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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Hands-On

The original Resident Evil has already benefited from a remake (that originally appeared on the GameCube), and now, its survival horror rival, Silent Hill, gets in on the act with Shattered Memories. But Shattered Memories features more than just a visual upgrade over the original. In fact, not only have some aspects of the storyline been reworked, but many of the original's mechanics have also been completely changed to accommodate the Wii's control scheme.

The most significant of these changes has to do with the fact that Shattered Memories doesn't feature any sort of traditional combat. When Harry Mason--who ventures into Silent Hill to find his daughter after a sudden car accident--encounters enemies, his best strategy is to make a mad dash for the next room. If one of these enemies happens to get its creepy hands on him, you can make a motion with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to throw the enemy to the ground. The trick is that the motion required to fling these creatures depends on which position they grab you from--if they grab from the side, then you need to make a side motion; if they snatch you from the back, then you have to gesture a throwing move toward your body.

Many of the puzzles in Shattered Memories seem to revolve around numbers and deciphering codes, but there are quite a few that also involve simply finding a key to open a specific door. Additionally, Harry comes across a variety of mementos scattered and hidden throughout the different parts of town. In the early portions of the game, these mementos don't seem to serve any specific purpose aside from adding some background to the events transpiring in the game.

One thing we'll be interested to see pan out in the final version of Shattered Memories is the role of psychology. Near the beginning of the game, Harry finds himself in a psychologist's office discussing events that happened in Silent Hill. One of the very first things you do is take a psych test that asks some rather personal questions, and it isn't the last test you'll take. Later, you'll have to color in a picture and then rearrange a completely different set of pictures into one of two categories. Your answers on these tests inevitably affect things happening in the game. Needless to say, it adds an extra layer of weirdness to what is shaping up to be a supremely creepy game. Look for more on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories before its December 8 release on the Wii.



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