Grab your flashlight because it’s almost time to visit Silent Hill again.
Yes, Konami Digital Entertainment, creators of the original Silent Hill, is looking to have players return to that dreadful place in the upcoming Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
Due out in October, Shattered Memories will be a reimagining of the first Silent Hill.‚ With this in mind, though some general aspects of the game may seem familiar (man looking for his daughter in a mysterious town, etc), Shattered Memories should play like a completely different experience thanks to its development for the Wii console.
Helping nurture this “completely different experience” was the developers’ idea to customize each game for every player.‚ This is accomplished through a number of in-game mediums.‚ The first method used is a psychological survey in which a series of questions are asked about the player.‚ These questions can as impersonal as how easily the player makes friends, to something as forward as how much does the player enjoy role-playing during sex.‚ Each question plays a role in how the game plays out later.‚ For instance, when the player is asked if they have ever cheated on a partner and says “yes”, the game will feature more provocative clothing on some characters (ex: the female police officer will show more cleavage, etc).‚ When taking this survey during an exclusive demo in Konami’s offsite event at Comic-Con, I felt like it could have been legitimate.‚ Though it was short in length, the survey seemed to be personal enough to be a psychological analysis, but distanced enough to be tolerable in a mature video game.
The Shattered Memories gameplay also helps further customize a player’s experience.‚ Using the Wii Remote to control the flashlight, the in-game computer monitors how often a player will stop to admire certain paintings or points of interest in the environment.‚ The game will also keep track of how quickly or tentatively a player will “peek” through a doorway before entering a room.‚ All of these aspects (and possibly more that we don’t even know about) will be constantly watched by the game, making every play and replay of Shattered Memories unique.‚ Sadly, however, my demo was too short to be able to appreciate most of the customization features that were in store for me.
What’s great about Shattered Memories’s gamplay (besides the fact that it is constantly monitored), is the fact that it really helps promote the overall creepy feel to the game.‚ Developed as a third-person adventure game, Shattered Memories really captures the loneliness of the main character.‚ Armed with nothing but my (lack of wit) and a flashlight, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness during my entire hands-on experience.‚ Also, as mentioned in an earlier paragraph, players must “peek” through every door they want to enter to check if the room is safe.‚ Gamers will have the choice of either slowly opening each door to prevent unnecessary attacks, recklessly entering every room with little regard for their safety, or doing something in-between.‚ This peeking feature was especially affective with me because I take a very conservative approach when it comes to these types of games.‚ Well played, Konami.
Shattered Memories gameplay is also fairly simple.‚ Walking around is as simple as moving the joystick on the Wii Nunchuk, while shining the flashlight, as mentioned earlier, requires players to point the Wiimote at the screen.‚ With the simplicity of the controls and sophistication of the Wii’s technology, making a Silent Hill game for Nintendo’s current console seems like a no-brainer now.‚ Again, well played.
Overall, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories looks like it’s going to be a pretty solid game.‚ The gameplay was fun, the customization is fantastic and the title is a perfecft fit for the Wii.‚ Though I wasn’t able to enjoy all of the customization that Shattered Memories had to offer during my demo at Comic-Con, the details the devs gave me and the excitement they showed make me a believer of this feature.‚ I know how much fun the Wii can be, but now I’m excited to see how thoroughly it can scare the crap out of me with the release of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, dropping this fall.
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