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Silent Hill: Homecoming is the sixth installment of the popular survival horror series developed by Double Helix games and was released in 2008 for the XBox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC games. The game focuses on Alex Sheppard, a solider that has been recently discharged who keeps having disturbing dreams that haunt him and revolve around his younger brother Joshua.
Upon returning to his home town of Sheppard's Glen, Alex discovers his town isn't what he remembered it to be.
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Silent Hill: Homecoming doesn't have the same level of frightening game play that earlier Silent Hill games are known for but it does involve a little more of the combat element than earlier titles. Alex can perform quick or slow heavy-attacks, charge-up his attacks to perform spectacular and powerful lunges and even string them together into satisfying combos.
You can switch targets easily with a flick of the right analog stick, dodge incoming attacks, and if they miss counter-attack effectively. Alex can also use pistols, rifles, shotguns and can upgrade his weapons as you progress through the levels of the game. The aim-mechanics are solid, allowing for easy and satisfying advantages to pick-off monsters and aim for specific areas, but it may not be a challenge for experienced gamers.
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The Game Graphics
Silent Hill: Homecoming does have stunning visual presentation, sharp colors, nice lighting and shadows; all produce the world of Silent Hill wonderfully. The creature damage changes beautifully as you strike them, the visible damage increases as you continue to batter bosses and monsters to death.
The game includes amazing animations for all the creatures, but especially Alex who has smooth and realistic motions that include rendered animations for each weapon that he uses. The multi-limbed Siam's; the jerky, snappy movements of the nurses, to the slithering Lurkers, everything moves wonderfully and looks fantastic.
The lip-syncing of the characters in cut-scenes is occasionally off a bit, but the character faces are expressive and have excellent skin textures.
Shadows and characters could occasionally be seen vibrating or would become heavily pixelated and would sometimes appear to be in motion when they were meant to be standing still.
Running Silent Hill: Homecoming on a graphical setting higher than medium caused the game to crash and may also crash when tyring to increase the resolution.
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Sounds in the Game
Silent Hill: Homecoming includes the musical selections of Akira Yamaoka; they create a wonderful atmosphere, with amazing mood and pace, and are brilliantly presented.
The voice acting in Silent Hill: Homecoming is okay, nothing to write home about, but better than Silent Hill 2 and 3. The best lines are spoken by Josh. He is over-the-top but they are wonderfully delivered and have nice emotional content.
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The Bottom Line
Silent Hill: Homecoming has a slew of control and visual issues that while minor, are a little disturbing considering the PC version of Silent Hill: Homecoming was released a month after the console versions. There are issues with the dark and shadowy environments that are created for the game play, but you may spend more time trying to get your weak flashlight to work well enough to see in front of you
The keyboard and mouse arrangement used would occasionally have trouble recognizing the quick-time button inputs, so a few moments of mouse-pounding will frustrate players
Silent Hill: Homecoming is a solid PC game which is part of a legendary franchise and it will garner a following because of this, but traditional Silent Hill fans will be disappointed in the lack of fear-factor included with Silent Hill: Homecoming. Gamers who are playing a Silent Hill game for the first time will enjoy the simple, yet fun and engaging combat and overall presentation.