I have first experienced Silent Hill on Playstation, at the time when Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, parasite Eve and Nightmare Creatures were at the top my list for survival horror in console gaming in the 90’s.

What makes Silent Hill stand out from the rest?

As you play the role of the main playable characters of Silent Hill, you will begin to understand what it feels like to be naked and left alone in the dark. Compared to games like Resident Evil and Dino Crisis where you play as someone from the law enforcement or someone who has military background, in Silent Hill, you will be playing as someone who makes a living out of writing, a teenage girl, a truck driver or some odd character whose profile wouldn’t suggest any capability or training of whatsoever for self-defense or combat skill.

Let alone you will most likely use a steel pipe or a kitchen knife for starters.

Another notable characteristic of the game is its setting. The constant fog, the schools, the churches, the sexy stitched up nurses and all, just adds more element of horror into the game.

But one thing that makes it stand out is the theme the Silent Hill franchise brought to the horror based game genre: Psychological Horror. This was something rare for the games released during its time.

Psychological and emotional theme

The Silent Hill franchise has an adequate psychological and emotional theme. Even the enemies you face in the games are representations of the character’s worst fears and deepest desires manifested into freakishly abnormal forms of flesh.

The gloomy and foggy town of Silent Hill seems to absorb the emotional baggage and psychological traumas of the characters that wander and are lost in this quaint little town.

Imagine starting the game and seeing a warning that the game plays you as much as you play it. It even uses the gathered information to create your own personal nightmare.

It is a strategy geared not only to lure players into Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, it is also an intelligent approach for its AI to take into account all the actions you have made during gameplay. A scary mix of horror and psychology. The AI can do minute changes such as cut scenes, prevent or allow you to access areas depending on the choices you make throughout the game and how NPC’s would react to your character.

It even defines how the game ends.

I am yet to play and finish all the games in the franchise. As for now, I just got my hands on Silent Hill: Homecoming, which follows the story of Alex Shepherd, a soldier returning from war to his hometown of Shepherd’s Glen. This could bring about a different experience playing the game to know that the playable character is a soldier who is capable in protecting himself at the least. But who knows?

The games in the franchise proved to be complex and in some cases, unpredictable. No wonder it is considered to be one of the best horror games to have ever been developed.