I have played almost every Silent Hill game, the only games that i still don´t play is Origins and Shattered Memories, and the arcades...
Well i´ve played this game almost 100%, i still dont unlock the costume with the konami code, but i have the 32 achievements by the time i make this review, so here i go...
Homecoming is the sequel of the horror series Silent Hill, you take control of Alex Sheperd, a soldier who is wounded in combat and is going home, to only discover that his disturbing dreams are coming true, his brother Josh is missing, is up to Alex (the player, means you) to find him and find out what is going on.
First lets talk about the good things...
What makes a Silent Hill game a game, is the story, in the other entries even the gameplay doesn´t matter, but actually a true classic has everything good, even the loading screens!!!, so many Silent Hill core fans don´t like this game because of the story, because the game was developed by a non-japanese developer, the story unfolds different from the other entries, many talked about that the series got too western like, but in a matter of fact, it is a good story.
Homecoming has a good gameplay, there are some action cutscenes, where the player have to type very fast a button in order to progress in the game, the combat is well implemented, you will kick ass in no time because of that, but if you let the enemy take a breath, it will kick your butt in no time, so you will have to time your moves perfectly,but dont worry even that can be done with practice.
The game have good graphics but it has some bugs, like getting darken in some areas, i was thinking about another review (ign.com) that it was poor descicion of desing, but in a matter of fact, its more like a bug and i´m writting this because i´ve reloaded some other saves in other areas and then reloaded the areas that have the problem and then i can see perfectly well. The scenarios are too dark, it was to mean to be dark, but with the bug, you cant see a thing, neither the character and get ambushed by the enemies, without the bug, you can see places that are scary and distant silouttes that move in the dark, and you can see what is going on and where are you going to.
The game has 32 achievements in total, all of them are easily to get, if you play the game just because of the achievements, you will spare like 2 or 3 weeks to get all of them. But Silent Hill is more than just the achievements, is about the story, the monsters, the analisys of the plot, etc.
With that wrote, let´s write about the nasty things, the bad things...
1) The story is a bit different of the other, it perfoms well, but not like the others, and here is why: many details in the story are related to the main character, like the monsters, the bosses, etc. In Homecoming that doesn´t happen.
2) The story is very solid, it doesn´t left anything on loose, but if you´re going to put the Silent Hill name on the package, you have to let something for the player to think about, didn´t you watch “2001: a Space Oddisey”?. Silent Hill doesn´t finish when you get the game disc out of the console, it gives you something to think about and make some reflections. Even in subsecuent playthroughs you discover more things and make yourself an opinion of the story or even change your perspective about the story.
3) The gameplay here is good, this game and SH1, have a good combat mechanics, but the hardcore fans belive that this is not a good thing, it´s a BAD thing, why?, because some of them argue that the other kind of gameplay, make feel the player very vulnerable to the monsters, but actually i found it pretty annoying, in Homecoming you can get an instant revenge on the monster who attack you, but only if you master the combat system of the game, so if you think that you are a killing machine on your first playthrough, you will be dissapointed, yes you will kill some enemies very fast, but some others like the Siams, requieres at least save ammo for a combat with them and think about a strategy when it comes a fight. With the other and older system you can get killed even by insects!!!, so Homecoming have solved that.
4) The Music is not as memmorable as other entries, it´s okay, sometimes you can feel it is out of place or situation, but it has one or two good tunes.
5) It´s a Silent Hill game, if you noted the above points, you will realize that this game have very little to do with Silent Hill, perhaps just the name on the package is the only thing that has truly something to do with Silent Hill, still it´s a nice game, but it could be better called: Shepherd´s Glenn´s Nightmare or maybe Deadly Search, Deadly Sins or even just Homecoming, and leave the Silent Hill reference in the story as is in the game could be pretty cool.
6) But the worst thing of the game and maybe the reason to think to stay away from this title is the technical dificulties, we are talking about a software, console software, wich is easy to develop compared to the PC, so a bug in the consoles are not easy to forgive, the last thing you will wait about a console game are technical difficulties, and that´s because you don´t have to worry about requirements or outdated hardware, you just put your game in the console and play until you say "enough", even patches are garbage, why?, because you don´t have to think about how your software will perfom in most of the machines out there, in consoles, patches to fix problems are just an excuse for the publishers and developers to release software that can even not work with the system... In my opinion this is the only bad thing of the game and that is because the developer never worried about a patch to fix this game, no matter if their product didn´t sell well, it´s about ethic, if you are going to do something, you have to make it good.
As you can see this games could be a great one, at least it deserves your attention, you probably think about a rental before buy it. All in all, i find this game enjoyable, the technicals difficulties almost ruin my experience, but i heard from other people that this problem is not for everyone and it has something to do with your TV, so maybe you have luck and don´t have any technical problem with this game.
I give it 4 stars just because the technical issues...