Silent Hill 4: The Room was Team Silent and Konami’s first step into trying something different – and for the most part, they succeeded. Although Silent Hill 4 has a distinctly unique look and feel when compared to the previous Silent Hill instalments, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The main character this time around is Henry Townshend, created to an every-man character and, well, the developers certainly nailed that one! I actually had to Google what he looked like because I’d forgotten completely. Harry, James, Heather – every protagonist so far has been pretty memorable. Henry is not.
I’ll admit, whenever I think of SH4, I picture Walter Sullivan or Eileen – not Henry. It probably doesn’t help that when you first start playing as Henry, you are in the first person. You don’t see your character in 3rd person until later in the game.
But it’s important to remember that he’s supposed to be that way. Henry is supposed to be a character that has no connection to SH, intentional or otherwise, and has no tragic backstory for it to feed off of. He is simply a man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Henry’s story is from the point of view of the outside observer – as the gamer is when they play. You’re not trying to discover his reasons or motivations – he is the vehicle for you to find out what’s happening around him.
However, don’t let Henry’s blandness put you off giving Silent Hill 4 a try. Whereas the protagonist is nothing new, there is plenty within this game that is unique, and that includes the monsters.
Silent Hill 4 takes a different road with it creations, opting for ghosts and spirits over the usual lab-rat style abominations. But they are no less terrifying! The Twin Heads create in particular springs to mind. I won’t give any spoilers away here – go and play for yourself, or tune in to the podcast episode if you want to hear more about the horrors that await you in Silent Hill 4.
This may not be one of the most popular of the SH series, but it is one of the most interesting. It tried to do something the previous games hadn’t, and it deserves kudos for its attempt. Not everything hit the right target; some of the side characters are a bit two-dimensional, and there’s a fair bit of backtracking, but there is plenty here to keep any horror fan engaged right to the end.
What did you think of Silent Hill 4: The Room? Love it or hate it? Listen to Episode 8 of This Door Is Locked and join us as we discuss the exciting world of Henry Townshend.
And as always, stay safe out there!
Charlotte loves horror in all its glory and, as her alter-ego The Cross Eyed Gamer, plays motion-sickness friendly horror games on her YouTube channel.