Fan-Made Silent Hill Game Is Nearly As Creepy As The Original

Illustration for article titled Fan-Madei Silent Hill/i Game Is Nearly As Creepy As The Original

In case you forgot, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and horror movie maestro Guillermo del Toro are making a new Silent Hill together. If you're not excited/weeping in terror at the prospect, you might actually be one Silent Hill's soulless denizens. Sadly, it's still a long way off. Thank goodness for fan games.

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Silent Hill: Alchemilla is a fan game built on Valve's Source Engine (the piece of seemingly immortal technical wizardry that powers Half-Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, etc), and it's a bit of a curveball relative to the rest of the series. While its creators very much want you to drown in foggy doom atmosphere reminiscent of Silent Hill 1 and 2, you won't find any baddies to fight or flee from in this one:

"So we have an ADVENTURE type game in [the] Silent Hill universe with NO MONSTERS and NO GUNS, MELEE."

"In our game you will not find inventory system or notes system—there are no people who could do that on Source engine (people start to hate it cause it's outdated). So just sit tight, take pen and notebook and play as hardcore gamer, make notes yourself, draw your maps yourself."

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That last bit, despite being a result of tech limits, actually makes for a pretty interesting exploration experience. "Maybe," I thought to myself when a puzzle stumped me, "maybe I really am going insane. Or maybe I'm just very bad at drawing maps."

Silent Hill: Alchemilla is a pretty solid game, though. It's spooky without being overbearing about it, and the environments are pretty stellar. Only problem is, it is, as the developers said, pretty adventure game-y in the sense that it's an item hunt. Your mileage might vary on that front, given that weary minded frustration can sap the atmosphere out of any room, no matter how immaculate its siiiiiiiinister ceiling mold is.

Still though, Alchemilla is definitely worth a go. So long as you have a Steam account (which includes Source Engine files), getting it up and running should be a snap. Check it out for free here.

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DISCUSSION

nventure
nate venture

I'm torn on whether this interests me. On the one hand, I love the atmosphere of Silent Hill when it's done correctly by people who understand it at more than face value.

On the other hand, no monsters? A lot of the tension usually comes from the fact that you don't know when you're safe or not. Sometimes nothing is there, but it SOUNDS like something is just around the corner. And other times everything seems calm, right up until a shadow moves and your radio starts to hiss.

Also that trailer showed monsters, so how does that work? They're all just set pieces safely behind barriers? Or they show up only in situations where you don't have to interact with them? Or I guess they could be used as puzzle elements, in that having them catch you means failure?

When it's available for Mac soon I may try it out. Not interested enough to bootcamp for this.