Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silent Hill Book of Memories, spooky thoughts about a surprisingly good game

The demo you can now download on PSN (in Europe) gives a decent hint as to what's to come with this Vita exclusive. And, having played through it a couple of times, I think the developers are onto something good. The first scene looks typical Silent Hill with a mystery mail man and a mystery parcel that turns out to be the Book of Memories.

The bulk of the (demo) game though feels like a cross between Alien Breed, Gauntlet (or at least it will be in multiplayer mode) and those arcadey Bard's Tale PS2 games. Instead of creeping from room to room, you stride from room to room wielding a decent array of weapons and whacking anything that moves from demonic pigs, dogs and flying beasties to some chunky zombie-types.

Picking up health, solving the odd light puzzle, watching the mystery TV spots and juggling your ad hoc arsenal are all done at pace, keeping you on track through the slightly mazy levels. There's a main mission and loads of boxes to tick in the book.

However, tucked away in the menus are hints and suggestions that the full game will be a modestly deeper experience with different weapons to suit different targets, a need to repair and cherish your most potent tools and the collection of enough experience to make the changes that will affect the Book, which is an unfinished story of your life.

The demo doesn't give away how you'll change the book, but with puzzles and the odd room that gives you a bit more of the traditional Silent Hill experience, this game (Which I think many had doubts about), could be a bit of a hit.

With the full power of the Book to come and the challenge of multiplayer against some, hopefully, truly monstrous enemies, this certainly plays like a game with potential, even if it isn't true Silent Hill at its core. Take any of those games mentioned earlier and drop some SH memes in it, and that feels closer to the truth, with short bursts of play and rapid series of challenges, suited to the Vita.

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