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Silent Hill 3 is a 2003 survival horror video game and the third installment of the Silent Hill series released on PlayStation 2 and Windows PC. Influenced by iconic movies like Jacob's Ladder and novelist Stephen Kind, Silent Hill 3 delivers a frightening and entertaining experience in diversified horrific environments.
This is the title after Silent Hill 2 and before Silent Hill 4: The Room. You play Heather, a teenage heroine that went shopping but was suddenly trapped in a frightening city named Silent Hill. It opens with one of your nightmares of being trapped in an amusement park and killed by a roller coaster. As you awaken in a burger restaurant, you try to leave the mall, but private detective Douglas Cartland confronts you, stating he has information about your birth.
- Survive and explore: Your trustworthy flashlight will still be there to help you explore all the scary dark places. The radio is also part of your items and will crackle when monsters are nearby. As you whistle away the dark, you will find valuable items like first aid kits, energy drinks, firearms, melee weapons, and others required to progress. Oh, and the innovative beef jerky mechanic is introduced and allows you to lure monsters away.
- Combats: You will fight against various opponents, adapting your strategy depending on their threat level and capabilities and using melee and firearm weapons. Your ammunition is gold, so use strong and fast melee weapons like the katana to save guns for tough foes and bosses. Also, for the first time in the series, you can reduce damage by blocking at the right time, which adds more texture to combats.
- Feedback and controls: Your character self-awareness is improved as you can choose which control scheme you prefer (tank controls are optional), and vibrations are used to indicate your heartbeat and low health. It may seem a detail, but it really helps to connect with your character, increasing the sensation of danger and tension when situations escalate. Except that, the controls and the third-person camera perspective are unchanged.
- Monsters: Your foes are almost all new, like the Double Head dogs, the Closer (club-handed monster), the Pendulum (fast-spinning mosquitoes), the Numb Body (one-eyed creature), the Split Worm, the Insane Cancer (slow-moving hulk-like thing), the Slurper, the Nurse, and more. Each has specific strength and pattern, so beware of what's hidden in the dark.
- Level design: In this title, as the level design is less open and more constrained, you are less likely to roam looking for what you should do. Hence, tight areas are more numerous and successfully manage to increase tension. Some levels are excellent, like the sewers (yes, a sewer level can be well-designed in a video game), the subway systems, the chapel, or the amusement park.
- Puzzles: The puzzles are still part of the adventure and blend well with all the other mechanics, as they don't break the game's pace. You can still set the puzzles' difficulty independently of the game's difficulty, and if some may seem trivial in easy mode, others may require some knowledge of literature.
Graphics and sound
Compared to the second installment, the graphics look better, but you may only notice those improvements in subtle ways. The character models are subtly more distinct, the movement of the bodies and hairs are improved, and the different environments still convey these uncomfortable-frightening-yet-pleasant feelings. Indeed, the texture quality is still really good (based on when the game was released), and you will find many bloody walls in the numerous scary scenarios. However, the fog is less present, which inherently decreases the level of claustrophobia in certain parts.
About sound, the sinister continuous music when monsters are nearby, the radio crackling when danger comes, and all the sound effects in the different scenarios successfully build tension over the various environments. In addition, some moments will be a requiem for silence, making them even more frightening.
Duration and game modes
As several endings are reachable, you can enjoy the adventure for between 6 and 12 hours, and it features a single-player experience. In addition, you can unlock several things (more details above) once you finish the game for the first time, adding more replayability as you discover more aspects of the game.
What do the reviews say?
Silent Hill 3 has a Metacritic score of 72/100.
"It's all atmosphere and, particularly when you're talking about horror, that's often enough." (Computer Games Magazine)
Silent Hill 3 is rated PEGI 18 as it contains violence.
How to install Silent Hill 3?
You will get an ISO file so you may follow the installation guidelines to ensure the game works properly. This is a very common way to install games from ISO files.
- Once downloaded, double-click on the ISO file to mount it/open it. You will see many different files.
- Run the autorun.exe file to start the installation process. During the installation process, note where you install the game.
- Once the game is installed, open the folder where you installed the game.
- Copy the sh3.exe file from the ISO and paste it to the folder where you installed the game.
- You can now launch Silent Hill 3.
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