Silent Hill: The Brief Message is the primary product in 12 years to launch with the Silent Hill identify on it, and selecting up the place the Silent Hill HD Assortment and PS Vita title Guide of Recollections left off, it does not precisely put the collection’ greatest foot ahead. As a substitute of a horror expertise full of ingenious puzzles and constantly scary sequences, Konami — alongside developer HexaDrive — has put collectively a strolling simulator that harkens again to when the style was really nearly placing one foot in entrance of the opposite. It is free and roughly 90 minutes lengthy, so the one factor The Brief Message asks of you is your free time. The problem is you would simply spend it enjoying a considerably higher recreation.
Unrelated to previous entries within the collection, a brand new protagonist Anita and her solid of teenage buddies cope with a number of very heavy themes: suicide, abuse, despair, and bullying. It is discomforting sufficient that Konami felt the necessity to show a splash display on the finish of every chapter providing steerage and hyperlinks to suicide hotlines in actual life, so it isn’t a story to be taken in any respect calmly. The plot sees Anita battle her demons in an deserted residence constructing with a repute for suicides; a tragic destiny that has befallen her good friend Maya.
Sadly, there’s little in the best way of correct gameplay to help it. Your solely interactions are strolling (and in some instances operating) and interacting with notes and books to learn them. The sport ushers you down linear hallways throughout the dilapidated constructing, revealing plot factors by work, graffiti, and full-motion video. You then attain a degree the place it loops and also you’re again at first, compelled to discover those self same rooms over once more, besides with new interactive parts and extra paths to open up. You are by no means doing something greater than pushing on the left thumbstick and urgent X to have a learn or contact of one thing; it is a strolling simulator from earlier than the style developed into one thing extra.
The complete-motion video does at the very least arrange some extra attention-grabbing scenes — notably after about an hour of gameplay. They are not definitely worth the time you may want to take a position to really attain them, however stepping into blind, we discovered ourselves considerably intrigued by them greater than anything. They break up the minimal gameplay properly and arrange some story explanations.
The one different gameplay prompts to talk of are answering textual content messages (simply urgent the X button to ship pre-written replies) and chase sequences, which turn out to be more and more irritating the extra you progress. Throughout sure sections — and solely in these areas — a monster will begin looking you down and you may want to flee its clutches. That is fairly simple the primary two occasions, however the third and ultimate encounter must be a lesson in how not to do chase sequences for different builders.
You are tasked with discovering a number of footage inside a maze with a purpose to take away padlocks off a door blocking your progress, all of the whereas the monster chases you. The setting is so non-descript and troublesome to navigate that you find yourself operating round like a headless hen blindly looking for these photographs. You possibly can by no means actually get your bearings, and the door that you must unlock is at a useless finish, so in the event you mess up, you’ve got mainly killed your self. The perfect half is in the event you do fail, it’s a must to restart your complete course of over again. It is terrible.
You possibly can say the identical of the sport’s body price, which makes an attempt a clean 30 frames-per-second however by no means achieves it. Normal gameplay constantly hitches whilst you’re exploring the residence constructing, after which takes a nosedive throughout the aforementioned chase sequences. It struggles to maintain up with the pace of our dash, resulting in slight enter lag and missed alternatives to flee the monster.
All of it makes for an expertise that simply is not excellent, however when The Brief Message is barely asking for 90 minutes of your time, it is a tad tougher to actually slate it. We would not suggest setting apart the time wanted to see the sport by to its conclusion — what it has to supply merely is not price it. Nonetheless, it is free, so the barrier to entry is solely a little bit of your free time. Possibly you may discover one thing to like.
Extremely bland gameplay and a few overly irritating chase sequences make Silent Hill: The Brief Message a chore to play a lot of the time. Whereas there are some intriguing full-motion cutscenes and heavy story particulars, they don’t seem to be price pushing by the boring sequences in between to expertise them. Silent Hill: The Brief Message is totally free, although, so all it is asking for is 90 minutes of your time to see in the event you get pleasure from it greater than us.