Silent Hill: Book of Memories has been scorned and shuffled around. It’s no wonder why. It’s obviously going to be the black sheep of the Silent Hill family, seeing as how it shifts from the traditional survival-horror-adventure we’re used to and instead becomes a single or multiplayer action RPG. Still, Konami’s supporting the WayForward game and it had a spot at its E3 2012 booth. Since I’m interested in picking up a Vita, I figured I had to check this out.
Fortunately, Silent Hill: Book of Memories isn’t bad. It isn’t the kind of Silent Hill game people expect, but from my experience that didn’t necessarily make it bad. In fact, I found it felt a bit like a Silent Hill take on the Diablo formula.
The demo offered two different areas to explore, Zone 1 and Zone 2. I decided to go with Zone 1, because I figured that seemed reasonable. The demo didn’t offer any story or exposition. The next thing I knew, I was looking at a loading screen with a picture of a guy named Derek. The level then began with Derek stepping through a mirror that seperated his room from the Silent Hill world. He was then in a dark and dank environment that looked a bit like a basement.
The game was played from an overhead perspective, just like Diablo. Derek came equipped with a handgun and a cleaver, though I quickly swapped the handgun out for a knife when I ran out of bullets. The problem was that I forgot to turn the flashlight on when I entered the dungeon, and I was having trouble seeing the enemies to aim properly. I figured since I was facing what appeared to be battling Bubble Head Nurses and Double Heads, it’d be fine to rely on bladed weapons.
As I’d take Derek from room to room, the map would automatically fill in allowing me to see what the floorplan looked like. Also, by shining the flashlight around I would occasionally find glimmering red objects that could be interacted with. Because of this, I found first aid kits, bullets that I no longer needed and keys that could unlock additional doors to new areas.
The difficulty level wasn’t too difficult during the entire affair. Most enemies were pretty easy to defeat via button mashing and I didn’t need to employ much strategy to find my way around difficult situations. The only thing that did eventually get to me was a point where I reached a dead end. Since no representative was on hand, I couldn’t tell if that just meant the demo was over, or if there was something I was missing. Since there was no cooperative multiplayer available and really no text to read, I was pretty much left to my own defenses.
Still, I’d be willing to give Silent Hill: Book of Memories a chance come October 2012. Sure, the demo I played had a few minor issues and it wasn’t the scary, twisting and thrilling adventure I’m used to playing, but I’m still going to put my faith in WayForward.