In the vast world of video games there are several series that never stray too far from their roots and up until now Silent Hill was one of them. But with the upcoming release of Silent Hill: Book Of Memories the series is going head first into unknown territory - that of the dungeon crawling RPG. I’ll admit it I had my reservations when I walked up to the demo station but let me tell you, it works, it works great.
You play the game from a third person isometric view point similar in style to Diablo. As you explore rooms you will find various pieces of equipment like tools, keys, health packs and weapons to use against the roaming mobs of enemies. Unfortunately the demo I played at E3 did not feature the game’s much vaunted 4-player co-op but, even in single player mode, it’s clear that Silent Hill: Book Of Memories is a must play for any fan of the series.
As I made my way through a series of rooms in what appeared to be an abandoned factory I quickly learned that the best way to survive is to be perfectly prepared for anything. Yes, this does mean looting anything that looks suspicious, but also learning the lay of the land (to plan escapes) and having a good clue of what it is exactly you will be facing. All of this comes together to help make the game genuinely stressful and scary despite it using a viewpoint that doesn’t lend itself all too well to frights.
The game breaks the traditional Silent Hill mold even further by presenting a more ‘campy’ vibe than the games that came before it. While this may not be presented in the game’s visuals, which retain the series' classic horror aesthetic, the story heads in a bold new direction. Featuring ‘classes’ like the punk, goth, and bookworm, it’s clear that this take on Silent Hill is unlike anything you have seen before.
My playthrough of Silent Hill: Book Of Memories was short but after I put the Vita down and really gave it some thought I realised I really liked what the folks at WayForward are putting together here. The game may not echo the past entries in the series very much but what it does bring to the table it does quite well. So don’t be put off by the new style and give Silent Hill: Book Of Memories a chance; I don’t think you will soon forget it.
Silent Hill: Book Of Memories will be releasing on October 1st for the PlayStation Vita.