Ok this might sounds obsolete if i tell you that i just finished Homecoming since it's released way back in 2008. After hearing so many bad comments about this game back then, i forgot it for a couple of years. To make a long story short, now i'm watching the credit rolling
But to tell you the truth, i'm not really happy with it and that makes me feel bad.
It's not that the game is so-bad-that-I-have-to-burn-it-with-fire but overall feelings is very empty compare with 1-4. I've seen the trailer in YT when they first announced this game, and I was like 'OMG. It looks so much like the 2006 film.' which...well, scared me a little bit. I knew without the doubt that this won't be as original as old games, and it does. Anyway, being an avid fan of the serie I just can't skip it. Here's the breakdown of Homecoming on my thoughts...
SHH lacks of what made SH so special. I'd like to call it 'WTF moment' in the game where you encountered something that can't be explained with any memos or even encyclopedia. SH meant to disturb and mess your mind rather than having enormous creatures chasing up your ass. Fans will always remember the bloody locker in SH1, 'there was a hole here...' line in SH2, happy-birthday call in SH3 (which for me has the most said moments,) and even SH4 that most people said has the least disturbing. Also, SH tends to represent something original. As far as I know, i've never seen any horror games turning elementary school with ABC lesson on the blackboard into hellish world
For SHH, they copied so many elements from the film and it makes the player get bored after playing this for a couple of times. Even the welcome-to-the-otherworld moments look exactly the same. Furthermore, Homecoming relies much on violence, gore and adventure more than disturb our minds. Frustrations occur many times while playing not because the puzzle, but the bosses are horribly hard. Wheeler is one thing Iâ€™d like to forget in this game. Heâ€™s helpful but itâ€™s not suitable for SH. You supposed to be hopeless and wandering in the abyss alone, but Wheeler made this game feel like a soldier theme as they can contact through walkie talkie. At the end I feel like just complete the action/slasher game rather than the horror, mind messed up game like the SH I grow up with. I've never had a problem jumping in SH serie, but for this game I did try very hard to feel uncomfortable, disturbed, or scared. It actually is a Silent Hill, but without any scene where you ask yourself 'What the hell is that?' I admit without ashamed that haunted mansion in SH3 still gives me nightmare sometimes even now. Homecoming? Not a single bit. The only best parts of the game are Alexâ€™s nightmare, Scarlet boss and when Alex fell into the hole but ended up in the cell. Thatâ€™s all.
Characters in this game somewhat lack of development. Shepherdâ€™s family seems to have the best role, even not for Alexâ€™s mom, but the rest of people you bumped into throughout game are likeâ€¦just to make story successfully goes to the end. If you look at previous installments, youâ€™ll find that each character gave you the big impact in the twists. Itâ€™s heartbreaking when Lisa realized that she already died, also when James finally remembered that he killed his own wife (even Mary never really appeared in the game.) Claudia is cold enough to make you hate her, and even annoying Vincent is helpful enough to make you feel a bit sorry when heâ€™s killed. Walter is a brainwashed man who committed cruel things just to meet his mother, and that makes you feel satisfied and sorry altogether when you must kill him like Joseph said.
Surprisingly, even Elle is love interest for Alex, he acted as if sheâ€™s someone else. You have to find her a lot of time and they barely stay together. Once Alex found her in the lair, you left her with Wheeler and never see her again. It makes you feel annoying and have no special feelings for her. Not only Elle but also Dr.Fitch, Margaret, Curtis, almost everyone. You bumped into them a slight moment and they all came back toward the end, and I mean ALL. It feels like they had no roles but to make Alex progress in finding his brother, and thus make you feel nothing for them. Even Alex yelled â€˜bitch!â€™ after screwing Margaretâ€™s face, I didnâ€™t feel satisfied a bit. I was just like â€˜Oh he killed her.â€™ It looks like the characters didnâ€™t have enough time to build up their roles so they had to change their personalities significantly in the climax, and it doesnâ€™t help. Eddie in SH2 made you really scared of him because we had a chance to see him gradually turning insane. For characters in Homecoming, they just came, died and left empty feelings with me.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, Homecoming is a good game even itâ€™s the weakest of the serie. Itâ€™s just that they somehow forget what made SH famous and completely different from any horror franchise. SH Downpour is being developed with other developer and I'm not giving up looking forward for this great game