Retro Revisits: Silent Hill

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By Matt Conlin

Okay, so it’s arguable that the PS1 era is “retro” but the system did get released in 1994 in Japanese markets and a year later in the US. That is officially 18 years ago. In about 2 years it hits that solid 20 that will make it a definite retro video game console. Now, the Silent Hill series began in 1999. Growing up I can say that this was definitely one of the scariest games I have ever played.

Looking back at it I was probably too young to fully appreciate it. Replaying it years later I fully grasp what was going on and then some, and there are several reasons this game is a gem in my collection that I know is a true keepsake. The atmosphere was real dark, the graphics (at the time) were pretty good, and the plot was extremely twisted. I really got caught up in the story and especially the cut sequences. Albeit the dialogue was a tad overacted but I think in terms of nostalgia that makes it endearing. Who can forget the line, “Huh. Radio. What’s going on with that radio?”  Also, the controls had their clunky moments but I like the arsenal provided throughout the game. I still think the game was very engaging as a melee.

This game really made you afraid to play in the dark. Unlike most horror genre video games at the time, which focused on jump scares (i.e. Resident Evil and Dino Crisis) this game really took the time to just creep you the f*** out. It was more about the environment, the sounds, and the assumed unseen fears than the actual enemies. While the other horror games that came out in that decade were great anyway, this one took fear to a different level. It was the game that started it all.


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