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Silent Hill 2
Preview By: Siou Choy
Developer:  Konami
Publisher:  Konami
Genre:  Survival Horror
# of Players:  1
Est. Release:  Q4 2001
Posted:  5-9-01

Fans of Konami's survival horror masterpiece Silent Hill should have good reason to rejoice this fall when Silent Hill 2 is released for the Playstation 2. Fear and claustrophobia reign in the sequel to one of the most fear inducing, plot intensive games available for the Playstation.

As in the original, the story is centered around the mysterious town of Silent Hill. In SH2 you play as James Sanderlund, yet another ordinary Joe who finds himself in receipt of a letter from his wife Mary inviting him to rendezvous at the place they first met -the town of Silent Hill. The only problem is, Mary has been dead for three years!

While each of the two Silent Hill games have their own distinctive storylines, they will, we are assured, in some way tie together to reveal more of the mystery surrounding the town of Silent Hill. Apparently, all of the rather confusing events of the first game will now be explained.

More so than in the original game, the intrepid gamer will have increased freedom to explore the town of Silent Hill, with previously inaccessible sectors of the town open for discovery. The town will be getting a bit of a facelift graphically. According to the development team, some subtle, albeit minor improvements are being integrated into the game design to enhance and effect an increased feeling of claustrophobia and menace. For example, the fog in the game will not look as muddy as in the first Silent Hill, and will have somewhat more of a realistic feel to it. As you walk through the fog, it will actually disperse around you, behaving more in accordance with natural physical law.

Like the first Silent Hill, SH2 will feature multiple endings. This time however, the game designers assure us, the endings will be "less confusing" and "easier for the player to understand".

Gameplay and controls will be similar to the first Silent Hill game, but with the addition of a rotating camera. This could prove to be a nice touch or, as is more likely considering similar usage of this camera technique in 3D platform gaming, a real sore point (can anybody say Tomb Raider? Castlevania 64? How about Spiderman?). Additionally, the game will be making good use of Sony's new "S-Force 3D Sound Library", which apparently will give the game's already eerie sound effects new punch - according to the game designer, "(the gamer) will feel sound from different directions--from the left, right, above, or even below you."  One nice, albeit minor touch is that the gamer will now have the ability to fire at enemies while walking backwards, which provides both a bit of extra convenience and a much needed touch of authenticity in the often static, realism impoverished survival horror genre.


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