Playtime: 8 Hours
Score: 7/10
The start of my favorite survival horror franchise of all time! I remember watching my parents play this game as a kid and just being fascinated with the concept of the series and the town of Silent Hill in general. And while this game didn't capture me as much 2 and 3, it is definitely one of the scarier games in the series.
One of the first few praises I can give is the fog that proceeds over the town as you explore. While this was due to the PS1's hardware limitations, it was a genius idea to use the fog as way to have a bigger map, and to make exploring the town more terrifying. Other thing is the art style with its low pologon PS1 look just makes the game look even more creepy. This game also uses gore a lot in some truly terrifying ways like the alleyway sequence near the beginning. The music and sound design as well as always for this series is fantastic.
Combat is okay. Its definitely more janky then the PS2 games, which were already janky but I was able to get passed most sections.
Some of the negatives though are just some of the really annoying enemies in this game. When it came to exploring the town I pretty much ran and avoided combat all together, because some of the enemies are just really annoying to fight. In the more confined areas its a lot better though in terms of the enemies you face. Also calling some of the puzzles obtuse would be a severe understatement as the solutions are so hard to figure out sometimes. One puzzle I got so frustrated that I looked up a guide and when I found out what the solution was, I wanted to throw my controller at the screen because of how stupid it was. Also some of the levels like the sewers are just god awful and can make you quickly decide against ever replaying this game.
Overall though, a good horror game! I know their remaking Silent Hill 2 since its the most popular game in the series, but I feel like this one needs a remake the most, as its almost impossible to play it these days due to janky controls/mechanics and just being so inaccessible on modern gaming platforms. However, It definitely deserves to be played by any horror game fan!

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2023