I love a good scare, and no one does it better, with that beneath-your-skin sense of freakishness, that eeriness of the unknown along with silence, compared to Konami's Silent Hill team. I really like the sense of atmosphere, the surreal sense of wandering around lost in limbo, the logic puzzles, the NPC grotesques, the obscurity of Pyramid Head. And there's possibly the very freaky instance , in Silent Hill 2, of a talk show host speaking over a broken radio directly to the participant.
So I have wondered why I have hesitated to play this newest one. After finishing it this weekend, then I discovered why. Despite another interesting story (this, obviously, is debatable depending on what level of fan you are), and each one of the key mark characteristics of the series, Silent Hill 4: The Room is neither brilliant nor terrible. Instead, it drops into that weird ether world of limbo, a game that's good in parts and weak in others, leaving you with a sense of just mild satisfaction. It's like waking up with a fantastic hunger into a plate of luke-warm eggs.
Making matters worse is a PC port using the blurriest textures we've seen in years and a few Silent Hill P.T. severe graphical glitches on an GeForce FX 5900-based platform at work and silent hill at home. Even with the most recent official driver set, there appeared to be a large problem with the game rendering the graininess filter. Instead, you got an ugly, transparent overlay. Yet another rig, this one using a Radeon 9800 Pro, had no graphical problems, but all three systems suffered from poor audio syncing. This was most notable about the nVidia method, with dialogue often starting several seconds following the characters' mouths started moving. With a game so heavy on story, it places a damper on things. We must also point out that the game is DVD-only.
While Silent Hill 3 has been in development on PS2, Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET) was concurrently working on Silent Hill 4: The Room for the PS2 and Xbox, the first time they have attempted parallel development. (SH4 premiered in Japan in July.) This year, players will see a few important modifications, with pacing, location, and your relationship with"the area" itself. There are several intriguing, though less significant, alterations in the form of menus, puzzles, and even storage.