Silent Hill Heaven

Origins test play w/review [SPOILERS] updated w/pics on pg 4
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Author:  The 8th Aspect [ 19 May 2007 ]
Post subject:  Origins test play w/review [SPOILERS] updated w/pics on pg 4

***Please be cautious while reading this as there will be some spoilers. If you truly don’t want to know anything about the game, then I suggest not reading this, especially the second half. If you’ve seen the nine minute IGN trailer, then you’ll be ok until you see the second spoiler marker***

Here’s the nine minute video clip in case you’re interested.

I had a wonderful opportunity last week to visit Konami and test play Silent Hill: Origins. Thanks to Vixx and this wonderful forum I was asked to play the game for an hour or so and give feedback. Along with that, I was able to ask a few questions and discuss the overall game play of Origins.

I met with William Oertel (Producer) and Tomm Hulett (Associate Producer) at the Konami headquarters in El Segundo, CA last Friday. They were both fantastic and very funny. It was definitely a pleasure meeting with them. When I arrived, I met Tomm first and we went into a conference room where an LCD television and PSP was set up. Shortly after, William entered the room and we began the brief session of Q&A before I played the game.

I have to say, I was kind of nervous doing this as I’ve never done anything like this before. I tried to ask as many questions as I could remember as well as the ones I had prepared. Please pardon any grammatical errors or anything that may not make sense; I’ll try and answer any questions you may still have after this.

Ok, so on to the good stuff. This game, ladies and gentlemen, is AWESOME. Despite everything you’ve seen early on and the current trailer from IGN, this DOES have the look, feel, atmosphere, and sound of all the things we love so dearly about Silent Hill. What you’ve seen so far doesn’t do it justice until you’ve seen it on the PSP. The graphics are phenomenal, the voice acting is pretty good, and the creepy sounds we love are all still there. Being skeptical and down right second guessing this game initially, this has all been put to rest based on what I’ve seen so far.

The most discussed question has been: Will this game be ported to a console? Answer, NO, no plans for a port. [Their] answer was pretty straight and forward. So, save up your money, borrow, steal, dust off your PSP and be ready to buy the game for that PSP we all love so much.

The follow up question of course was: Why PSP and not console? Well, as some of you know, initially Konami wanted to remake SH1 for the PSP. Remake the game with better graphics so we can replay the beloved game with better resolution. While this idea was still in concept, the PSP was an up and coming handheld system and doing well in the market. After thinking about this, instead of a remake, they thought why not make a ‘new’ game/storyline with a new experience while still being able to revisit similar places and events from SH1? Fans would have a new story and game to play but still see the people and places from the original with better graphics; the best of both worlds. From this, Origins was born. The idea for this game was meant to be played on the PSP from the get-go.

Konami got with Climax and began putting everything together. The two have worked very closely creating this game with Konami having the final say in everything. I was assured by Tomm and William that the Climax team are very passionate of the SH series and that a lot of time has gone into reviewing the other games as to not disrupt the continuity of the series. This makes me feel better as I was starting to buy into some of that crap out there about how ‘this game is not being made by Konami and therefore is going to suck’. I felt really good after William explained that everyone working on this is a huge fan of the series and both teams are monitoring closely what information goes into the game. A development team change has happened once, early in production, within Climax. No reason was given for it, but maybe that’s where we got the early releases of the Purple monster, laser style shooting, and over the shoulder look. These early screen shots were put out to guide the team and see how people felt about it; looks like they got the clue.

So before I get into game play, I’ll list a few simple answers to some questions and rumors out there:

• NO release date has been set. Despite what you’re seeing from, EB Games, Gamefaqs and the like, nothing is set from Konami. Those dates are not put out there by them and the game is far from final completion. William did say it will be out later this year.
• The game will be in third person view.
• No laser; the concept was temporary and was never going to be apart of the final cut.
• There WILL be multiple endings (that’s it, no other comments on that, so don’t ask me).
• Verified characters in the game: Lisa, Kauffman, Alessa, and Dahlia. No comment on whether or not Claudia, Vincent, or anyone else will make an appearance.
• One level of difficulty; so far.
• No ‘crappy RE monster’ as one member puts it.
• No icons on the screen during play.

Ok, on to game play. The lights in the room were dimmed and William and Tomm sat just behind me to get a feel for my reactions while I played. I thought this would be a little weird, but once the game began, I hardly even noticed they were in the room. My PSP was hooked up to a computer and outputted to a Sharp LCD screen so they can watch me play. I had the sound from the PSP as well as the LCD television so I opted not to use my headphones I brought.

The game begins just like the nine minute IGN trailer. Like I said earlier on, what you’ve seen on that trailer doesn’t do it justice. It’s fantastic on the PSP. You as the player take over the controls after the first cut scene where Alessa runs away from Travis. You then run or walk down the road in search for her. Not much to see, but you do come across that famous sign welcoming you to Silent Hill. After that, your next cut scene with the house burning and Dahlia come in and then you enter the burning house. So far, it’s pretty much the same as the trailer but I did find something rather interesting while walking around the burning house. I have a tendency to ‘look’ at everything to try and examine it. Just before I picked up ‘the burned little girl’ I saw a picture on the wall. It was a painting or drawing of none other than that famous Executioner we all love holding his spear. It’s a bit hard to see with all the smoke but no denying what it was. As a matter of fact, I laughed and brought it to the attention of William and Tomm and they got a kick out of it as they didn’t know [he] had made it into the game. Strangely enough, it looked like the Pyramid Head from the movie by the way he was illustrated in that picture. Ok, so enough of that, moving on. The game continues as you try and find your way out of the house. Once out, the next cut scene begins with Travis passing out and waking up in Silent Hill on a bench. Next, he finds the map and begins his search for Alchemilla Hospital to find her. There’s not much to explore of the town from this point. I tried walking around but was quickly cut off by the streets that were blocked off or ended abruptly into nothing. Enter Alchemilla.

Once in the hospital, there is a temporary save point. William said he wasn’t sure if that was going to remain there. Nothing special by the way, just save and move on. You pick up the map and move into the first corridor doing the usual: checking locked doors examining things. Next cut scene (which is NOT shown in the trailer) you run into Kauffman. There is a very brief discussion regarding the ‘burned little girl’ as Travis is trying to locate her. Kauffman says to see the receptionist up front and then disappears through a door.

Travis then walks through a door to encounter his first enemy, a nurse. There is a sledgehammer on a bench, pick it up, select the weapon and begin attacking. Unfortunately, the nurse has gotten too close to you, so before you can start beating away at her, enter new fighting style: Grappling. You’ll see the X, O, square or triangle pop up on the screen and that’s when you push the buttons accordingly. If you’ve timed it right, you’ll throw your enemy off and then you can begin swinging away. The game was a little glitchy at this point and fighting this way was a little new to me. So when I threw the nurse off, I began beating the crap out of her. I had a hard time with the finishing stomp and so she got up again. Once again, I began whaling on her and then crap. . .my weapon broke! Yes folks, breakable weapons. Long gone are the trusty wooden plank and steel pipe. Just like SH4 your melee weapons will break except, all of them break. Only difference is, you don’t have that silly limited storage capacity. Once it breaks, it’s gone from your inventory. Trust me, you want to pick everything up whereas in SH4, I chose to never pick up those damn golf clubs. This is the last part you see of the IGN trailer.

***Major spoilers ahead***

After your fight with the nurse, you enter a room in which Travis comments on a large mirror on the wall that seems odd. Travis walks up to the mirror and sees in the reflection, Alessa. Alessa never says anything except put her hand up to the mirror and touch it. It leaves behind a bloody hand print which Travis touches himself. Your PSP screen goes static for a few seconds and returns. This is where I think I got a little too excited and felt really stupid as I couldn’t figure out my next move. The room seemed unchanged and I kept walking up to the hand print and touching it. The screen would go static and return. Then I realized, “I’m shifting worlds!—DUH!" God, I felt retarded. Travis has control of the shifts between normal and nightmare, imagine that!

Now that I’m in the nightmare world I encounter more nurses, more rooms to explore and the creepy sounds that we all love begin. I came across my first puzzle and pieces to pick up to solve a different puzzle. During this time, I find a scalpel, empty glass bottles, a portable television, and of course, health drinks. When fighting the nurses, as long as they don’t get too close to you, they can be killed easily with these weapons without having to grapple with them. When my scalpel broke, I used the glass bottle to finish off the nurse. At one point, I ran out of weapons and had to fight a nurse as it was in my way. Travis has the ability to fight with his hands. So fear not, if you have no weapons, Travis is pretty good with his fists (takes for ever though).

There is another section of the game (a bathroom) where Travis can shift worlds so he doesn’t have to go all the way back to the beginning. This is also where you find another piece of the puzzle to solve so you can move on in the game. Once you solve this puzzle you take the item you get and place it in a door to enter and find your first boss.

Again, this part was a little glitchy but should be worked out by the time the finished product comes out. While in the room, you see something on the floor that looks vaguely like a Lying Figure and then it jumps on you! It basically wraps its legs around your waist and starts grappling with you. A sequence of X, O, square and triangles pop up on the screen that you have to tap in order to get the monster off of you. If you time it right, you’ll take no damage and then you can begin hitting it with what ever melee weapon you have left. I didn’t time it right and received some damage, but was able to fight it proper as it wasn’t in my face anymore. I didn’t have any weapons left (so I thought) and began fighting it with my fists. The damn thing jumped on me again and this time I was able to get the grappling sequence right to throw the monster off. I had one item left in my inventory and it was the portable television. I selected the item and then broke it on the boss which ended the fight. That part was kind of meh for me. It seemed like it was going to be a hard fight and then one swing of a portable TV, it dies. Tomm said that he still wanted to work on that grappling sequence and make it a little more challenging.

After the boss scene, Alessa enters again and Travis passes out. Next cut scene he wakes up in the normal world hospital and encounters Lisa. I guess I wasn’t supposed to see that as the game was quickly removed from my hands and turned off.

And there you have it, my game play experience. I’ve detailed some areas and skimmed through others. I didn’t see the point in getting too detailed about the puzzles and areas that didn’t seem important. If you want more details, let me know. Also, William and Tomm both said that nothing that I’ve seen is final; certain things can still change. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any weapons like hand guns to try out; so we’ll all have to wait and see on that one.

The game was a little glitchy in certain parts and it did crash on me once early on. There are some spelling errors and translation errors, but all will be corrected. Like I said, I couldn’t find one bad thing to say about it. Feedback is very important and all I could do was rave about it.

For those of you concerned, once the game started, I could hardly tell I was playing the game on a hand held system. The game is so engrossing; you just kind of lose yourself in it. All you need is a good pair of headphones and a dark room or your bedroom closet and I guarantee you won’t be complaining anymore.

Questions asked by Cult Section Members and others:

Q: Are there any other locations besides Alchemilla Hospital, from the first Silent Hill being used?
A: Parts of the town, yes. Not sure what else.

Q: If this game does well, will you consider making more PSP Silent Hill games and continuing the story line?
A: Of course.

Q: How much artistic license did Konami allow with the characters and if there are any objects or places you required adding?
A: Konami has the final say in everything; it was their initial vision. No comment on the objects and places being added.

Q: Do the events of the game occur while Alessa is in a conscious or unconscious state of mind after the burning?
A: Flat out, No Comment.

Q: What do you hope to achieve by introducing Travis Grady into the Silent Hill franchise: Your motivation behind the creation of this character, so to speak.
A: They wanted to have a character similar to James from SH2; a guy having to go through similar psychological events. Difference is, Travis is strong with a gruff exterior and can fight hand to hand. In my opinion, I don’t think Travis is just some unlucky trucker going through town. His role is larger than we can imagine.

Q: What did you hope to introduce to the Silent Hill series by creating Origins: what are the features that will set Origins aside from the other games within the series that fans can look forward to?
A: Breakable weapons, new character, adding to the storyline, different perspective, new personal connections with the character.

Q: What do you intend on doing with Lisa? Origins occurs seven years prior the events of SH1, when Lisa was 23 years old. Do you intend on keeping this true and allowing her a brief cameo as a sixteen year old, or something more devious?
A: Her age isn’t being specified in this game. This is all they would say on this. Based on the screen shots St. Thomas has put up, she’s obviously in the game and I for one believe she has a fairly large or important role; just my hunch.

Q: According to SH Chronicles, Alessa was ceremonially immolated in the basement of the Gillespie home, but in the Origins trailer, Travis Grady located her on the first floor. Has this been taken into consideration by the staff or is it just a minor oversight?
A: This answer was a little unclear. I didn’t quite get the no comment answer but I really didn’t get much an answer either. Jokingly, William said that’s just one site. Basically what he said was it may appear that we may be breaking continuity but. . . There’s deliberate reasons for certain things that may or may not be readily apparent.

Q: Were you aware of the numerous other girls before Alessa that had been used as god's vessel but were rejected?--and if so, did you guys do anything to incorporate that into the game?
A: They are aware and no comment on the rest.

Q: Origins have any connections with SH2 or SH4?
A: Just your general connections.

So I hope I’ve put to rest some of the rumors out there and answered some of your questions. Please feel free to ask any others you may have and I may be able to answer them here. Please only ask questions about Origins and whatever else may pertain to it. Any others will be removed and you will be sent to the corner with your hand slapped.

Lastly, I want to thank Vixx, Konami, William Oertel and Tomm Hulett for the wonderful opportunity to test play this game. It was exciting and a privilege to be able to do so.

Enjoy and discuss, dammit.


Author:  Chris Sunderland [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Nice, sounds awsome. Your a lucky, lucky bastard. :wink:

Author:  JuriDawn [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Very cool. I hadn't even seen the IGN trailer before today. I've gotta say, I really appreciate the minute details that add to the realism in the opening sequence, like the friendly "door ajar" beeping. And I'm thrilled that there won't be a limited inventory. (I didn't pick up the golf clubs in SH4 either)

So what did the save point look like?

Author:  jthomp1286 [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Interesting. I may have to seriously look into getting a PSP now. Not sure I'm liking the whole grappling with the monsters thing, or the multiple breakable melee weapons. Yes, I realize its more realistic, but hell, all I need is my trusty wooden plank and steel pipe. Still, sounds like its coming along nicely though!

Author:  Mis Krist. [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Oh, Tom'll be happy when he sees those answers, I think. I mean... I find it intriguing that they knew about the other girls but that they're not sayin' anything. I just might have to buy a PSP for my birthday D:

Thank you so much, Judy!

Author:  Munchy [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Thanks a billion! Glad to hear they removed the dumb purple monsters.

Author:  Rin [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Huh, I'm intrigued now. I'm curious as to how the save point looked as well. So I take it ALL Melee weapons are breakable this time around? I like that you can use your fists though, that's a nice addition, I think. Well! Now I have a reason to save some cash for a PSP....

Author:  Jetsetlemming [ 19 May 2007 ]
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Hm, the breakable melee weapons seems to be more unrealistic than realistc. >_>; C'mon, a sledge hammer breaking during a single fight with a soft, squishy nurse?
Other than that it sounds really encouraging. :D
So was there anything else that felt different from the SH1-3 gamestyle besides the breakable weapons and fistfighting? What kind of inventory system do they have (one big loop, like in SH1 and 2, or divided into sections like in 3, or something new looking)?
Also, since apparently you can switch back between normal and nightmare versions of the hospital at will at certain spots, did that play into the puzzles? Like altering something in the nightmare version to make a change in normal, or scrounging through both realities to find neccesary items or paths?

Author:  Matt S [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Very cool - thanks for the recap of your experience

Author:  jdnation [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Good stuff... I didn't read the new stuff between the IGN trailer portion... and the Qand A at the end. I think I'll hold out until I play the game... unless I spot it in another trailer or gameplay video anyway... hmmm, should I read it? So tempting... 8)

Author:  Scarlet [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Amazing one, by the way!
I may have to buy a PSP now... :(

Author:  Vixx [ 20 May 2007 ]
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That's an awesome write up. Thanks so much, Judy! :)

Author:  Krysta [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Great work!

Breakable weapons...I ain't love this idea but at least it justifies hand-to-hand combat which also could be skiped but oh well. Seems like they have realised their mistake about misplacing immolation scene just now or after the development so it was already too late to go backward. Anyway I guess I gotta let that one slide then cause I'm stocking gold on PS3 now. Maybe they will still change their mind seeing poor sales 8)

Author:  B5160-R [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Nicely done, Judy. Sounds like you had fun.

I too am interested in knowing what form the save point[s] appears in.

Author:  kingkyde [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Whoa lucky you,but though that they won't make a PS2 port,I guess I will have to buy a PSP and the game(When it comes out of course)

Author:  BarbwireEmbrace [ 20 May 2007 ]
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My interest in this game has piqued considerably now. If I only had a PSP...

Well done on this review, 8th. :D

Author:  BloodRedLion [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Damn. I guess I'll be buying a PSP.

Anyway--excellent summary, thank you so much for the information!

Author:  Lostkitsune [ 20 May 2007 ]
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My interest in this game has been reborn though, breakable weapons sound like an annoyance.....

Author:  Vixx [ 20 May 2007 ]
Post subject: also got the chance to run a test. Check out their review and questions here: ... hp?t=31900

Author:  sorata [ 20 May 2007 ]
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Thanks for the review, this sounds awesome!

I guess I can finally dust off my PSP. I think I've only played a few games on it. I have less interest for handheld device when I have to drive. Handheld is the best for mass transit... but then again, for SH:O I guess I can break the rule a bit. :D

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