Silent Hill: Homecoming is complex on many levels and yet eerily simplistic on other areas. Silent Hill: Homecoming creates a game title similar to the 2006 film Silent Hill, which made fans of the series desire a game of deduced influence. Double Helix Games tries its best to bring a twist to the genre of the Silent Hill horror and blend it into the confines of a haunted town, but there are issues that prevent this journey from being more than frightening and nothing less than spectacular. Silent Hill: Homecoming becomes irreparably damaged by a slow pacing, repetitive game structure, and finally a less than engaging storyline that makes the core substance of the gameplay design any worthwhile for gameplay. While Silent Hill: Homecoming tries to substantiate the success of the film, it manages to get lost in itself and leave the town not the only other thing worth finding.
Alex Shepard is a U.S. soldier that has been wounded in battle. After a prolonged stay of recovery, Alex begins to see his little brother Joshua in peril through the visions of his nightmares. Alex decides to pay his brother a visit, encompassing a trip back to the frightening and one-note town of Shepard Glen, a town Alex had long forgotten and from which people never seem to leave. The streets are foggy, the town is nearly abandoned, and the current residents themselves are in disarray, a sort of psychotic and latent trance of consciousness. Alex’s mother describes that both his brother and Alex’s father, who went to look for Joshua, have since gone missing – not having been heard of since. From this moment Alex realizes things are not all that they appear to be in the town of Shepard Glen, strangely pulling away and digging himself deeper into the shadows of the dimly lit town.
The journey within the gameplay scheme of Silent Hill: Homecoming follows a pacing that combines with a muddled structure that deters from the actual small moments of psychological thrills that Silent Hill: Homecoming even has to offer. The storyline itself, being clichéd as it already is, continues a pattern of gameplay where players get to choose dialogue. While this sort of freedom is most appreciated, there is more that is needed than empty dialogue that is not effective at giving many vocal details. Silent Hill: Homecoming uses mixed elements from inventory items, to fighting enemies, and crawling with some squeezing into a lot of different places. Silent Hill: Homecoming continues this pattern of gameplay in a repetitive nature, by creating hauntingly incredible environments that are equally frustrating due to the number of locked doors, and inaccessible entrances with maps that too miniscule to read. Combat controls revolve around various types of weapons, which also can be utilized in the environments between heavy and light attacks, making use of dodge and other factors to fight monsters. Sadly, these monsters constantly appear at random moments or just are thrown together. Seemingly so, the pacing due to these mixed elements only continues when there are certain scripted sequences which are reached. Grudgingly the players are either constantly walking down dark corridors and hearing sounds which are never truly utilized, or conflicting into cutscenes which finally go on developing the central storyline and character arc.
Silent Hill: Homecoming does bring about a level of realism in terms of graphical quality which the other games for their time accomplished in a unique light. The environment uses a render engine which utilizes the light in a unique way, creating the same ominous setting as the movie. This is all underscored with the consciousness of the change from one world into another in real-time. Fog effects combined with the film grain quality mixes with the shadows to give it a defunct and dilapidated appeal for fellow fans of the horror genre.
Silent Hill: Homecoming scores in elements that are diluted into a mixture of mix and match horror items which otherwise create a title which is decent but sadly carelessly lacking. Silent Hill: Homecoming will still nevertheless entertain Silent Hill hardcore fans that may find the game disappointing, but still a relatively ‘OK’ adventure that can be entertaining.