Fandom

Zero Punctuation Wiki

Silent Hill: Homecoming

518pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

This week Yahtzee's ass remains safe while he reviews Silent Hill Homecoming.

Transcript Edit

Previously on Zero Punctuation

To me, the Silent Hill series is over, and if Silent Hill 5 convinces me otherwise then I will remove three of my own vertebrae, curl my spine back, and eat my own arse!

And now the conclusion

The bad news for you lovers of spectacle is that, while Silent Hill: Homecoming isn't that bad a game, my arse gets to stay right where it is. My promise was to chow down if the game convinced me that the series is not over. And I can already hear the words "cop out" ringing in my ears, but even though it didn't give me too large a hernia, Homecoming doesn't feel like a successor to Silent Hill 's 1 through 4.

There's no way of saying this without sounding like the kind of Japanophile, Naruto cosplaying, subtitle watching Westerner who spends his every waking hour gargling Pocky and cursing the roundness of his eyes, but I expected this the moment the franchise moved out of Japan. I was certain that the new American developers would do what Americans always do: muscle in on another culture's territory, try to impose their own values, and fuck everything up. Just like they did in Iraq.

The Japanese approach to horror tends to be slow building, oppressive, emphasising the horror of being totally alone with something that hates you in a very passive-aggressive way. While American horror is more about putting a fucking chainsaw on your arm and slicing your way through waves of slavering baddies who all respond like blow-up dolls filled with raspberry jam. (Actually, I'm pretty much describing a Resident Evil game there, so maybe I'm talking out of my delicious, uneaten arse).

But the point is, Silent Hill always used to belong in the former category. It was subtle, psychological. Typically you'd wander bleary-eyed around deserted streets for half an hour before you even saw a monster. And especially in Silent Hill 2 (which I would remind you once again is a proud member of my personal best games ever superstar tag team), a lot of them seemed more interested in raping each other than actively pursuing you. Sounds boring, but since you're expecting horrors to jump out and gob on you at any moment, it puts you in the right mix of loneliness and anxiety that keeps you on the edge of your seat without even needing jump-out scares. Homecoming 's so excited to be here that it has you in a rusty toilet stabbing a zombie nurse in the tits before you can do your flies up.

Silent Hill: Origins and the movie both did the same thing, so let me give a blanket statement here: drop the fucking big-titted sexy nurses. The only reason they looked like that in Silent Hill 2 was because the spectacularly neurotic James Sunderland was looking for his sexy wife and they represented his frustrated libido. Alex in Silent Hill: Homecoming is looking for his kid brother, who I very much doubt was a double D. And what have the new monster designs got to do with anything? A spindly man with a banana skin for a head? What, was Alex's brother once tramautised by a smoothie?

Pyramid Head also makes his contractual appearance, for no better reason than fan service. His big scene involves him walking across a room and pausing at one point to lingeringly stare at the camera, stopping just short of doing a little song and dance routine. The whole effect is a game that's trying so hard be a part of the big boy's club that you can practically hear the disc straining with the effort.

The trademark sense of isolation is another point the game misses like a champ when you're given a spunky female sidekick. This is another peculiarly American habit that seems to always go unchallenged: why does a love interest subplot have to be shoehorned into everything? Imagine if there was some kind of parallel universe where every game and movie, regardless of genre, was required to incorporate at least one line dancing competition. We'd think they were all raving lunatics! And yet here's us forcing in an out-of-place, cheesy romance scene that's more agonizingly painful to watch than any of the actual horror the game is supposed to be about.

And if that's not enough, you get a wise-cracking black friend drenched in stereotype. Towards the end, there's a bit where you're given the choice to either save him or let him die, and I could not hit that "No" button fast enough, I tell you that. Then, of course, they had the cheek to give me a bad ending. It's like they had some kind of generic Hollywood movie checklist to fill in. Which makes sense, because the game borrows heavily from the similarly overdone Silent Hill movie, to the point that I half expected there to be a level where you play as Sean Bean doing something totally fucking irrelevant.

I can't help being biased. I once courted a game with golden hair and shining eyes and mouth that could suck the moon through a drinking straw, but our dalliance had to end. And while I've been working my way through her modestly hot sisters, none of them will ever compare to those halcyon days.

So let's try to judge Homecoming by its own merits. The environments are well done, but some of the levels are a bit linear and feel like arbitrary padding. Thought you could slip a quick sewer level past us and no one would notice, did you, lads? The story is a lot more creative than Silent Hill: Origin 's "let's just dump this twat in a haunted town and see how he goes," but the dramatic twist ending was about as shocking and unpredictable as the sun rising in the morning. The dodge move takes a while to master, and even then it only works when the engine is in a good move.

Shooting is the only way to guarantee not getting at least one bit sliced off with every fight, but haunted towns are affected by the economic crisis, too, and they can't afford to leave many bullets around. But you know what? That's a good thing. Survival horror combat is supposed to be hectic, panicky, and often not worth it. If I'm not dreading every single monster encounter, then it's not horror, is it? It's just setting up an unpaid pest control business.

You don't actually spend much time in Silent Hill the town, so the thought occurs that if they'd dropped that aspect, changed the looks of the monsters, renamed it something like The Adventures of Captain Scowlyface and released it as a whole new franchise, I'd probably have been kinder to it. Maybe if the original creators of something don't want to continue it, then you should listen to them. Because otherwise you're only making it to please the fans, and why would you want to do anything for fans? I mean, I'm a Silent Hill fan, and I've just spent a whole review whining like a broken motor. Fans are clingy, complaining dipshits who will never, ever be grateful for any concession you make. The moment you shut out their shrill, tremulous voices, the happier you'll be for it.

(Incidentally, why not buy a Zero Punctuation t-shirt?)

AddendaEdit

Haunted by the guilt of his dead career: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Also there is officially no shame in using GameFAQs to solve that bloody coat of arms sliding block puzzle

Silent Hill's gotten pretty fucking noisy all of a sudden

BonusEdit

(Yahtzee gives new dialogue to phone conversations in Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill)


(Heather Mason picks up the phone. "Karma Chameleon" plays for a bit)

Yahtzee: Hello, this Lesley from the cleaning service returning a call from Mr. Mason. . .Hello? Anyone there? *Coo-ee* I know there's someone there - I can hear your nose whistling.

Heather: Who are you?

Yahtzee: Oh, Heavens to Betsy, you can talk. As I was saying, this is Lesley calling for Mr. Mason about the blood stains. I just need to tell him it's gonna be a slightly bigger job then we thought.

Heather: Is this Leonard?

Yahtzee: No, no, Lesley. Listen, I can't. . .what. . .what is wrong with everyone? I'm trying to keep to a schedule here, and all I get are people going around like today's the day they set aside for acting like Captain Sillybollocks or something!

Heather: You've got me mistaken for someone else. Today's not my. . .

Yahtzee: I know today's not actually. . .look, luv, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell. I'm just having a rough day. I lost one of the three symbols I need to unlock my front door this morning and I'm just a little bit narky, all right? Look, tell your daddy that I'll call him back. I've got three other clients breathing down my neck, and they're looking very ugly.


Later


(Harry Mason picks up the phone)

Yahtzee: Ah, hello. Mr. Mason? Lesley, from the cleaners. We're gonna have to charge you a bit extra for the blood job.

Harry: Who are you?

Yahtzee: Oh, fuck off!

ScreenshotsEdit

Homecoming 1

Muscle in on another culture's territory, try to impose their own values, and fuck everything up

Homecoming 2

I could not hit that "No" button fast enough

Homecoming 3

The Adventures of Captain Scowlyface

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.