Silent Hill. Its very name conjures up a sense of mystery, and within some, a sense of dread. But not for everyone. For some people, Silent Hill is a place of happy memories, maybe the last pleasant memories that they've ever had. James Sutherland's wife was such a person. She seemed drawn to Silent Hill and always wanted to return. She didn't have a chance after she became ill and died. And yet, maybe she does have that chance, because now, three years after her death, James Sutherland has received a letter from his late wife, urging him to come meet her. In Silent Hill.
Story wise, Silent Hill 2 is only a loose sequel to the 1999's critically praised survival horror game. The infamous town in question is the setting for both games, but other than that, only the thinnest of plotlines connect the two games. Silent Hill 2 features an all-new protagonist and cast of characters, and the plot is strikingly different from the first. The nature of the game, with its survival horror basis wrapped in fog-drenched mystery, remains similar.
In the game, you control James, who has come to town to find out why his dead wife beckoned him to Silent Hill. James tells himself the letter is not real, but he's still compelled to visit the town, perhaps by forces he cannot comprehend. Along the way, he'll meet other characters that have come to town for their own personal reasons. There's Angela, a young moody woman who's searching for her parents; Maria, a mysterious woman who looks very much like James' late wife; Laura, a snotty little girl who seems to try and impede James' progress at every turn; and Eddie, a large, stupid man whose fear seems to be hiding something deeper.
Although the plot weaves around these characters and eventually reveals their inner natures and motivations, this isn't a soap opera -- there are also plenty of monsters to do battle with, and a greater darkness to uncover. To fight these gruesome beings, some of which are making a return appearance and some that are brand new, James will have to locate different weapons and ammunition, such as the handgun, shot gun, and rifle. And there will also be plenty of puzzles to solve that require a player's wits as well as their ability to discover and combine various items hidden around the town.
While Silent Hill 2 retains the multiple endings of the first game, these different endings are more focused on the plot, and how you achieve them is more tied in to how you actually play the game. There are four different actual endings and an additional secret one that won't be spoiled here. Each of these endings is unique and provides more of the story to this dark town. Also included to encourage players to keep going through the game are multiple difficulty levels for both fighting and puzzle solving. In addition to this, players who play through the game enough times will be able to discover new hidden objects, as well as special weapons such as the chain saw, which severs enemies completely in half.
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