Arslan Khan is from Pakistan with high ambitions to achieve his goals in life. He is a freelance writer. Writing articles is his passion.
When you think of psychological horror games, the first game that would come to your mind is “Silent Hill”. Silent hill series changed the horror genre of video games. Few video games are capable of giving the audience a sense of unease and Silent Hill just does that. Silent Hill's story begins with the very first game way back in 1999. Original Silent Hill game was released for PlayStation and was an instant success. Gaming fans all across the world liked the relationship between father and daughter, and the ghostly abandoned town of Silent Hill. Somehow, Climax Studio decided to make a re-imagining of the original game and the result was, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a re-imagining of the very first game of the series, Silent Hill. This game is a psychological thrilling nightmare in itself. The game opens with a warning: “This game psychologically profiles you as you play. It gets to know who you really are, then uses its information to change itself, it uses its knowledge against you, creating your own personal nightmare. The game plays you as much as you play it.”
The game is set in a different universe from the original Silent Hill, including the characters, locations, relations, and main story. The same quest for Harry Mason to find his daughter in the fictitious town of Silent Hill, but this time in a different universe. The story plot is changed and original characters are also altered. The game provides you with five different endings, first-person sessions of psychotherapy with psychiatrist Michael Kaufmann, and a whole new gruesome journey of Harry Mason in the dark cold world of Silent Hill. Psychotherapy sessions are key to the progression of the story. You will have to answer the question and the focus of the game will change according to your answers. Shattered Memories’ re-imagined plot received praise from the reviewers.
Same But New Fictional World:
Shattered Memories take place in the cold blue world of Silent Hill. The game is draped in darkness, with Harry’s light only thing that can help you to navigate. It is the same old town of the original game with the same locations but different settings. The story of the game also starts with a car accident as in the original game. Some notable changes are made. Alchemilla is now moved to a different street. Some of the Alchemilla layouts is also changed. The connecting streets are also put into separate locations. The map of the ice-cold world also has been changed a little bit. Shattered Memories give you a chance to relive classic Silent Hill from a different perspective. Old school is there to explore. Abandoned houses can be visited throughout the game.
Many old characters are altered but they retain some of their old traits, as Nurse Lisa Garland is a generous soul, Cybil Bennet is a good cop but also can be sexy as according to your made choices, Dahlia is a drug addict who runs away from her past, and Michelle Valdez is a new character and its sexual approach towards you can also be changed. If you would often stare at nude pictures, you will get a red hot sexy Michelle Valdez. Besides all this, Dr. Kaufmann is a key character as he explores your personality through his questions. The first-person camera angle gives you face to face interaction with Dr. Kaufmann which creates an impressive atmosphere. Your encounters with these characters bring back some old memories of 1998, but to some extent.
"Aren't all psychiatrists supposed to be obsessed with sex?"
— Dr. Michael Kaufmann
Old gameplay is changed with new nightmare sequences. Shattered Memories is the first installment to remove any kind of combat, it makes confrontations with enemies more intense. Nightmare sequences are the maze-like environments in which bubble faced monsters chase you and you have to escape from a nightmare as soon as possible. Some reviewers criticized the game for frustrating nightmare sequences, and lack of danger in the outside world. You can’t be harmed in Shattered Memories if nightmare sequences are not being played. It is the least scary game of the Silent Hill series.
Harry’s phone plays an important role in the game. It will help you in finding clues and solving puzzles. You can dial any phone number on phone but numbers that are found on posters, billboards, and signs would be reachable. The phone’s camera is a key feature here as you can take pictures and uncover the truth through it. Pictures can be saved in gallery and voice recordings can be heard from the phone. The phone is important as it gives information about your past and helps to join your shattered memories. Lack of combat presents awful gameplay but for some audience, it is a completely new experience to explore the grim world of Silent Hill.
That's All Folks!
Shattered Memories bring back familiar feelings to great effect. The soundtrack is awesome. It lends the game unique feelings of despair and sadness. New gameplay is fun and mostly sluggish because of glitches. New cell phone mechanics are neat and some Easter eggs also can be found by dialing numbers. The cool thing is that every number yields some kind of output.
The environment is filled with great details and uncovers Harry’s hidden memories. Shattered Memories masterfully blends its soundtrack with fantastic environment design and it puts players in shoes of Harry’s loneliness. It is not the scariest installment because your life is only endangered when nightmare sequences are playing. It is not better or worse than other games in the series, it’s just different. You don’t play the game, the game just plays you. It creates your own personal nightmare. Its abstract story will take some twisted turns that you wouldn’t expect. Be careful with the choices you make, they will come back to haunt you.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories may not be the strongest game in the series but its emotional storytelling about acceptance and guilt make it a remarkable entry. Much like older entries of series, it tackles with much complex and unique themes in its own way. It is about accepting reality and move on. Because the other side of life is more beautiful than you think.
This game was released for Wii and PSP but later a port was also released for PS2.
© 2020 Muhammad Arslan Khan