completed in less than a week.  Do be careful as the game is known to freeze towards the last area of the game and after the final boss fight; that is the only reason for me not 100% completing the game.

Links:

Xb360a – Achievement guide

IGN – Text Walkthrough

My Cheat – Text/Pic Walkthrough