This is a pre-completion review, and I really hesitate to do it. But after completing three large stages in this game, I think I have a good sense of how it is, and I don’t think it’s going to be drastically changing anytime later in the story. So here’s my thoughts on Silent Hill: Origins thus far:
Origins has been given decent praise for being very similar to the first SH. After The Room’s criticism, the developers pretty much went back to the basics: There are creepy, dark environments. There is a flashlight which you can switch off to nervously avoid monsters. There is great music throughout the whole game. The monsters are sinister and weird and make freaky noises. There are puzzles that have you wandering around the same places over and over, but never get mundane. There is a map. There is a hell-version of each map. There are freaky bosses. There is silence in the town… These are all good things. Origins is the original Silent Hill experience, for the most part. But there’s something missing isn’t there??? It definitely feels like it…
What is missing is the creativity and special something that ALL the other games in the franchise had! Even SH:1 had more of the scary spark than Origins. Let me provide a few examples of what I’m talking about:
Let’s start with SH:2. Holy crap, this game is freaky and disturbing in some very creative ways! Like in the hospital, when the game show host starts ranting at James in the elevator, and in the prison when you hear footsteps in the big room but no one is there, and pretty much every moment in the apartment when the red pyramid thing shows up… In SH:3, there was that very original moment where Heather’s reflection in the mirror starts decaying… Even SH:1 has some moments that break out of the ordinary, like when you go into a random room of the hospital, find there’s nothing there, attempt to leave, then hear a loud bang right before you open the door… It’s stuff like that that makes this franchise really great instead of just great.
Origins gave us the minimum aspects so that it could still be called a SH game. It went nowhere further than that. That is my main criticism of it. It just feels like the creators lost their steam and put together something decent. But, the franchise up to that point had been far beyond decent.