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Silent Hill 4: The Room

17 June 2004
Silent Hill 4: The Room - cover art
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499 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#758 All-time
#49 for 2004
A distraught apartment resident named Henry Townsend notices strange things happening to the apartment around him, and as his isolation and paranoia worsens by the day, Henry's surroundings seem to worsen accordingly.
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Title
Silent Hill 4: The Room is the wildcard of the Silent Hill franchise, and considering the series is synonymous with being bizarre and disorienting, that’s quite the achievement. Silent Hill 4 is also the swansong of the original lineup of Silent Hill titles made by Team Silent before each team member defected elsewhere and international developers outsourced the series. In retrospect, Silent Hill 4 is a sentimental treasure that marked the last of something authentic in the series before it was subjected to a smattering of derivative releases that failed to capture Silent Hill's original, horrific magic. At the time, Silent Hill 4 facilitated nothing but contention among Silent Hill fans, with one side arguing that Team Silent should’ve closed its doors after Silent Hill 3. Silent Hill 4 had the opposite dilemma that Silent Hill 3 faced: The latter relied on too much familiarity from the first game, while the former deviated from the familiar series tropes too drastically. Silent Hill 4 is so disjointed that it feels as if Team Silent were developing a new IP and someone at Konami’s offices told them to slap the Silent Hill brand label on it to garner more sales revenue, tweaking the final product with recognizable properties before its release. Fans like myself wanted something narratively unconventional like Silent Hill 2, but Silent Hill 4 tends to overstep the series' confines into avant-garde territory. As alien as Silent Hill 4 tends to be, at least it’s what makes the game interesting.

Shockingly, the most substantial deviation that Silent Hill 4 makes is almost omitting the town of Silent Hill entirely. Usually, I’d be thrilled to see a series retreat from its familiar stomping grounds, but Silent Hill is an entirely different beast compared to The Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule. Besides being the series namesake, Silent Hill is the main character of the series and the only recurring one as well. Silent Hill 2 established the town as the recurrent protagonist, highlighting its supernatural powers as a haven for a limitless amount of harrowing possibilities. Silent Hill 3 seemingly averted from the town at first, but Heather eventually returned to the zenith point of its horrific emissions after taking a diminished helping of it with her through the streets of Portland, Maine. Both sequels take radically different directions, but the town still demands its place as the center of attention. Silent Hill 4’s inclusion of the town is fairly minimal, resorting to lore buildings to retain some sense of interconnectivity. Wiping the slate clean and only referencing the town of Silent Hill in a mainline Silent Hill game may seem blasphemous, but I’ll allow it. Conventions shouldn’t bog down an atypical series like Silent Hill. Two different Silent Hill protagonists have trekked through the same hospital on two separate occasions, so perhaps it’s time to tread new ground before the developers are forced to expand the area of Silent Hill to the mammoth proportions of a major metropolis like London or Tokyo. Doing so would compromise the quaint, remote scope of the town.

Instead, Silent Hill 4’s primary setting is Ashfield, a town as uninteresting as its generic, every-American town name would imply. The town is cloudy and dismal, but only on the scale of real-life cities like Seattle or Cleveland instead of acting as the murky base of a haunting, hellish atmosphere that Silent Hill exudes. At least, I can deduce this from the small fraction I can see of it. Ashfield is not a fractured concrete field for the player to navigate like the Silent Hill hub from the previous games. Rather, it’s merely the zip code of the protagonist's apartment. Henry Townshend, this game’s unfortunate bastard plucky hero, lives in a dinky, one-bedroom apartment in Ashfield’s downtown district: the “room” alluded to in the title. His existence is made even more meager because he cannot physically leave his apartment, with only a few nearby acquaintances expressing only slight curiosity about his whereabouts. Some mysterious force keeps poor Henry under house arrest, with enough locks and chains on his front door to cage in a gorilla with some effective soundproofing to boot. His only viable methods of seeing the outside world is through peering outside his windows like in Rear Window or voyuering through the peepholes in his front door and a weathered spot in his living room wall. Silent Hill 4’s premise attempts to replicate something known in the film world as a “bottle movie.” The term is defined as a film that mostly takes place in a single setting whose strengths rely on dialogue and mood in lieu of the inherent lack of action. Over time, the sole setting becomes as central as any of the people in it through its persistence of being the only foreground. Not only does the cramped “bottle movie” format help the game achieve that oppressive Silent Hill atmosphere, but the player becomes all too familiar with Henry’s apartment after repeated visits. The first-person perspective shift in the apartment also aids in evoking a sense of intimacy, a brilliant way to increase the player’s immersion in the setting. The residence may not be on the streets of Silent Hill, but the atmosphere has been effectively translated. It almost makes Silent Hill 3’s reversion back to the town seem like a cop-out.

Of course, executing something of a “bottle movie” in a video game would be downright boring, so Silent Hill 4 finds a way to give the player more legroom without sacrificing the intended feeling of claustrophobia. Henry’s only mobile outlet outside the confines of his roomy prison is a hole in his bathroom with a diameter wide enough to burrow through, a sure-fire sign that Henry is not getting his security deposit back. It's like Being John Malkovich, but instead of co-piloting the consciousness of an A-list Hollywood actor at the end of the tunnel, Henry finds himself in the pits of Silent Hill. In each setting Henry arrives at after journeying through the hole’s tight crevices, there is only one other person around who isn’t an enemy. They’ll either follow Henry like a dog looking for an exit or pop up occasionally when least expected. However, none of these people survive as they are brutally murdered with methods so eclectic that Dr. Phibes would be impressed. Their deaths signal the end of the levels as Henry wakes up in a confused stupor thinking that it was all a dream. Suspiciously, the people that die in Henry’s “dreams” die in real life with serial numbers etched into their bodies to lead the Ashfield police department into a murder conspiratorial goose chase. While the cops try their best to wrap their heads around who could’ve committed these murders, only Henry can apprehend the Freddy Krueger figure.

A series like Silent Hill should subvert people’s expectations. Still, the unorthodox premise and setting of Silent Hill 4 seem incongruous enough to make even the most open-minded of Silent Hill fans apprehensive. Fortunately, Team Silent sprinkles in traces of familiarity to keep the fans from writing it out of the series canon. For one, Henry is such a fitting protagonist for the series, for better or worse. His total aloofness and scrawny, everyman disposition exemplify the archetypal protagonist of the series so well that it verges on parody. Heather’s emotive capacity resembling normal human reactions was too lifelike for Team Silent, so they regressed by making the next game’s protagonist a bachelor-era version of her dad. Like Harry before, Harry seems only slightly puzzled by what is happening around him. Being ensnared in his apartment and its harrowing implications, plus the expanding hole in his bathroom where audible weeping is often heard, only makes Henry tilt his head in confusion like a German Shepherd. Many argue that he lacks personable charisma and is the most useless protagonist across the four Team Silent-developed games, and they’d be correct. However, after four games, one can’t deny that Henry epitomizes the schmuck-like essence we’ve come to associate the protagonists of the series with to a capital T.

Silent Hill 4 connects itself with the previous games in the franchise mostly through lore. Walter Sullivan is a notorious serial killer whose brief mention in a Silent Hill 2 journal can be missed in a blink of an eye. In Silent Hill 4, Walter’s role has been elevated to the responsibility of connecting the game with its predecessors. The readable passage found in the journal states that Walter committed suicide in his prison cell by crudely stabbing himself in the neck with a spoon. Because of this, the Ashfield police force is grievously concerned that Walter’s death has been prematurely declared, and he’s on the loose again. Either that or a copycat killer has taken his place and is finishing what he started. One might think the Ashfield police are paranoid, but there is a clear indication that their deduction might not be that farfetched. A message inside Henry’s front apartment door says, “don’t go out,” signed by Walter in blood. The supernatural mystery element hasn’t been present in Silent Hill since the second game and is an aspect of Silent Hill 4 that elevates its intrigue.

A doofus protagonist and placing an obscure lore character in the limelight is essentially the extent of Silent Hill 4’s connectedness to the rest of the series. Everything else in Silent Hill 4 that is reminiscent of Silent Hill’s properties and foundation feels off-puttingly askew. In his apartment, Henry might gingerly traipse around in the first-person perspective. Once he crawls through the hole, the places in which he finds himself reorient everything back to the third-person perspective along with the rigid controls the series is known for. Silent Hill 4’s “dream” areas outside of Henry’s apartment would be the equivalent of the “dungeons” seen in the other games: buildings and other similar establishments with multiple floors that offer a course of consecutive objectives that will eventually lead to an end goal, inspired by Resident Evil and also The Legend of Zelda to a lesser extent. I’d be hard-pressed to refer to these areas in the same breath as the “dungeons” from the previous games because their designs resemble nothing of the richly layered dungeon areas we’ve been familiarized with. Silent Hill 4’s areas are as if the developers took the areas of the previous three games and put them in a microwave, warping their foundation and thus compromising their stark structure. Many of these levels are more free-flowing, with the vast majority of doors and passageways open to the player instead of most of them being permanently blocked off. In the previous games, the few accessible portions of the dungeons signal the player to keep note of its contents. When the player can enter and exit most rooms willy-nilly, it’s anyone’s guess where the key items could be and what to do with them. I particularly dislike the sections where Henry has to return to his apartment and perform a task to progress in a level because it’s incredibly unclear. It breaks the rationale of the dream-reality dichotomy the levels and the apartment should have. Can Henry seriously believe these are dreams when he can consciously return to them with something he retrieved from the real world or is he that fucking dense? The developers attempted to capture that abstract Silent Hill progression with new features and practices, but it’s far too unhinged in execution. At the same time, the decreased amount of layers to these levels dilutes the Silent Hill design too drastically. That, and the sequential order of levels with titles like “Subway World, Forest World, Water Prison World, etc.” makes them feel jarringly “video-gamey,” like children pretend-playing “Super Mario” around their hometown.

The atmosphere is a crucial element of any exemplary Silent Hill title. An authentic one should carry an aura of dread, despair, and a level of varying tension around every corner. Silent Hill 4 establishes a sense of unease with the apartment premise, and the dingy levels are certainly Silent Hill-esque. However, Silent Hill 4 does not deliver the same caliber of dirge and grotesquery compared to the previous games. I’d comment that the “otherworld” is another Silent Hill staple that has also been redacted, but I suppose the levels on the other side of the hole act as an alternate dimension in principle. Bloody viscera no longer drapes over the fleshy walls, and the architecture isn’t supported by sterile, jet-black industrial steel. Each level in Silent Hill 4 merely persists at a standard base of intensity that one would expect to become progressively more surreal and horrific, judging from the examples set by the previous games. The game has its standout moments, like the giant head found in the hospital, but it does not compare to the freakishly twisted “otherworld” that we are accustomed to. Silent Hill 4 even omits the flashlight because every level is accommodatingly lit. Considering this is a game from the same series that made people start drinking espresso at night because they were too scared to fall asleep, the visuals are kind of lame.

The developers still try to remind the player that while Silent Hill 4 makes plenty of offbeat decisions, it is still a bonafide survival horror experience. To emphasize this notion, Silent Hill 4 borrows the limited inventory space similar to that seen in the early Resident Evil titles. While limiting the player’s inventory space is intended to make the game feel tenser, I’ve stated before that this practice is only irritating and tedious whenever a game does this. Silent Hill 4 is no different. Items are placed more generously compared to the scarce encounter rate of Silent Hill 3. Still, the limited inventory system often makes finding items inconvenient. Every item, from the healing items, key items, weapons, ammunition, etc., takes up an individual spot in an inventory that totals 8-10 individual items without ever expanding. Not even the primitive system from the first Resident Evil game made the player hold each magazine of bullets in multiples of ten, so Silent Hill 4’s incorporation of it is more of a regression than a homage. The rationale of the limited inventory system on the part of the developers is most likely that Henry can easily return to his apartment by reentering the smattering of holes located around each level and reorganizing his arsenal via the chest storage unit. Due to the plentiful amount of items and keys strewn across each level, they will be forced to retreat into the whole for an inventory dump a nauseating amount of times, compromising the rift of surrealness between the levels and the apartment even further.

Fortunately, Henry will never need too many items on hand most of the time because the game is by far the easiest of the Silent Hill games developed by Team Silent. The game might be a bit roundabout and nebulous, but the player won’t have much to worry about while scrambling through the levels. The new health system is one main aspect Silent Hill 4 adjusts might attribute to its greater sense of ease. As I’m sure any Silent Hill fan would recall, the previous games displayed the protagonist’s health in the pause menu with colors that signified the approximate level of health the player had, ranging from a healthy green/blue to a ruinous red. Henry’s health is instead exhibited across the top left corner of the screen with a lengthy health bar with the same color pallets. Henry also must have been a varsity athlete in his youth (or he’s too dumb to properly register pain) because he’s the most resilient of the Silent Hill protagonists when it comes to taking damage. Any gnawing at his legs from the Sniffer canines or a mighty bitch slap from the abominable Repulsion-like Wall Men or the cloaked Twin Victims only reduces a sliver of Henry’s health. Henry hardly has to use either of his two firearms because the array of melee weapons will beat most enemies into submission with little difficulty, and he can charge up a swing with any of these weapons for a one-hit KO. It’s refreshing after dealing with the enemies in Silent Hill 3, who were as durable as demonic cockroaches. If all of the middling damage Henry endures starts to accumulate and turns his health bar less-than-blue, don’t bother freeing up an inventory slot by consuming a health drink (sorry, “nutrition drink.” Is Ashfield Silent Hill’s Shelbyville or something?) Simply backtracking a few yards down and returning to Henry’s apartment via one of the holes will restore all of Henry’s health, for the comfort of reality has healing powers, apparently. The red notebook on the side table in Henry’s living room is also the game’s only save point, but it can be accessed in any revisit from the hole. Everything feels too facile, but don’t get too suckered in as I did.

My declaration that Silent Hill 4 was the easiest Silent Hill title was intentionally misleading. While everything I listed above is true, it was merely a ruse to lull me into keeping my guard down. I’ve never been duped so drastically by a game’s difficulty curve before playing Silent Hill 4, for the second half of this game is the rudest of all rude awakenings I’ve experienced in any video game. As the game progresses, the killings in the murderer’s itinerary get literally too close to home for Henry. A man named Richard from the apartment complex is electrocuted. Shortly after that, the murderer pursues Eileen Galvin, the woman who lives next door, who Henry peeps on from time to time. However, the murderer does a shoddy job with Eileen and merely maims her. Eileen is taken to an obligatory hospital level to treat her grievous wounds, and Henry comes to rescue her and take her to a safe place. If the implications of the last sentence weren’t clear enough, let me spell it out more bluntly: the ENTIRE second half of Silent Hill 4 is an escort mission. Once I realized this, my heart sank into my stomach, and I felt like I was going to be violently ill.

An escort mission that spans an entire half of a game sounds painful enough, but there are so many other factors stacked onto an already terrible idea that make the second half of Silent Hill 4 borderline insufferable. As one could imagine, the inherent vexations of an escort mission are having to support someone who is more vulnerable and does not hold their weight in defense or offense. I suppose there have been worse escorts in gaming than Eileen because at least she can aid in combat with her character-specific weapons. Alas, everything else about her presence feels like Henry has an anchor chained to his ankle. Eileen is fairly weak due to being wounded and cannot run as quickly as Henry. She cannot climb up ladders because of her affliction, forcing the player to take more circuitous routes to accommodate her. She’ll nag at Henry to slow down constantly, but the last time I checked, her leg wasn’t the broken body part. Perhaps the fucking high-heeled shoes she insists on wearing make her handicapped, but I digress. Because Henry will constantly move at a more leisurely pace to oblige Eileen, the game becomes far tenser. The ghosts, the stand-out invincible game's enemies that can only be deterred and not fully vanquished, can no longer be evaded with ease as Eileen dragging her feet behind Henry gives them ample opportunity to kill Henry. In passages with any number of ghosts in the second half, the player will be screaming the title of a Dexy’s Midnight Runners song at the game until their voice is hoarse. Curiously enough, Eileen doesn’t possess an individual health bar. Instead, she had an “insanity meter” that the player cannot interpret. If Eileen is damaged significantly or left alone for too long, she’ll become “cursed, " making her look as bloodied as Carrie White. When she is cursed, she’ll start to damage Henry. After all the criticism RE4 gets for Ashley Graham, it’s a wonder why the same isn’t the case for Eileen in Silent Hill 4. Leon is simply doing his job, but who knows what motivates Henry to endure this grueling escapade? Spoiler alert, Henry: she's not going to fuck you.

To make matters worse, Henry’s apartment no longer heals him after returning from the hole, so stock up on healing items like you’re preparing for a nuclear holocaust. Signaling the second half of the game withdraws the apartment’s healing powers as the entire place is penetrated by vengeful spirits that put the entire place under a curse. Appliances will start acting erratically, like the cabin from Evil Dead II, and getting close will damage Henry more than any enemy could. The only way to combat these curses is by using the holy candle or a saint medallion found in the levels. Even after alleviating these curses, they will still appear periodically, so the curse will never be attenuated entirely. While this process is a chore, it is the most unnerving aspect of the game. All that molly-coddling the room did with healing Henry’s boo-boos was meant to illustrate the comfort people feel in their homes. If invaders defile that sense of security, it’s one of the most distressing terrors someone can experience. Suddenly, the spot that once served as a place of respite is comparatively more hostile than the levels through the hole, and the player feels as if nowhere is safe.

Besides being yet another second-half encumbrance, this marks a pivotal point in the narrative. Silent Hill 4’s The mystery of Henry’s detainment in his apartment and its connection with the game’s antagonist is revealed in disturbing detail. Walter, or his spirit, is indeed the culprit behind the new crop of murders and is finishing the job he started long ago. His methodology for his killings exposes much about his tragic, sordid past. Walter was abandoned by his mother and left to live in an orphanage in Silent Hill, the prison-like “Water Prison” level. Like most prisoners, Walter finds comfort in religion, but no one should seek out the kind of religion Silent Hill is serving. The cult’s teachings lead Walter to the “21 Sacraments,” a cleansing ritual involving the murders of 21 people. In doing this, Walter believes that he will be reunited with Henry’s apartment, who he believes is his birth mother (yeah, it’s weird). Upon returning to Henry’s apartment with Eileen, the game's final level is their apartment complex. It is now a visual representation of how Walter perceives the place as his birth spot, with placenta ooze covering the walls and the sounds of a woman in labor. It’s unsettling, to say the least. Henry is the last intended victim of the murders, so Walter has been preserving him in his apartment like a farmer who keeps livestock before the slaughter. Henry stops Walter as the game’s final (and only) boss, and the few good endings entail a happy ending for Eileen and Harry. However, it’s the worst ending that ironically is the most impactful. Despite defeating him, Walter still succeeds in infiltrating Henry’s apartment if Henry neglects both Eileen and the apartment. The child version of Walter that pops up occasionally lies comfortably on the couch, happy that he has finally reunited with his mom. I think this ending is the more satisfying because it focuses on the most interesting character of the game. We don’t start to condone Walter’s actions, but uncovering his past through the plot and the readable notes definitely makes him a sympathetic villain. His motives are also interesting and connect to the game’s central theme of security, which are intertwined with some compelling Freudian themes we haven’t touched on since Silent Hill 2.


Silent Hill 4: The Room is fucking bizarre, and I can’t make heads or tails of it. The game is an acquired taste for those who seek out the esoteric, and I thought I was one of those people when the retreaded ground of Silent Hill 3 left me slightly unsatiated. After playing it, I am left more bewildered than satisfied. I appreciate Team Silent’s pension for subversion and their attempt to reinvigorate the franchise with creative ideas, but it all falls apart in execution. Silent Hill 4’s gameplay is one big contradiction. Some aspects are far too leisurely while others like the prolonged escort mission are the most punishing the series has ever been. All the while, the level design feels both simplified and knotty. The narrative also doesn’t save the gameplay because the story is just as tangled. My summation of the story only focused on the positives because if I included all of the confusing plot holes that don’t make a lick of sense, this review would be twice its length. It’s all a giant mess. One could argue that I wouldn’t be as critical if the game were a new IP, but this game still feels like a Silent Hill experience. It’s just the first entry in the series that missed its mark with everything except for creative ingenuity. I’ve always argued vociferously that video games should be treated as art, but should the artistic elements of a video game excuse the tawdry gameplay and narrative aspects? Using Silent Hill 4 as an example, I’m not sure I have an answer to that question.
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Erockthestrange 2022-10-28T10:35:22Z
2022-10-28T10:35:22Z
6.5
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SH2's twin sibling
One of the most underrated and unfairly maligned games I've ever played. For years I've heard how disappointed SH fans were by this 4th game, and how it essentially killed the franchise. This is a VERY different game from SH 1-3, but it is still an essential horror experience.

All of the great qualities in the earlier SH games (which were lost in the later western-developed series entries) are present here; the surreal atmosphere, creepy monster designs, and subtle, psychologically complex story. Really SH4 is a companion to SH2; both are David Lynchian odysseys through a character's broken psyche. Interestingly, in SH4, the character whose psyche we journey through is not actually the main character's, but the villains (Walter Sullivan). This is another way in which the formula is shaken up.

SH4 has many objective flaws, but it's redeeming strengths are so great that I'm tempted to rate this as my 2nd favorite SH game behind 2. It's also one of the most influential of the original SH games, having been the obvious progenitor to Hideo Kojima's P.T. (the first-person perspective, emphasis on voyeurism, japanese-style ghosts).
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sam_burgerFan 2022-09-22T13:45:11Z
2022-09-22T13:45:11Z
4.5
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The worst of the best
Silent Hill 1 and 2 are masterpieces. Silent Hill 3 is a great game. Enough has already been said about these I don't need to elaborate much further. Silent Hill 4 however is an interesting case. On paper, some of the mechanics here are super interesting. The room itself is super intriguing and is a highlight of the game as it changes around you. Some of the levels are really well put together and evoke that classic sense of silent hill dread (the hospital, the apartment world, and the water prison are awesome additions to the silent hill universe), but there are a substantial amount of flaws that keep this on the legendary level the first 3 games are on.

For one, the base gameplay is worse. You have this stupid charge system and a weird emphasis on melee combat. Despite this the game is piss easy (I died a single time in my playthrough). The game controls terribly and that's not because of the camera angles but because sometimes the game decides you will not move forward when you push forward. The other silent hill games combat isn't vanquish or dmc but it's serviceable and thematic to the games. It's also genuinely tense at times. Here it felt painfully easy to just run past every enemy and when I didn't it wasn't a challenge. This is also partially because you auto heal every time you go back to the apartment for the first half of the game (a great way of shaking up the pace). The limited inventory is also pointless and forces you back to apartment more often then you should need to. Because of how small it is, it incentivizes using your melee weapon so you basically never get to use your pistol. Oh yeah, one pistol and one revolver which you'll basically just use on the final boss. Why?

Narratively, the story is bland. There's not much to really say past that. Our hero Harry does not have a single identifiable personality trait and our villain Walter just feels like an edgelord out to get you. The idea of the serial killer is really cool and that is reflected really well in some of the levels (orphanage, water prison), but everything else falls really flat. I do really like the notes you get from Joseph as part of the puzzle are pieced together (both for him and yourself).

The enemy design is mostly terrible (ghosts, really?) but there are a couple standouts like the patients and the twin victim (probably one of the all time best monster designs in this series) but you literally get attacked by wheelchairs and bats. They're not scary, just tedious, especially considering the janky combat.

On a more positive note, I really love this game's puzzles. Some of the most interesting and satisfying in the series even if most of them are simple (having puzzle bring you back to the main room is a cool way of making the player explore the apartment on top of progressing).

The areas are a mixed bag. The subway is fairly lame although works well as a first area. The forest area is a joke and although it has cool lore implications, is so easy you can run past every enemy without taking damage without even trying. The water prison is really really cool and the panoptic sense of being watched is really well done. The place is mysterious and the lore implications do well considering it is placed outside of silent hill. This area works well because it is in this game specifically. The building world is probably the worst area of the game. The monkey like enemies are more funny then anything else (and there AI is terrible) and the halls evoke a sense of boredom rather than dread. The apartment world is probably my favorite of the worlds because of how the little stories connect and how you can figure where items are and what happened through peoples notes (and the painting room). The hospital area feels like it was added in because it's a silent hill game but thankfully it's pretty good and it's short presence is partially to thank for this (as well as only visiting it once).

Each area is made way worse on the second visit (except the forest area as Walter is somewhat of a threat here if you don't deal with him). This is for three main reasons. The biggest reason is because Eileen is a terrible companion. She does not move nearly fast enough, gets caught around corners and on enemies and you can't leave her behind too much or you'll get a worse ending (which really doesn't matter, they're all kind of lame). The worst area with her is the water prison which will take you forever to get down that stupid tower because she won't go down the ladder. She adds zero tension because she can't even die, she just gets possessed which leads to the ending where she dies (who cares). Secondly, there are almost no new areas amongst these locations, feels like a slog of a retread. Finally, while Walter's nemesis like design is pretty cool (he actually makes the forest a little more tense and interesting the second time around), he falls flat as he's just a dude in a trench coat with a gun (either then the forest, he works well with the level design here). It doesn't help that it's pretty easy to just beat him up and have him knocked out for a while.

As per the silent hill usual, the music is really good and there's a lot of standout pieces. It's still probably the weakest of the first 4 soundtracks, but it's probably the only place where it's pedestal is just as high as the others.

A few other notes
-Lack of time in Silent Hill sucks
-The gun room is such a lame tease
-Eileen's head is great, as well as the whole second floor of the hospital
-Terrible final boss
-No joke endings is a letdown
-The hauntings are underused and not scary, although I missed some since I played the PC version which doesn't get certain hauntings (and apparently the coolest ones)
-The meters on screen were a mistake

As much as I have dumped on this game, the upsides are genuinely great enough that if you like silent hill this is worth playing. The atmospheric highs are great between the strong moments and the time spent in the Room itself. The lows are often a bore but the concept of this game is too intriguing to not give it a playthrough.
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OGDreamcast 2021-11-09T19:38:41Z
2021-11-09T19:38:41Z
3.0
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The weakest of the original Silent Hill games for me. Unengaging levels and weak music all in the service of a boring story can make playing this game feel like a drag. This draggy feeling is made worse by the fact that you have to repeat all the levels in the game. The selling point of this game is what if a Silent Hill game centered around a serial killer however if you're thinking a Ted Bundy type forget it. Walter Sullivan is actually a rogue cultist whose murders are part of a grand sacrifice.The game tries to make him somewhat sympathetic however in your run ins with him in the game he literally just does the evil guy laugh. Even worse Walter's crimes are dwarfed in game but the systematic torture and killing of children done by the cult. The overall weakness of the characters and plot seemed to encourage the developers to treat the game as a vehicle for various ideas that had that maybe couldn't work in previous games, unfortunately this method I think gives the game less of a strong personality, and even worse a lot of times these ideas weren't implemented well. For example, this game introduced the idea of breakable weapons, which might be interesting if they made all the weapons breakable, adding some more tension to the overall game. However there are perfectly good weapons that do not break, so why use the breakable weapons at all? Overall this game is just kind of boring.
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Occorocco 2021-08-03T03:45:54Z
2021-08-03T03:45:54Z
3.5
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Silent Hill at heart
Given a harsh-deal by fans and critics. This game's better than Silent Hill 3. You really get a succinct demonstration of Team Silent's ability to create disturbing and haunting atmosphere. SH4 is their most condensed and competent product - even if SH2 is undeniably the most brilliant they ever were. Silent Hill 4 stands individual among the original four games, this is because it eschews the familiar formula and pace of the old games that became quite apparent with Silent Hill 3 - which was, honestly, derivative of its predecessors in almost every way.

Instead of creating a sequel which was dressed up to fit in with its series, hampered by a restrictive and convoluted plot, Silent Hill 4 possesses a unique identity that stands alongside this series' first two games in being unconcerned with anything other than conveying the vision of a talented team of game developers and artists.
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Catalog

vaultsquad Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-26T13:08:47Z
2022-11-26T13:08:47Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DirectorBlack Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-25T07:28:14Z
2022-11-25T07:28:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mariana1999 Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-24T06:02:05Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-11-24T06:02:05Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Dest40k Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-22T17:06:37Z
2022-11-22T17:06:37Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
tuabuelaen4_ Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-22T03:56:07Z
2022-11-22T03:56:07Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Barnyscotheque Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-21T13:16:59Z
2022-11-21T13:16:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Xantha_Page Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-21T06:02:37Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-11-21T06:02:37Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
to revisit
ColdVein Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-21T02:24:23Z
PS2 • GB / AU
2022-11-21T02:24:23Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cassio_ Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-20T14:17:17Z
2022-11-20T14:17:17Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nibs_7 Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-19T07:17:19Z
Windows • XNA
2022-11-19T07:17:19Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Stracchino Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-15T15:36:35Z
2022-11-15T15:36:35Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mandoca Silent Hill 4: The Room 2022-11-15T02:48:51Z
2022-11-15T02:48:51Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x DVD
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  • Previous comments (22) Loading...
  • sunshinerecorder 2022-09-11 21:39:36.55874+00
    I don't think there was a game that scared me more than this one. Probably has something to do with staying all alone in a flat in my childhood while my parents were working. People usually find some aspects of it creepy when we discuss it, but I personally was absolutely scared shitless when I first played it.
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  • sunshinerecorder 2022-09-11 21:46:35.048851+00
    Come to think of it, the second part of the game is very P.T.-esque -- lots of weird, uncanny, random shit being thrown at you and being genuinely terrifying. Notorious giant head in a hospital/Eileen's bunny are creepy and all that, but I remember how I saw Walter in the peephole coming up and standing in front of your door in silence and how my heart skipped a couple of beats. That one sound of interacting with a haunting? Just thinking about it makes my blood run cold.
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  • Rosner 2022-09-13 17:25:42.788199+00
    Scariest game of all time. The atmosphere, art direction and "what the fuck" factor are unmatchable. And that E3 2004 extender trailer is one of the best horror experiences in media ever conceived.
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  • _sawdustanddiamonds_ 2022-10-08 18:06:48.091632+00
    the opening cutscene is fuckin terrifying and i love it
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  • _sawdustanddiamonds_ 2022-10-08 18:07:51.129577+00
    but omg the controls here are absolutely miserable. and i say that as a passionate defender of the controls in the first 3 games (and tank controls generally)
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  • Awsomename10 2022-10-26 13:50:33.298513+00
    This game is so interesting and I love how different it is but I'm fairly confident I never want to play it again.
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