Sequels have a bad reputation of always being worse than the original. This happens in video games as much as it does movies, and for the most part, it does ring true. However, there is no rule without exceptions, and many fans will argue that Silent Hill 2 is one of those exceptions. Released 16 years ago, on September 24th, 2001, it still stands as one of the best horror games ever made, even against some of the best titles to come out in recent years.
Silent Hill 2 shared its predecessor’s atmosphere and setting, but the characters and storyline were wholly separate, leaving even players of the first game with only a vague idea of what they were getting themselves into.
James Sunderland has received a letter from his wife, who is, as far as he knows, dead. The letter leads him to the abandoned town of Silent Hill to search for whoever did send the letter. You explore the town, looking for keys, clues, and following hints, all while dodging monsters which are hideous twisted parodies of human beings. You’ll run from spider-like creatures, built from the arms and legs of mannequins, the twitching, faceless nurses, and last but not least, the indomitable Pyramid Head.
More than the other nightmare creatures, the unnerving atmosphere, and the twisting plots, Pyramid Head has come to be the symbol of a series which has spawned eleven more games and two movies with it’s unique focus on psychological horror as opposed to jump scares, giant monsters, and lots of run-and-gun battles.
While the original Silent Hill was considered a good game, it’s mostly thanks to the ground-setting done in Silent Hill 2 that the series has survived as long as it has. Unfortunately, it’s now on a hiatus, with the most recent game, Silent Hills, being canceled after an extremely promising playable demo was released back in 2014. So it remains to be seen where the series goes from here, whether a new trip into this hellish town appears, or if the series slips back into the fog to be lost.
In the meantime, grab this and give it a play if you haven’t already. It will likely remain one of the top horror games of all time and cement a spot in horror game history.
Featured image courtesy of Vice.com.