Memories I'd like to forget, that is!
The game starts with you choosing a trinket, a class and customizing your character's look. You are never told what the trinket does, or how each class is different from each other, which is just dandy, so lemme tell you instead: The trinket gives you a passive boost, like extra defense, and the class only makes two of your starting attributes better. After that is dealt with, you are treated to a short cutscene that set ups the game: You get the Book of Memories, a book that allows you to alter the past, and in doing that, alter the present. And that's about it. There's not a lot of story, and it's told almost exclusively through short, confusing notes and some audio clips. Y'know, in previous games you'd get newspaper cut outs, scribbled pieces of papers and what not as notes, here you get dull, brown notes that sometimes are hard to figure out who they were written by, because it turns out you find notes written by yourself as well. It's very confusing, and it's not even interesting. There's also about six different endings, most which are rather bittersweet, which, on a Survival Horror game, would've been fantastic, but in this game, they just feel unsatisfying. That said, the game has an 'endless mode', which apparently is made up of 500 randomly generated floors, after finishing the 21 floor storyline. On a good dungeon crawler, that would've been a fantastic post-game. If only....
Most people play Dungeon Crawlers for the loot, if you do too... you won't like this game. Weapons lack modifiers, so a knife will always be a knife. They are also meant to be disposable, they break pretty easily, although you can carry a few wrenches to fix them. A modern day dungeon crawler sounds like an interesting idea, getting guns, shotguns, planks of wood, knives, fire axes, etc, but in practice? The weapons are dull. They should've added modifiers, should have made it exciting to find weapons. Like a poisoned plank of wood! Or a fire axe that's actually on fire! But nope, boring, dull, mundane weapons you are not supposed to grow fond of. Later on you'll also find 'objects' that can be equipped on your stats for boosts. These objects reference items from all over the Silent Hill universe, but references a good game do not make. Weapons come in two varieties: Two handed weapons, like pick axes, shotguns or hammers and single handed weapons, like pistols, uzis or knives. You can make any combination of single handed weapons, like having a pistol on the square button and a knife on the triangle button... or you can dual wield uzis(Although you have to fire them one at a time). The combat itself is... it's alright. There's nothing special, just hack away enemies and carry on on your merry way. You can dodge, block and parry with the circle button if you so wish. There're no skill trees, passive or active skills to learn as you level up, but you can buy a few special powers done by holding the R button and another button. There's no depth, no nuance to the combat.
Public Service Announcement: You should probably download the patch. By itself the game is already relatively challenging, add to it accidental deaths due to the game not registering you touching the health packs. Well, originally, dying meant restarting the entire level, losing all your progress and having to endure the whole loading process again. With the patch, all your progress through the level is kept, you just need to go back to where you died and retrieve your health packs, ammo and wrenches. Well, a few of them, I always went from a full 9 stock of each to 2-3 of each, which can be crippling. And from what I read, it seems poison traps could instantly kill you before the patch, oh boy, having to endure that on top of the already messy interface, and having to go through the entire loading screen again.... Just, just download the patch.
I think the game's biggest mistake was building the game around the franchise instead of doing it around the genre. The Dungeon Crawler genre thrives on the addictive nature of gathering loot, something that's missing here. Where are the skill trees? Passive skills? Active skills? Where are the large hordes of enemies? All we get are uninspired weapons that are meant to be disposed of, trying to force the flashlight to add unrewarding busywork to the game, a Karma system that doesn't work very well, repetitive puzzles at the end of every flippin' world. Having enemies, weapons and objects referencing every single Silent Hill game can only take you so far. References are fun, when the game IS fun, but they can't make a bad game any better. At all. I knew they were trying too hard the moment they use Silent Hill 3's best line: 'Did they look like monsters to you?' In Silent Hill 3 that line had a lot of weight, of ambiguity to it, that made sense in that game, and gave the whole ordeal, and future ordeals in subsequent Silent Hill games, a completely new twist. Games about horror, psychological horror at that. Here it just feels like misguided pandering, since the game isn't trying to scare you, it's not trying to make you think, it's a game with no depth either on the story or gameplay front, so using that line, verbatim, was nothing more than a cheap, cheap reference, that instead of making me smile, made me feel more cynical about the entire game.
3.0 out of 10