Title: Silent Hill 4: The Room
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Date Published: 06/17/04(JP), 09/07/04(NA), 09/17/04(EU)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, XBOX, PC
ESRB Rating: Mature: Intense Violence , Blood and Gore

When I was obtaining my copy of Silent Hill 4: The Room, for the xbox, I had not read a single review of the game, nor heard anything about it. I was not a "survival horror" enthusiast by any means, and was simply picked the only game that I hadn't already played. I wasn't sure what to expect by any means. The only things I knew for sure were:

  • It was going to be fairly dark. Based on the cover.
  • 'Silent Hill' was something that ties this game together with three others.
  • It was going to involve a room.

I found out that this would be my first experience into the wonderful world of survival horror gaming. The game has many strong points which allowed me to fall inlove with the genre, despite being one of the genres lesser games.

The first thing you notice when you play this game is an amazing sense of 'what the hell is going on here?' The game starts out with one of Henry Townshend's frequent nightmares. We enter a first person view, and explore a decrepit, rusty room, which happens to be quite similar to Henry's room. We enter Henry's confused mind, and realize that he isn't doing too great. We learn that these dreams have been going on for five days, the same number of days he has been locked in his apartment. With his door chained from the inside, and the outside world blocked off from him, Henry starts to find more and more strange things happening to him, and wondering just how on earth he can get out of his home.

The plot, which I will not reveal involves some disturbing ideas, and one of the more twisted stories I have seen. The plot moves very well, with interesting characters, and curious timing. There are some parts, however, that are over the top, in which you will find your self losing the true realism of the Silent Hill series, and fall into some crazily obscure trains of thought. The only other concern I have is that the game play had to do for the first few hours until the plot began to pick up.

The thing that really kept me going for the first few hours was the art. The beauty of the game is astounding. The first few scenes in the apartment, while you play in the first person really show you exactly why this game is still up there with the other Silent Hill titles. The art is out of this world, from the perfectly-lit environments and excellent, "digital actors." The game uses new, interesting ways to create a sense of fear and confusion, instead of rehashing the same ideas used in previous games. The problem however, is that the game isn't as scary

"For every old horror, there's a new giant, wriggling umbilical cord pulsating not too far away."

For the fans of the series who truly enjoy the gruesome creatures which have existed in all the Silent Hill games, or those of you who have a two headed baby fetish, this game is for you. The same disturbing image will haunt you for nights, as you fight some hellish and disturbing monsters.

The combat system includes a new circular meter for melee attacks, which is a nice improvement to the Silent Hill 3 game engine. The main problem I had with the games combat system was that it is nearly impossible to play the game with a gun. The main reason behind this is that you cannot combine bullets in your inventory, so your inventory will quickly become full. Because of this, the game is extremely time consuming, with constant changes which need to be made to your gun to continue to work.

This is a great game, despite some complaints. If you are looking for a really scary game, this isn't for you, however if you are looking for a fun, errie, dark game which will keep you going, definitely look into Silent Hill 4: The Room.

On a more serious note, if you really do have a two headed baby fetish, please get help instead of buying this great game.