The first three Silent Hill games have always dominated the horror genre. In fact, some people deem Silent Hill 3 to be the best horror game. Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 3 have all made their marks in the gaming industry, but what about the 4th installment? Published by ‘Konami’ and developed by ‘Team Silent’ in 2004, Silent Hill 4: The Room is one such game that is not appreciated as much as its predecessors even though it actually got some things right.
The game takes place in the southern part of a town called Ashfield and follows Henry Townshend as its protagonist. This is different than the usual setting of the previous games, all of which took place in the town of Silent Hill.
The story revolves around Henry, who has been stuck in his apartment for 5 days with no connection to the outside world. During these 5 days, Henry experiences recurring nightmares. After some time, a portal to the other dimension opens up in his bathroom through which he is able to enter another dimension. He witnesses the murder of a woman called Cynthia Velasquez who is under the impression that she is dreaming but very soon she is killed by someone.
Once Henry comes back to his apartment, he finds out that Cynthia is indeed dead. Similar to Cynthia, Jasper Gein, Andrew DeSalvo, and Richard Braintree also get killed. That is how the events of the game unfold further.
For a long time, Silent Hill 4 has been ignored if not hated outright. So, we decided to take a look at why Silent Hill 4: The Room demands your attention and why you need to give it more love.
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Why Silent Hill 4 deserves our attention
The gameplay of Silent Hill 4 revolves around helping Henry in escaping his room. The gameplay is in the first-person perspective most of the time but it changes its perspective into a third-person in classic Silent Hill style once the main levels of the game approach. Henry’s room is also the ‘save point’ and also restores his health during the first half of the game.
Silent Hill 4 features a change in perspective according to the change in the situation of the game. It is a very uncommon occurrence and a very bold move on the developer’s part. A point where the game was criticized was the lack of complex puzzles which are characteristic of Silent Hill games. This is a point for which Silent Hill 4 is criticized. Honestly, a lack of puzzles is not a welcome change at all. Different settings for the difficulty of combat and puzzles have been removed as well.
The combat this time has been given more attention than puzzle-solving and the inventory space has been lessened. Less inventory space can be considered a very good way of learning space management and efficient item storage.
Apart from that, the players receive many melee weapons and only two firearms. The players also get Talismans but they last only for a short period. The melee weapons, however, have to be charged, unlike the previous games.
The plot of the game is rather lengthy and complex, but don’t let that deter you from playing this game. The plot is pretty well woven in its own right.
After witnessing the murder of real people from another dimension, Henry sets on a mission to escape his room and exorcise the supernatural occurrences in his apartment. All the victims whose murders Henry had witnessed are killed in a similar fashion that resembled that Modus Operandi of a dead serial killer called Walter Sullivan.
The previous occupant of his apartment, Joseph Schreiber, a journalist who was actually investigating Walter left scraps of his diary that give a background on Walter. With the help of those scraps, Henry needs to purify his apartment and exorcise the demons. Later in the game, Henry is also joined by a neighbor of his called Eileen Galvin. Eileen will assist the players in the game but based on how the character is handled will determine the ending of the game. There are 4 four endings in total.
The setting is quite different than the previous entries in the franchise. The game is set in the room of the protagonist. According to Konami, this was actually done intentionally in order to give a personal but suffocating and claustrophobic feel. This unique setting aims at taking the idea of one’s room, which is considered to be the safest place on earth by many, and turning it into a danger zone. As mentioned before, the room’s exploration is done from a first-person perspective which achieves the aim of the setting.
Another factor that really gives Silent Hill 4 an edge is its music. Composed by Akira Yamaoka with Mary Elizabeth and Joe Romersa on the vocals, the music significantly builds up terror. The music is as haunting as one expects the Silent Hill franchise to be.
Apart from its English version, the devs also released a second disc containing the Japanese version with traditional Japanese stories being recited.
Environment and Tension Building:
Even though it received inconsistent reviews, Silent Hill 4 received praise for its unique approach, constant tension, and haunting imagery. Silent Hill 4 was not as non-linear as its predecessors but Silent Hill is still to this day equally scary to both newcomers and old players. The tense atmosphere is maintained throughout the run of the game which is why it should be addressed with the respect it deserves.
The game seems to be inspired by the movie ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, Twin Peaks, and the writings of Stephen King, who pretty much rules the horror genre in the literary sphere. The devs have confirmed the game’s premise and setting to be inspired by Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami and the film The Cell.
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How many endings does Silent Hill 4 have?
The game has 4 endings in total which are dependant on how the players play. The endings are as follows:
3. Eileen’s Death
4. 21 Sacraments
What is the scariest Silent Hill game?
Silent Hill 3 is said to be the scariest game in the franchise. The fans who play the series regularly have admitted the third installment to be the scariest.
Can you play Silent Hill 4 on Windows 10?
Yes, the game can be played on Windows 10, and it is available for download from the website game fabrique. However, some people have experienced bugs but they can be easily fixed.
Where can I buy Silent Hill 4?
Does Silent Hill 4 have a sequel?
Silent Hill: Homecoming is technically the sequel to Silent Hill 4. Before the release of Homecoming, spin-offs, and prequels of the series were released but in technicality, Homecoming is the sequel to Silent Hill 4