Stolen Pixels

Stolen Pixels
Stolen Pixels #45: New and Improved!

Shamus Young | 9 Dec 2008 12:40
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Double Helix, the team behind Silent Hill Homecoming, is the latest in a long line of developers who wishes they were working on God of War instead of whatever game they're supposed to be working on.

It's pretty hard to lose yourself in a bizarre mystery world of suspense and subtlety when you've got quicktime events leaping up and down in front of you like a yappy Chihuahua. Even more immersion-smashing are the moments when messages flash on the screen, "Achievement unlocked: You just walked across the room! Aren't you clever?", which happens about every five minutes. It's like having Bob Barker shout, "A NEW CAR!", right in the middle of the shower scene in Psycho. It feels gaudy and out-of-place.

Having said that, it's not a bad game. Alex is certainly a more compelling protagonist than world-class drooler Travis Grady of Silent Hill: Origins. There's nothing wrong or broken about Homecoming. (Other than the way they botched the controls.) It's fun and the monsters are creepy and the rooms are spooky. Everything is perfect until a fight breaks out and it switches gears to a flashy fighting game with clumsy controls and a capricious camera.

You could do worse. They could have done better. Call it a wash.

Shamus Young is a programmer and writer by trade, videogame nitpicker by inclination. If you have the patience for more of his ramblings, they can be found at ShamusYoung.com.

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