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.
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.