Silent Hill 2 is probably my favourite game, and after playing it through on the PS2 I thought I’d have a go at the HD remake for the XBox360.
If you want an in depth review of Silent Hill 2, check out the main article,this will focus on the HD added features
What could go wrong…
Silent Hill 2 HD is pitch black. You can’t see anything, I tried on 3 TVs, I played with the contrast, and still I couldn’t see anything. I was only able to finish the game because I had just finished the normal version, meaning everything was still fresh in my head. Items are completely invisible, and areas such as the well just required trail and error “hit everything”.
The darkness is a serious problem with this port; and for many, it is game breaking.
There is also a lack of fog, and I do wonder if the slight lighting on the fog means the game looks darker. There are a few points where the lack of fog causes graphical glitches, but a number of people do report serious bugs that I didn’t see.
The game is “HD”, this means the text is slightly clearer, and the textures are marginally better. Do not expect a Resident Evil: REBirth type overhaul, this is HD in the loosest sense of the word.
For the remake they redid the voices, I am not sure why as the original voices are pretty good. In the normal Silent Hill 2 review I mentioned the narration of the letter was spot on, in SH2HD it is still OK. I can’t really tell a difference.
There are a couple of fixes to dialogue, nothing major though. It doesn’t feel like the new voices add anything.
There is a lot of hatred for the new voices, but I honestly don’t mind. If they are combined side by side, the original is better, but as a casual to the series, I honestly don’t mind.
When you load your game you can choose new or old voices, and I replayed a few sections with each voice and didn’t notice a difference. A person more knowledgeable than me will be able to reel off what is different and why it is “terrible/wrong”, but I didn’t notice anything. The new voices certainly didn’t detract from the experience.
The only thing thing I did notice was Angela’s voice seemed to be more appropriate. When I played SH2, I didn’t realise Angela was 19, she sounded closer to 40. With the new voice, you can hear her vulnerability, and overall means the voice is a bit more in keeping with the character.
//Having researched this, Angela sounding 40 was a design choice, and the voice actor was actually 40.
I know Konami had lost the original code, so the whole thing needed rebuilding, but this is a poor port.
The “HD” is non existent. The new voices are decent, but don’t really add anything.
What stands out as utterly terrible are the lighting issues, Silent Hill 2 HD is simply too dark to play.
Having said that, this is still Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 2 is one of the best game I have ever played. If you don’t have a PS2 and this is your only option, than play it. Otherwise play the PS2 version if possible.
The “Born from a Wish” sub-scenario adds something, and the 2 extra secret endings mean there is slightly more reasons to play it.
Pros: Includes “Born from a Wish”, the two secret endings, and Silent Hill 3!
Cons: I can’t see anything! Seriously, it is worse than Doom 3.