Now I know what you’re thinking, “Dom, you’re like 10 million years late to this, why are you reviewing such an old game?” Well, because Silent Hill has fast become one of my favourite video game series, and now that P.T isn’t going to be a thing, this is the best I’m going to get. I’ve heard from many people that Homecoming is awful, and I wanted to try it out for myself. So sit back, and get your reading eyes on. Just as a disclaimer – there will be spoilers throughout, so if you haven’t played Homecoming and are planning on it, you’ve been warned!
Silent Hill: Homecoming is the sixth installment in the Silent Hill series. You play as a guy called Alex Shepherd, who’s father was one of the founders of Shepherds Glen. Following Alex’s release from the Special Forces, he returns to find his father and younger brother missing, and his mother losing her mind. These events lead Alex directly into Silent Hill, where you face off with members of The Order, and find out exactly what happened to your family while you were gone.
Silent Hill: Homecoming has a storyline that seems exciting on paper but isn’t actually that exciting to play. I found that there were many holes in the story, and it all felt a little bit forced and rushed. Not to mention how abruptly the whole game ended. As a brief run down, Alex thought he was fighting in Special Forces, but in reality he was in a mental institution because of his brothers accidental death at his hands, which he never got over. So, naturally, he walked into his own personal hell. You later find out the history of Shepherds Glen, and how the founders sacrificed one of their own children to please the gods, and Alex was meant to be that sacrifice. But due to his brother’s death, Alex survived and Josh was offered in his place. It sounds pretty nuts, but it’s actually super boring to play through. Alex seems so emotionless and there is no effort to make you connect with him at all – which leaves you not wanting to survive or keep him safe. In a Silent Hill game, you want to keep your character safe and you want to find your way out, but in Homecoming, that’s just not the case whatsoever.
Homecoming has updated mechanics too, which was more than welcome in the series – but many of the new controls are really clunky and don’t work very well. I’ve heard that the mechanics are similar, if not the same, as in Origins – but seeing as that one is still currently on it’s way to me I can’t comment on it unfortunately. I just hope that they worked better on the PS2 than the PS3, but now I feel like I’m clutching at straws in hopes of praising it for something.
I really found it hard to find things I loved about Homecoming – but that doesn’t mean that I’m slating it completely. I did find that while you were fighting members of The Order and various other creatures that inhabit the world, they take a lot more hits and damage than before which means tactical evading and counter-attacks are crucial. It made the game a lot harder to finish, because you couldn’t go around waving poles at everything that moves and downing it with one fatal hit.
Now, back to moaning. Let’s have a talk about the final boss, shall we?
Amnion is an asshole. An absolute abomination. She shouldn’t be a thing, let alone being one of the worst bosses in history. There’s a few theories about Amnion and the story, such as her being Josh’s anger towards Alex for killing him, or Josh’s love of spiders and insects. To be honest, that still doesn’t justify why she’s the worst boss I’ve ever encountered.
It’s not even the fact that she’s hard to beat, or even the fact that I completely messed up my chances of ending her easily as I had hardly any ammo, one first aid kit and one health drink, it’s the fact that once she hits you, you’re down for at least a minute while she pounds you into the ground and there is little to no chance of you evading or moving out of the way, because she TRAPS YOU IN A CORNER AND GOES TO TOWN. I’m not joking, she’s brutal. It also doesn’t help that Alex is really slow when moving or attacking. One little tip though, make sure you save your health items and save the ammo! I’m sure it’d be a lot easier for you to finish with all of these tucked away in your inventory.
All in all, Silent Hill: Homecoming was really disappointing to play. Everything seemed dull, a lot of the time you felt like you weren’t doing anything significant, and having a connection to the character you play is important – and it completely missed the mark. I’m super gutted about it as it had the potential to do so well and be a must-play for Silent Hill fans, but take it from me, it’s not worth the hassle.
If you have played it, let me know in the comments below and tell me your thoughts on it. I love to talk anything and everything Silent Hill related!