previews\ May 9, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Silent Hill Origins - PSP - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview 

Konami began their lengthy presentations of new (and now highly anticipated) titles with the game that’s been every survival/horror fan’s mind: Silent Hill. It wasn’t a specific game that was on my mind, per se. I just wanted to see the series continue in a big way. 

When the preview started, I thought to myself, “Wow, a low-end PS3 game.” The graphics were beautiful, even jaw-dropping at times. But they couldn’t hold a candle (or a gun, even) to Metal Gear Solid 4. 

The thing is, situation A doesn’t always lead to answer B. The Silent Hill title I was looking at – Silent Hill Origins – was not a PS3 game. Origins is being developed exclusively for the PSP.  

Once that revelation had been made, I was blown away. I was already intrigued by the music and eerie sound effects, the dingy environments, the creepy images of environments so dead they almost looked like screen captures. Each image left me with an uneasy feeling. Take the introductory scene for example, where a fully-rendered, realistically designed man is the center of attention. The screen zooms in on his creepy eyes, which slowly transition into the room his eyeballs were reflecting. But he couldn’t possibly be near that room. He’s on the road, driving a large truck. All things likely, he has a past in Silent Hill that’s just waiting to be discovered. 

Silent Hill Origins (working title) screenshots

Though every ounce of footage appeared to be real-time, no actual gameplay footage was presented. Everything came from a portion of the gameplay, or from one of the many real-time sequences that will be implemented in the final version. 

The music, I must say, is blowing me away. It’s a mixture of everything we know and love, including variations of the themes used in the Silent Hill movie (which, after a second viewing, has immersed me in its world even more than the first time). A new male vocalist has been brought on board for the main theme, assuming what we heard is the main theme. That has been the case with the previous Silent Hill titles. I don’t see any reason why Konami would stop their tradition now. 

Thus far we don’t know the origins of Origins, except that its story will go back before the first game’s events. How did Alessa come to inflict pain on this witch-hunting town? What role did The Order play? How did Silent Hill evolve into the town that we’ve seen in the previous games? Konami says we will not get answers to all of our questions. We will, however, receive the historical content regarding the disturbing events that have occurred at this town over the years. 

Silent Hill Origins (working title) screenshots

That man in the truck, by the way, is Travis. He’s a lonely man, and though I’m sure he hated being alone, he should have appreciated it while it lasted. Soon he’ll be sucked into Silent Hill’s grasps, meeting up with familiar characters (Dhalia, Alessa, Dr. Kaufman, etc.…and dozens of gruesome, unforgiving creatures. 

The camera perspective, Konami says, will be suited to the PSP’s screen ratio. Cinematic moments convert the controls for specific scenarios. Will this be anything like Resident Evil 4’s action command? Apparently you’ll be able to perform various attack and dodge moves that are otherwise unavailable, just by watching the scene and pressing button(s). 


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