Silent Hill Origins

I dread new Silent Hill games as much as I look forward to them. Since its inception on the PlayStation, the series has successfully out-creeped even the most stoic survival-horror fan. So imagine my delight and horror when I was handed Origins, which, like its predecessors, succeeds in the difficult task of frightening the gamer on a cerebral level.

You step into the role of Travis Grady, an easy-going truck driver who's constantly haunted by disturbing visions. He finds himself in Silent Hill after rescuing a girl from a burning house on the outskirts of town and passing out from fatigue in the aftermath. He's wake up in a hospital, and from there, he delves deeper and deeper into the dark depths of the town.

As in past games, there is a certain "real world-alternate world" motif that runs throughout the game and Travis can switch between these realities using any mirror he touches. Longtime fans of the series will notice many locales from previous outings, and the visual style of the series is kept intact here. Everything from the environments to the creatures oozes with the spine-chilling sense of dread that the series is known for.

The game does suffer from a wonky camera, though. It usually works fine but there were times when it would swing into a bad position, making it hard for me to see what was going on. There's also an auto-center option that seem to doesn't work the way it should.

Still, Silent Hill Origins succeeds on so many levels that it will not disappoint fans of the series. It's another solid title in the series and acts as a great preface to the story of later titles. Just be sure to play it with the lights on.

Pros: Impressive graphics. Immersive gameplay will creep the hell out of you.
Cons: Occasional wonky camera, character models could be a bit more detailed.

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