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  • Donald Johnson

The Beauty of Silent Hill 2

A survival horror game released by Konami in 2001 for the Playstation 2. This game

follows up the first Silent Hill installment with new characters and a new story. In the

same small town shrouded in a thick fog with snow falling all throughout its streets and alleys. We follow a middle-aged man James Sunderland as he is struggling with grief after the death of his wife Mary. He receives a beautiful note years after her unexplained death written to James and signed by Mary. The note tells James to visit his and Mary's “special place” which is located in the town of Silent Hill. In an attempt to finally cope with Mary's death, he travels to Silent Hill.

Silent Hill 2 has a beautiful soundtrack all composed by Akira Yamamoto from Team Silent. The soundtracks consist of many different ambient tracks that each set the tone for the environment it plays in. From beautiful slow-paced melodic melodies to fast-paced horrific sounds that have you checking over your shoulder every minute. This soundtrack fully encapsulates the player into the experience of Silent Hill 2. The top song from this soundtrack is Promise (Reprise) a slow sentimental song that plays during some somber scenes throughout the game.

Through James' journey into Silent Hill, he faces many monsters taking the form of

grotesque creatures inspired by his guilt, desire, grief, and yearning for punishment. While facing off with James' literal demons the player is also faced with many puzzles and riddles. This game is full of symbolism and while exploring we learn more and more about James' past and why he is drawn to this town. Silent Hill 2 doesn't rely on cheap jumpscares to impact players; it sets a tone for its environment and allows the player to feel the feelings James is with its somber and isolated moments accompanied by the occasional run in with the monsters inhabiting this town. Along with James, we meet a couple of other interesting characters, and with each interaction, the player can gather a reason as to why these people are also drawn to Silent Hill like James.

Overall this game is very well crafted and it is very obvious that Team Silent had a huge passion for this small project that deservingly became a global smash hit. For the best experience, this game can only be played on the Playstation 2, but with a beautiful thing called emulation with just a few tutorials Silent Hill 2 can be experienced on nearly any PC or laptop for free. I highly recommend this game to everyone, especially those who are interested in the horror genre. People don't just say this is the best horror game for no reason. Silent Hill 2 has some of the most sophisticated writing and storytelling seen in the horror genre and it really is a masterpiece.


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