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Silent Hill: Homecoming Review

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Home is where the heart is - and the liver, spleen, lungs, brain...

★★★★★

While most Silent Hills have been the twisted brainchildren of Japanese coders, the business of bringing the series jerking to life on the Xbox 360 and PS3 has been entrusted to an American development house. Yet while the Yank’s more gung-ho approach goes a long way to enticing a new breed of players to sample Silent Hill’s psychological terrors, adopting a more measured take on the combat loses sight of the game’s most disturbing aspect.

While Silent Hill’s biggest draw has always been its everyman heroes – real people trapped in nightmarish situations, rather than Resident Evil’s pumped up policemen – making a war veteran the focus of the game lends itself to more refined violence, the gruff protagonist using advanced moves to dodge attacks and pummel the undead. But while the game’s fastidious fisticuffs take genuine skill to master, gone is the blind panic of swinging a lead pipe in almost total darkness to clobber skinned zombie children, Homecoming in turn offering players more control of their digital destiny, but ditching the acute sense of helplessness that made its predecessors so chilling.