Silent Hill 4: The Room

aka: Jijing Ling 4: Mishi Jinghun, SH4
Moby ID: 14830

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 74% (based on 41 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 94 ratings with 4 reviews)

Welcome to hell..... for the fourth time!

The Good
Well, as you know, this is the 4th installment of Konami's growing horror games. If you are looking at this review and you haven't ever played a Silent Hill game before or even owned one and are looking to an alternative to FIFA.. this review has some SPOILERS in it. So just read this "This game is extremely disturbing and well made! You'll be better off getting some mates round and shutting off all the lights and playing this late in the evening. The more you have to think about Silent Hill 4.. the more decensorcised you will become, thus leading to the disturbing nature of the game. You will be left twitching in the corner and surrounded by stained metal fencing, you will face very wierd enemies and will generally get freaked out by the horrible populous that coincides within the surroundings of Silent Hill.. and Ashfield"

Those of you who have played the other games.. I have put spoilers in here just to further explain myself for the reasons I give. If you are a fan of the game you should know by now not to read a review! Would a Starwars fan not go and see Episode 3 because it was slightly different? I rest my case.

I will highlight the spoilers with big letters before, so skip those if you do not wish to see what happens in the game.

This game is very heavily drawn with plot. Which is marvelous. There is so much to review here as the game is fantastic. Much like Metal Gear Solid 2, this takes a slightly different approach to the series. The differences are not bad at all, infact this game is my 2nd favourite of the four (I'll explain later).

The plot features a man named Henry Townshend, he has payed visits to Silent Hill before, but what is his connection the the place? And why the heck is his door very securely chained up from the inside?! "Don't go out! Walter" is written in blood on the door.. This is nothing compared to what you will see later...

You first enter the game in a new first person view! (which works very well, it may take you some time to get used to the controls, but this is a new angle on the freakyness.. nice!

I won't spoil the beginning too much.. but the door Isn't chained when you first start. The plot slowly reveals it's ugly, twitching cranium and you are left in your room (apartment) to find out what's going on. Everything here is classic Silent Hill, you are going to LOVE the sound production! (but more on the sound later)

I got this game the day it came out and completed it 9 hours later, well, I finished it in a weekend.

SPOILER!! You see, if you put it on easy, ITS VERY EASY! You basically can't die because you always seem to have enough nutrition drinks etc at the right times (but you will soon die towards the end if you do not use them sparingly) END OF SPOILER

The menu system has changed!! YES! Welcome to the new Silent Hill! Finally, the series has managed to latch on to something NOT related to Resident Evil!

I'd love to be able to pick up stuff and examine it and open it up (that's just me though) and i'm quite sure the PS2 has enough power to do so, but this game was released a year AFTER the last, for anything GROUNDBREAKING here you're going to have to wait at least 2-3 years as a single project to get excited.

I would of loved to be able to to more in this game, you can't carry alot of stuff with you this time though (as the plot will reveal). It would of been nice to be able to examine items in 3D and have more weapons which aren't golf clubs.. but I'll save that for later too..

The Hole in your apartment acts as a strange escape from the room, but where exactly do you escape too? The room is the biggest feature in the series though as you will HAVE to return to this room of yours time and time again, it serves as an energy re-charge point and you can read more notes stuffed under your door, look at your neighbours, turn on the radio, use the phone, listen to strange talking sounds coming from the hole... and notice the room looking decidedly different to the last time you left it.

The room is nice to return to from the darkness of the "Portal" worlds you have visted in the game, and each time you return you WILL notice something different. This cannot be good for Henry!

Expect wierd enemies which actually BURP! Use your perfected ability to POWER HIT the enemies with a new strength 'o' meter! (the longer you hold down attack, the greater and slower the swing!) Newly arranged controls! You can swively the character around 360! The old Resident Evil style control has gone, HAHA! You dont have to push up to go forwards anymore, just point to where you want to go. I find this easier to control around enemies, not as nice and smooth to look at if you move it around rapidly..

The animation is great, although Henry does run kinda funny. The enemies are evil! The levels are extremely disturbing (but maybe not as creepy as the other Silent Hill levels)

And for one last good point, this game has multiple endings again!

The Bad
Well, there are so many thing that I would WANT to have.. this made me just not like what they DIDN'T include.

Some things I would love to see are..

SPOILER AHEAD!!!

More varied levels which aren't repeated again! You play the first half of the game, then the second half you have to take around a girl and stop her getting beaten whislt wandering the levels you just beat!

There arent any bosses! Before, you used to have an end of level boss, then you'd wake up from the nightmare.. but now, the people you used to know have turned evil and now float after you!

THERE IS NO TORCH!!!!! NOOOOOO!!! I loved the torch! The best part of Silent Hill is the torch! It's the trademark! This also leaves me with this... the levels seem a little too lit up. There is always a light on around you somewhere.

Ok, maybe I am being way too picky, I was just really looking forward to seeming some creepy shadows etc..

The plot is very cool, the room is very cool, the sounds are extremely cool. But a Nurse monster thing actually BURPS when you hit her/it!! You really must hear this.. it sounds awful. I can't believe Akira Yamaoka gave that sound the thumbs up! There are other sounds too which are kind of crappy, most of the badly used sounds are sound effects, the atmospherics and soundtrack are the best yet. END OF SPOILER

Are the sound effects given away on some "Welcome to music production" gift pack or something?! It's seems like the same sound effect pops up almost everywhere, from low budget T.V episodes to games. I'm sure you would of heard some sounds in here on many other things.

Also, henry has only ONE footstep sound for each surface, it's lower pitched when you walk, but still the same sound! I am being really really picky, but i guess these are the kind of things over looked. But they add to the quality! And after such a quick release, im not surprised that they didn't clean up alot of things..

Ah well! The game is fantastic though, but it's not as inviting to play again as the first or second game. There simply isn't enough to get overly excited about. Nothing is brutally scary here, just a little jumpy and un-nerving. I say this now, but at night.. this game rules the horror roost. You WILL be disturbed.

And the only flaw is that this is mostly a play alone at night game, oh, and the weapons aren't varied enough. You won't get the same feelings or enjoyment in the day. Trust me. And you WILL be begging for a sub machine gun sometimes... But your prayers will never be answered.



The Bottom Line
Silent Hill 4 is a real treat for fans of the series and people who just want something to do over the weekend. Get some mates over and play this at night. PLEASE! Then write your own review! I'm sure you will respect it more if you do that. You will definately have things to pick at in this game, some sound effects, some levels, some animation. But generally the production is very high, the beginning is exceptionally good and the plot keeps you going throughout.

This game will reaveal it's nastly rusty hook, latch it onto you and pull you into it with a deranged grin. Expect yourselves to be un-nerved and disturbed. Don't let it ruin your night's sleep....

And don't take the doll.

Silent Hill 1 is my favourite as i used to live in a town very similar to it!! But now that I don't, maybe it's lost it's edge.. NAH! The hospital in Silent Hill 1 is by far the best and scariest part in any game, or any THING! Silent Hill 2 was really cool! But sometimes it seemed like the Town wasn't as mean and horrible as it was before.

Silent Hill 3 was great as it latched onto the 1st game for plot, but the hospital was the same as Silent Hill 2 and so were most of the locations and the less said about the bosses the better!

Silent Hill 4 is very different in terms of controls and locals, you are treated to all new levels and characters! But some still have that 'SIlent Hill' feeling about them.

Go and experience this game!!!!!!!! If you do not.. Let's just say it's better to find it before it finds you.

P.S PLEASE! KONAMI! RE-MAKE THE FIRST GAME! GIVE IT SOME MORE FEATURES AND BIGGER LEVELS! MAKE THE ROOMS YOU COULD NOT ENTER AVALIABLE! AND DON'T LEAVE OUT THE SIREN! :)

Windows · by MrBee (28) · 2004

Absorbing from start to finish

The Good
This was the first Silent Hill game I've played and I really enjoyed it. Having been a fan of the survival horror genre since Alone in the Dark I've played a lot of games of this variety but this one really stood out. This is perhaps the most absorbing, disturbing, convincing games I've played in ages. The controls are simple and intuitive, the levels long and fun to explore, and there are four endings, which gives the game considerable replay value. Also, this is a pretty long game, which is nice. I'm usually able to clear a game in a little over a week and this one had me going for a solid month.

The Bad
Locking on to a desired enemy in the fight sequences can be difficult. During the last half of the game, when you get your "side kick" of sorts, it can be very difficult to get her to follow you, since she'll get stuck on things like attacking the zombies, which don't die. Also, there are lots of bats. Bats shouldn't be enemies in any video game. You'll see why.

The Bottom Line
I would say that this is not a game for the elderly or those with heart conditions. It is truely scary. However, for fans of the genre its extremely immersive, more so than most games. A really engaging world and a story that develops well along the way.

Xbox · by Jordan Owen (13) · 2006

Revitalizing the series, much better than SH3

The Good
After a series of three successful games, it is very easy to expect the release of another one. The last of them SH3 was very poor in comparison with SH2, the best of the series, and most of the SH fans were fearing for the series to go worse and worse with every new part. When the first trailers and screenshot appeared, you could see the typical trailers from SH series which showed very little about the gameplay and the screenshots showed a worrisome amount of combat scenes. This was not a good indication, as I find the excess of combat in SH series the worst feature. But the game ended up being a very proud Silent Hill.

I have had a lot of luck with this game, relative to the situation I was in, when I played this game. It was Christmas time, and I was barely alone in a residence for students, in the last floor, in a rather creepy room (it was the cheapest of the building, you can make an idea), so this game became a personal experience. Indeed, this is a game with a lot of claustrophobic terror as I'm going to explain. If you have read a bit about this game, you will be surely puzzled by the base idea of this game, a game about being trapped in a room?, well, there is more than just a room, and I can assure you that the room, actually apartment, gives a lot more game than you can think.

This game is about a guy, trapped in his apartment, who slowly discovers what is its story (of the apartment) through visits to places related with a previous inhabitant of it. But more deeply, this game is about the desperation of a man who sees himself prisoned in a place that becomes more bizarre and menacing for every hour he spends inside. And the first person view while you are in the apartment helps a lot to make the player to feel the same.

The level structure of the game is very obvious, even if the disturbing nature of the game makes you think that everything can happens. You visit some different places, like a subway, a hospital and a tower, and in each of them, you meet a NPC, so lost like yourself and who will eventually need of your help. You will soon understand (and "suffer") the role of those characters. In the second part of the game (DON'T READ THIS if you want to play it for yourself) the evil forces that maintain you in the apartment start being more visible and even your apartment is no more a safe place. With this, and like it is usual in SH, you will revisit some levels, but with more difficult this time, and with your young neighbor girl trapped in that world with you and will accompany you (READ AGAIN!). And even if you can think this, when you have the possibility of going outside your apartment, maybe you wont want to...

And all this is because the story in SH4 is very immersive and surprising and every little detail counts. Like in SH2, the "terror" is not administered in great doses at concrete moments, it will be a part of the story and you will be disoriented, tense, uncomfortable and, at some point terrified. That is the spirit of SH and that is what differentiate a good terror story and an average "jumping form your seat" one. And, in addition to the usual formulas of the SH series, in this game you will experience claustrophobia too to as a mayor part of the feeling of the game. As you go on in your quest for understanding what happens with your apartment, this will transform slowly in a cursed place, and you will end up finding yourself more secure in the bizarre outer dimensions than in your apartment.

Of course, like in any other SH be prepare to enjoy a sublime artistic direction, which can be found resumed in any of the trailers.

The Bad
First of, this is a Silent Hill game, and, like any Silent Hill games, it has some habitual failures to the series. The more obvious one is the excessive amount of enemies and their lack of context, which makes them frivolous after some combats and which forces a break in the atmosphere, as you fight creatures that you can't really relate to the game as a whole. This was worse in SH3 and they haven't solve it for SH4. Still the ghosts are a hell of an enemy, in every meaning of the word.

Another endemic demotivation of the SH games is that they are too linear, specially this one, that happens no more in an apparently open city, but in a series of manifestly closed areas, one after another. This is specially annoying in this game, as you see the level design as a series of little rooms communicated by doors, it really kills the pleasing feeling of freedom you felt in SH2, where all the city seemed to be accessible.

But "The Room" has some negative points by his own too. Some of them appears compared to other SH games; you will miss, for example, the fog, the lantern, the city of Silent Hill itself. Aside of those, there are some minor failures we can point at, like the very poor graphics for what you can see through your windows and the fact that you visit twice a lot of levels.

Plus, there is no "W.C. moment" in SH4!!, even if there is a W.C., that was an icon for SH2 and SH3, when you enter a W.C. and you knock the closed door and... nothing, in SH4 you can't even knock, too bad!!

The Bottom Line
Even if you like it or not, find it an unnecessary SH, you must admit that this game is unique. If you like playing strange games here is one for you, and if you are a fan of SH games, I really think you should give it a try. In any case, this is not a game for everyone, but it's a SH you can play without having played the others.

It is always good that game designers experiment, let's hope the SH series hasn't died yet or have some good substitutes.

Windows · by MichaelPalin (1414) · 2006

Might have been cool, maybe the XBOX version is better...(?)

The Good
Classic eerie atmosphere that is bundled with any Silent Hill game. This game can be pretty creepy, aways good. The acting wasn't bad at all and the graphics were just as good, if not better than the rest of the series. Sound and music creates a great atmosphere for the game.

The Bad
The movement is down right horrible. I couldn't believe what I was dealing with. I can't believe Konami actually looked at the final product and thought it was acceptable. The movement is what caused me to sell the game within 4 days of owning it.

The way you have to look and examine objects is equally disappointing. I found it to be a headache and the frustration of trying to pick up an object took me right out of the game. Seriously, these two aspects of what I didn't like the game was enough to ruin the whole game for me.

The Bottom Line
I wouldn't recommend buying this game. Burn it for free or something, it might even be a waste of blank CDs. Play the demo, you'll see what I mean, the movement and character interaction is a joke. Either don't buy this game, or steal it.... don't waste your cash on this piece a junk.

Windows · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2005

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by ryanbus84, COBRA-COBRETTI, Alsy, nyccrg, Jacob Gens, Jeanne, Wizo, chirinea, Zerobrain, Patrick Bregger, Xoleras, Big John WV, Joakim Kihlman, Cavalary, CalaisianMindthief, Alaka, thingspring, Tim Janssen, Max Tikhonov, Riamus, Alaedrain.