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A ghoulish 'Homecoming' for 'Silent Hill'

Oct 30, 2008

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Silent Hill: HomecomingJust in time for Halloween, Silent Hill has opened its ghastly gates once again. Well, sort of.

The eerie and mysterious New England town of Shepherd’s Glen with its streets named after famous horror movie directors - How cool is that? - is the setting for a more personal story this time around but with the same creepy 'Silent Hill' monsters and atmosphere.

In ‘Silent Hill: Homecoming’, you are Alex Shepherd, an army vet who returns home to find things have changed for the worst. Many of the homes are abandoned. Many of the businesses are boarded up. Many of the townspeople are gone or missing and there are some darn ugly creatures skulking around. Ones with really sharp claws, hideous faces and razors for teeth. Yes, property values are plummeting unless you are a prospective home-owner who doesn’t mind your place overrun with slimy demons straight out of a Marilyn Manson video.

Silent Hill: HomecomingThe inexplicable demise of his hometown is bad enough but what really pushes Alex over the edge is what has happened to his own family. When he arrives at the modest family dwelling, Alex finds that his father has split the scene, his younger brother is missing and his mother is sitting catatonic in her rocking chair cradling a handgun. No, Alex is not related to Britney Spears and this is definitely not the family reunion he was hoping for. While on a quest to find his lost brother and figure out what the heck happened to his family, Alex unearths the awful and sinister truth about the ancient evil that has transformed his beloved birthplace into the high rent district of the thirteenth plane of Hell.

In its Xbox 360 debut, the mechanics of ‘Silent Hill’ haven’t changed all that much. Part adventure game, part action game, you will collect and use items, interact with the environment and beat the living hell out of the monsters with knives, baseball bats, lead pipes and anything you can get your violently twitching hands on. Since Alex is a soldier, his varied combat moves are way more advanced than any ‘Silent Hill’ protagonist in the past. He has the ability to use different weapons in different ways, evade attacks, deliver death blows and execute combination attacks. Oh, yeah. The infernal hordes have no idea who they are messing with. Sucks to be them.

Silent Hill: HomecomingThe atmospheric staples of the ‘Silent Hill’ franchise, the grainy film footage and the gloomy surroundings, have never looked better than they do on the 360. You will be creeped out often. ‘Homecoming’ will give your goose bumps a solid workout but while Konami and developers Double Helix have all the fundamentals of the series working harmoniously together, they haven’t introduced anything fresh or new with ‘Homecoming’ besides the aforementioned expanded combat. Like a vampire who hasn‘t fed in a month, the series needs some new blood pumped into it…and fast. Fingers crossed for the next incarnation.

The story told in ‘Homecoming’ takes some time to gather steam. You will wander around quite a bit and run into many of those aggravating locked doors. If you push ahead long enough though, your patience will be rewarded with some very cool chills and thrills as well as some tricks and treats.

Silent Hill: Homecoming
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Double Helix
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site:

Rating: 7.5 / 10

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