The Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Experiment

By Spencer . July 28, 2009 . 2:19pm

image

My interest in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories piqued when a Konami representative said, “the more you play it, the more it plays you.” Silent Hill: Shattered Memories reacts to your choices and actions, but how different is the experience?

 

With the help of Konami spokesperson Jay Boor I found out. We ran a test using the seven question survey Harry fills out at the start of the game. I checked “true” to all the questions while Boor ticked “false”. Then we played the game and looked for differences.

 

Before I go any further, take note this mini-report has some spoilers of the first fifteen minutes or so of Shattered Memories. Nothing major, but I’m going to highlight how the game differs depending on the questionnaire.

 

The opening is the same. Harry stumbles out of his car and discovers Cheryl, his daughter, is missing. Panicked, Harry runs around the snowy town of Silent Hill and eventually enters a clothing store with a blinking answering machine. Boor and I played the tape and heard completely different messages.

 

After procuring a key we walked outside to the next puzzle, which has a series of cans for Harry to inspect. In Boor’s game the cans were soda cans. In my game they were beer cans, subtly implying that Harry has a drinking problem. Remember the questionnaire? I checked true for “Having a drink helps me relax” and Boor checked false.

 

One difference we almost missed was a billboard blurred by falling snow. Boor’s billboard was about family insurance while mine was for a family help line.

 

image

 

So far the differences have been minor, but the way you meet Cybil is a major one. In Boor’s game Harry met Cybil and obtained the cell phone at a diner. In my game the diner was locked so I went to an adjacent bar. The bar existed in Boor’s game too, but it was locked. My Cybil was a downtrodden bartender with a raspy voice instead of a hardened police officer. Boor explained Cybil’s physical appearance can vary even more. She might wear a hat or glasses depending on your actions. Each Cybil spoke had different dialogue too.

 

When we backtracked both of us got a cell phone call, which played out of the Wii remote’s speaker. The calls were different and my message from Caitlin sounded more upbeat than Boor’s.

 

After the call the town froze over and we ended the experiment early in Harry’s adventure. There’s much more to Silent HIll: Shattered Memories and it will be interesting to see what parts of the game people find when Shattered Memories comes out later this year.


Read more stories about & & & & & & on Siliconera.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

  • ECM

    I have less-than-zero interest in Silent Hill, but even if the differences were merely cosmetic, that’s a lot more effort than 99.9999% of developers are putting into their games and they should be applauded for it. (Hell, this is more role playing, in 15 minutes, than you’ll find in 99% of so-called RPGs.)

    • tingting

      As far as the IGNs and Siliconeras are concerned leveling up and numbers are what make a RPG.

      • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

        What?

        I’m not sure what I’m more shocked by — that we classify games as RPGs based on a consumer understanding of what a “RPG” is instead of the term role playing game or that there are “Siliconeras” (i.e. sites that emulate Siliconera) out there.

  • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

    This sounds great. My PS-One disc is getting kind of scratched from use, so this reboot is gonna be a welcome addition. So long as they keep it creepy as well; neat little psychological changes are welcome, but I’ve gotta have that bit o’ suspenseful fear as well. I’m sure they’ll deliver!

  • http://www.twitter.com/tigresaa/ Tigresa

    Holy crap. Way to get a girl pumped. I’ll probably be truthful in my questionnaire the first time around and then get freaky deaky on my round 2. The minute differences in things such as signage? That is incredibly intriguing.

    P.S. Spencer you’re my blogging idol. XD

  • Chow

    These differences seem really superficial. Hopefully the differences will be much more than just dialogue, textures/items and cutscenes. Maybe in the end it’ll feel like it had a greater meaning, like how Silent Hill 2 handled it in a somewhat similar system.

    • memoryofwater

      You’re right. What really made Silent Hill (and to a greater extent Silent Hill 2) click together was subtlety; rarely did anything in the game jump out and make itself explicitly known to you. Rather, varying elements gradually gelled on a background level. The way diverging story branches work is never even addressed as a game mechanic.

      On the flip side, tacking a psychological test at the start of Shattered Memories, well… I’m not sure this game is going for subtlety. It does seem to have a certain je ne sais quois that’s been missing from the series for some time now, but I won’t be too disappointed if it turns out disappointing. My interest in Silent Hill kind of sank like a stone the second Sato split from the team.

  • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

    This is suppose to hit the Wii, PS2, and PSP. I bought Origins on PSP on release (which is why I never got the PS2 version as it came later). I was considering the purchase of this game on the PS2 but if the made this with regards to the PSP like Origins, might it be the best purchase on PSP? Anyone play Origins on PS2 and PSP who would like to give some input?

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      Konami hasn’t shown the PSP/PS2 version yet, but Shattered Memories has motion control puzzles like yoinking a pin out to open a door and shaking cans by shaking the remote.

      As of now, I would want the Wii version over any other version.

      • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

        I’m usually not a big fan of small “gimmicks” on the Wii. I did, however, love Tenchu and RE4 on the Wii with the Wiimotes. If they make this game with the Wii in mind and just port to the others I will probably take your advice and go for that version.

        Thanks.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos

Popular