Previews

Silent Hill V

New developers, same old ideas. Will SH lose its magic?

With the departure of original designers Team Silent (now, sadly, disbanded) the Silent Hill series has two options - capture the spirit of the originals or lose the magic completely. And that's the cross American developers The Collective have to bear, with only composer and part-time producer Akira Yamaoka remaining from the original team.

And we're concerned. The monster designs have none of the subtle, terrifying ambiguity of old, and look a bit 'Clive Barker' being a clumsy collection of fleshy blobs and legs.

And the story, the tale of a war veteran named Alex Sheppard returning from a tour of duty and being drawn into a twisted world of psychological terror and bizarre creatures, is plundered directly from cult horror flick Jacob's Ladder.

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The developers say the game's going to be more like Silent Hill 2, failing completely to understand that the SH series was so consistently interesting because of its plethora of new ideas and obscure concepts. Just because SH2's the best in the series to date doesn't mean we want more of the same.

With such a rich, unique mythology to draw from, we expected something disturbingly original, not another traipse through rusty, wheelchair-lined hospital corridors. Although we do like the new 'wound' physics that show you - in grizzly detail - the moment lead pipe meets head.

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