Survival Horror Franchise Starters – Resident Evil, Silent Hill

The two games in my collection I will be highlighting today are the first entries into two of the most well respected survival horror franchises in gaming history. They are also the inspiration for two not so well respected movie franchises but I won’t be talking about those, only the phenomenal games made by two game developers at their prime.

Resident Evil is of course, the first game in the long running series created by Capcom and features zombies, gore, puzzles, weapons, more gore, items, 3D third person shooting and other features popular in the franchise. If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise as a whole, then you obviously haven’t been paying attention the past 20 years as Resident Evil has permeated pop culture fully and completely since it’s debut in 1996. I picked up my copy used well after the completion of the PlayStation’s lifespan as I was more into RPGs and sports games during the first few years of owning a PS. I have never been a die hard fan of the series so owning a copy of every entry from the 5th and 6th generations was never a goal of mine. I picked this copy up for two main reasons: 1) its the original in the franchise and no matter what the quality is/was, it has relevance; 2) the copy I found was a long box copy, which was one of PlayStation’s earlier packaging attempts before they decided on regular CD sized jewel cases. I found this style of packaging interesting enough that I knew that was the version I wanted. Then I actually, finally played it and damn, it’s frightening yet still fun. I love horror films so this had a Night of the Living Dead vibe I was definitely into. I haven’t played all the way through Resident Evil but I I’ve played enough to know this is a classic for a good reason. Scary and unnerving, Resident Evil’s gameplay stands the test of time despite the poor voice acting and stilted dialogue, which was all too common to 90’s video games.

Silent Hill, released a few years after Resident Evil, is even more scary and unnerving in my opinion. Silent Hill takes a more psychological horror approach, which I’m a huge fan of. Silent Hill is Konami’s entry into the horror genre and it feels like you’re in control of a choose your own adventure horror movie (with sketchy dialogue and acting but whatever). You play as a father searching for his young daughter after you crash your car near the town of Silent Hill. During your journey to find her, you discover that things aren’t what they seem in this formerly idyllic, now deserted and creepy little town. The game generates a lot of it’s scares simply by atmosphere & sounds instead of common jump-scares, which there are still plenty of. The game relies on a lot of puzzle solving but there is a fair share of action involved as well in the form of boss fights and other creatures that you encounter while investigating the town. Silent Hill also offers multiple endings depending on well you perform during the course of the game. The fact that not every ending leads you to the same overall outcome is quite a different approach to determining a game’s completion. Is everything a dream? Is your daughter dead? Is everyone dead (Lost creators may have played this game)? Have there been some sort of demonic shenanigans going on which has caused the town to become some sort of hellish nightmare (creators of Silent Hill may be fans of Twin Peaks)? All questions that only can be answered by actually playing this masterpiece, which I highly recommend.

Currently in my collection:

Resident Evil – game, manual, case A-

Silent Hill (Greatest Hits version) – game, manual, case A

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