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Silent Hill: Origins

Released on 16 November 2007

Rating: 15+ (BBFC)

4.0 out of 5 (23 customer reviews) | Write a review

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If you've ever wondered just how the town of Silent Hill became the eerie mess that has been seen over four previous Silent Hill games, then this new PSP title will reveal all, set as a prequel to the events that have been before.

This dedicated PSP title copes beautifully with creating the creepy feel of Silent Hill and will keep players engrossed from start to finish with the well crafted storyline, the range of enemies and puzzles to solve as well as the haunting soundtrack composed by the legendary composer Akira Yamaoka, responsible for the musical score on all of the other titles. The game follows Travis Grady, a truck driver who has become stranded in Silent Hill. Naturally, he has a few of his own demons to contend with and throughout the course of the game, both his and the town's secrets come to the fore.

The gameplay is still classic Silent Hill - but with tweaks and additions created specifically for the PSP. Players can now lock onto enemies to attack and will also find the control scheme changing intuitively for each situation. Players also utilise an enhanced camera designed with the PSP in mind, as well as an updated control method for more detailed exploration of the environment. There are now 'Cineractive' element where players have to hit buttons as prompted to escape enemies that have triggered the cinematic sequences.

The further into the game players get, more weapons become available plus more and more items from the surroundings can be used - however overuse of items causes them to break and wear down, which could leave players unarmed at crucial moments.
  • First dedicated PSP Silent Hill Story
  • New 'Cineractive' control system
  • Prequel tells how Silent Hill was created
  • Original soundtrack by series composer Akira Yamaoka
  • Look and feel retains all the classic Silent Hill elements

customer Reviews

 Average rating (23 reviews)

 Seen it before, but its still a sinfully good game...

| | See all Bungle666's reviews (38)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 Games Reviewer

Ok i havent realy ever been a massive fan of the Survival horror games, most have been tongue in cheek, but Silent Hill gripped me to the point i actually bothered to finish it back on the PS1 days. After that they all became a bit boring.

When this landed at my desk i was knocked back a little. The series had gone quiet for a while and needed a refreshing approach to it. So they came up with a prequal.

First impressions were pretty good, it looks great to start with and plays pretty well if not a little clunky at times.

Graphics - The game has been beautifully made for the PSP. It looks great to say the least, you can tell the designers have taken their time to recapture the PS2 nightmare in all its glory on the PSP.

Controls - This has always been a big point on the survival horror games, at times the camera can be a pain but its easily solved for the most with the left shoulder button which zips it back behind you so you can see ahead. Overall the buttons are mostly well thought out and easy enough to use, other than that, nothing ground breaking, but nothing bad either.

Sounds - This has always been Silent Hills strong point, again this title captures the panic inducing sounds from its previous incarnations. When the music increases you know somethings coming at you, time to run!

Story and Length - So far im an hour or so into this game and to be honest, i cant realy tell im playing a sequal, it feels more like just another Silent Hill story which once again starts in the hospital. They seemed to have just used the prequal story as an excuse to bring another Silent Hill game out.

Its a shame but thats where the most important feature is in a Survival horror, its story. Origins attempts to make you believe your finding out why Silent Hill became the hell on earth it is, but your not finding anything realy new.
From the off, the game is fogged and the town already upside down with the door open to hells chums, so realy your not learning anything or seeing anything happen, shame realy.

I have to give this a 4/5 because of the fact it looks and plays great, the story lacks but those who dont realy care and just wish to get scared in a B-Movie style will lap this up, hardcore SH fans may feel short changed but will enjoy it either way.

 Awesome

| | See all bosseye's reviews (62)

Top 100 Games Reviewer

There are times when playing Origins you'll forget you're playing the portable version - that's how good it is. Do as the game suggests and play with the lights off and your headphones on and it's a supremely atmospheric experience, and one that really showcases what can be done with the PSP hardware with a little effort.

Graphically its an absolute triumph in most areas - whilst the main character of Travis is little bit chunky and low polygon, the environments are wonderfully detailed, crammed with filth and decay and all manner of dark atmospheric touches. The torch is simply superb, casting lovely realtime shadows off the scenery and shambling creatures. Its just gorgeous and brilliantly creepy to explore. Catching a glimpse of something moving in the dark up ahead is a wonderful thing, and when combined with the haunting and eerie soundtrack the whole experience is incredibly compelling, and does a good job of keeping things tense.

Mechanically its all fairly old school, as with the 360 version - locked doors abound in every location, channelling you along an essentially linear pathway towards your goal, but its an enjoyment in itself figuring out the way to go. Puzzles are fairly standard stuff, relying on combing all areas carefully for odd items to be combined - some of the clues are a little cryptic, but generally theres nothing overtly taxing here. Not to say its not satisfying to solve a puzzle and progress, but you won't be needing any pen or paper to make notes.

Combat is fairly slow and considered. Melee weapons whilst fairly common, break within a short time meaning you can never really rely on one particular favourite. Ammo for weapons is generally scarce so the best tactic is often to simply avoid confrontation and run around the nicely animated monstrousities. Certainly when roaming the foggy town, this is the only viable option given the sheer number of mad creatures that lurk in every corner. Melee combat is also given a slightly random twist by allowing you to carry any number of one hit items such as TVs toasters, bottles etc.

Save points are few and far between too and there will be a few unfair deaths as you're assailed by some monster forcing a restart which feels a little unfair. Some areas descend into trial and error, which feels slightly dated but doesn't detract much from the overall experience.

All wonderful stuff then, this is hugely atmospheric and creepy gaming, with some wonderful visuals and engrossing violent exploring.

 Rest assured, it's better than 'The Room'

| | See all Nataku's reviews (3)

As a long time fan of the series, I was very pleased with this game.

'Silent Hill: Origins' is a highly atmospheric and disturbing game, and is just as effective on a hand-held as it is on a big screen, provided you do as the loading screen suggests and pop your head phones in and turn out the lights.

'Origins' encompasses all the things that have made the 'Silent Hill' games great in the past - the crackling radio, faceless monstrosities, no-where near enough ammo, psychological storyline, chainlink floors - and also brings some new novelties to the series. Melee weapons can be found everywhere and always break after a few uses. You can now also shift in and out of the 'alternate world' at will by using mirrors. This makes the puzzles a little more interesting as some items you need to carry from one world to the other in order to use them.

The monsters are as nasty as ever. The patients and bubble-head nurses of 'Silent Hill 2' make their return, as well as a whole host of new misshapen nasties. Most monsters now boast grapple moves which make the fighting a little more intense if you let the monsters get too close.

As for the story; it's about standard 'Silent Hill' fair. Man gets lured to evil ghost town, stuff happens. The advantage with 'Origins' is that, as a prequel, it's a good starting place for people who have never played 'Silent Hill' before. Sadly, game play-wise, it's inferior to the great 'Silent Hill 2'. 'Origins' does boast three different endings, however, dependant on how you play the game which makes it enjoyably replayable, even if the game itself can be completed within 2 hours if you know what you're doing.

My other gripe is, as in the rest of the games, the levels are huge but very linear. When you receive the map at the start of each area, there always seems to be thousands of rooms to go to, but most of these are sealed off so you end up just walking from one end of the area to another. You can no longer choose the difficulties of the game-play or riddles either, but this isn't so bad as most of the puzzles are relatively straight-forward, and turning off your flashlight and running is a good way to avoid most monsters.

In conclusion, although it suffers some small flaws, 'Origins' is one of the better games in the 'Silent Hill' series and so it is a must buy for any fan of the genre.

 Somethings waiting for you around every corner!!

| | See all Stuntman3000's reviews (29)

This is a great game. I have played the other silent hill games but this is the only one i own. Its really good. They have had the patience to sit down and make a really good story for this game and even though its a psp game they have done great with the graphics. The game never really seems boring because theres always something to look for or to kill. The tension can really get to you if you put the brightness down low, Lights off and headphones in because you can hear things moving around in halls and rooms and sometimes you turn on your flashlight there will be something standing right infront off you. This is great if you like puzzle games and horror games but not if you like action games.

 A Fan Game For Non Silent Hill Fans

| | See all Akerjlg's reviews (1)

As fun as the game actually was to play it wasn't anything new within the Silent Hill mythos. And as a prequel to the first game, it also feels very loose and doesn't actually provide too uch insight into the dank and spooky universe that it resides in.

Don;t get me wrong, graphically the game is amazing and often puts other PSP games to shame. But for a die hard fan of the series, I was rather gutted that I managed to finish it in under 4 hours on my first run through. Even the idea of replaying it again justf or the unlockable suits and items seemed a bit pointless, as before I could actually get into the game again I knew it'd be over.

For someone who has never played the game before, it provides a rather neat example of how interesting and twisted the Silent Hill games could actually be. I may be speaking for myself here, but I could find much more fun within the original game, Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 2 - which this game actually feels like it's trying to rehash at times.

The game does have some genuinely spooky and rather worrying moments and some fantastic visual concepts for both areas and enemies. But as someone who has been avidly playing these games for years, this one left me feeling a bit let down.

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Rating15+ (BBFC)