If Resident Evil mastered the nuts and bolts of engendering fear in a video game environment, then its rival figured out the atmospheric angle for scaring players.
Where Resident Evil gave you a clear view of its zombies, you could barely see anything in the Silent Hill‘s fog-plagued hamlet — and even when you could, it was impossible to trust what you were seeing.
Moreover, Silent Hill didn’t lock you up the same way the first Resident Evil did. Instead, as Harry Mason, you were left to roam a haunted and eerily empty small town, looking for your missing daughter with only a weak flashlight.
Even though there was gunplay and occult plot devices, this playable frightfest rotated around an everyman psychological horror concept. No special agents here, just a guy who could barely aim a shotgun. Harry felt like he was going crazy during Silent Hill — and players did, too.
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