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Silent Hill 4: The Room
Preview By: Siou Choy
Developer:  Konami
Publisher:  Konami
Genre:  Survival Horror
Est. Release:  September 2004
Posted:  4-20-04

Silent Hillís back, and itís not even Halloween.  Yep, the cult favorite horror series continues yet again with a somewhat offbeat entry, Silent Hill 4: The Room.  Unlike the last 2 entries, SH4 will be released simultaneously this fall on the Xbox and PS2.  Newbies who missed out on prior Silent Hill entries should be glad to know that this latest installment will be independent of all previous games in the series.


Silent Hill 4: The Room will have you playing the part of Henry Townsend, who finds himself trapped in his own apartment, with no way outÖat least until he discovers a mysterious portal in (of all places) his bathroom.  Left with no choice, Henry braves the fumes and passes through the portal with a resounding flush (just kidding) in hopes of escaping the apartment.  Instead, however, the portal leads to an alternate world that includes a forest, prison, and hotel (damn, with all that growth, he must never clean the place).

To keep things interesting, Konami has added a new element to gameplay: gamers will utilize two different viewpoints in the course of the game, switching between a first and third person perspective depending on the situation.  A greater emphasis has been placed on action this time around - there are some monsters that can actually attack you through walls.  Thankfully, for longtime Silent Hill fans, theyíve improved the controls to compensate.  As usual, there will be several puzzles to solve and several shocks for your heart to withstand.

Also continuing are the gritty, scary, well-animated graphics, adding to the psychological malaise and deep proddings of fear that have defined the seriesí approach.  Whereas Resident Evil is out for the cheap Hollywood slasher-style scare, Silent Hill is more European and Lovecraftian in style: out to unsettle, playing tricks with your mind, leaving you seeing things in the shadowy corners of the room.

Fans of some serious scares (or for that matter, fans of the bathroom as the central focus of a plot) can look forward to Silent Hill 4: The Room when itís released later this year.

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