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Level: Silent Hill back home search
Author(s): MpGrill
total rating:8.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
BHM Productions 7 9 9 10
Ceamonks890 6 6 7 7
DJ Full 7 10 9 9
Gian Carlo 7 7 9 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Penne_Pesto 7 8 10 10
Phil 8 9 8 8
The Boo 6 6 9 9
category averages
(8 reviews)
7.25 8.13 8.88 9.13

Reviewer's comments

"I again blame the forum trend of having a heckload of great betatesters but zero quality assurance. In my whole history of building, only mugs was brave enough to tell me I'm doing terrible gameplay, so I included it as a secret and you got one less point to get stuck in my game. That's why nobody said Dude, this jumpswitch is bullshit, remove it!, and should the prologue exist at all? Silent Hill is not about running mazy caves but let's just start at the outskirt signpost and go directly into the town, rendered as good as in Clara's levels so I bet this would happen if this one was hers: no pointless build-ups but instant immersion in a huge city. Here the atmosphere gets top-notch like the topic deserves - open space, torn road, collapsed cavern bits. Just like in the Seraph game I'd like wider fog range (closer min, further max), also to see two junctions at a time for better city orientation, to save at least an hour - yes, I denied the map, but even if it didn't require quitting, would I use it? And I deliberately ran in a random direction to get lost because this is a game where you want to. I cast this on myself, so I don't count it into the rating. What I do is long corridors ended with receptacles for items from elsewhere - so in theory you can follow the right path within minutes but in reality it has minimal chance to happen in correct order - even replaying, I still backtracked of mistake. The city also has many static spots which I again compare to master town maps literally packed with interaction. Next in order, a school - usually most fun to me, as a former member of a Catholic school which can go to hell either: so I couldn't help the assumption it's Ash Wednesday, or at least students secretly overdosed cigarettes, but I found no restroom so where does that smoke really come from... The cloakroom reminds me of mine: everyone had a key but one key could open several cabinets, ages before trolling. I see the staff of Silent Hillplays cards, for some absurd reason condemned where I live, so I'm glad it's encouraged here. At one point, the kitchen offered me a coffee croissant, looking clickbaitingly fresh but expired enough for Lara to ignore it. In one of the rooms I found the... Ark of the Covenant (?) guarded by two... duck cherubim (??)... damn CMS memories, they just won't leave a city like this... To improve is class variety because all blackboards teach chemistry, btw a hint from another game, it may mislead whoever gets stuck here - which is now much harder with new camera hints included: <⚡FLASHBACK⚡> before the fix I did a pushable, found nothing, realized it later, returned, still found nothing in the cabinets, THEN recalled the author say pickups MOSTLY not lying on the floor, returned again, and found the pickup on the floor. Then I had the same horror looking for the book, to fail without forum help, despite of running through the entire structure plus the surrounding town three times, only because my focus was stolen by surrounding stuff so as a result I checked an identical regal elsewhere but not where I was meant to. Never do that, never use identical objects so one of them is interactive and the other one isn't, while the map is open! This time it's all solved so I only needed an hour compared to tough days of the first try. It still doesn't help to check numerous rooms: if it's empty, you can kill it. Speaking of enemies, they have boosted damage and endurance, despite of tons of examples which proved it wrong - somehow even top builders have this habit, failing to understand how frustrating it is, and this case is just extreme: a dog takes half life with one bite, or a superbat endures 10 shots, an enemy hard to negotiate but with attack strength boosted anyway to obliterate Lara's health with several accurate hits. I would approve if bullets were scarce but the beasts took one shot - this is how you create the feeling of anxiety - OMG what do I do - not the other way around, the point isn't to die but to live through terror: when you're dead you barely fear... More balanced rats and beetles appear, the latter requiring to outsmart them, a creative and not that frequent thing. Finally, a whole crew of movie monsters, including my favourite PH, but then you see the wrong walk speed so this fine part is impossible to fully enjoy. The new baddies occupy the movie darkness which falls foreshadowed by the church siren... wait no, it's replaced with a normal cross, possibly to my greatest disappointment - just picture the entire thing or don't at all: half-baking creates unfulfilled expectations to see the missing half. The darkness is well done, and - another good fix - the soundtrack isn't looped anymore, much less tiring and putting greater emphasis on the scary parts. Previously, after third or fourth loop I took my headphones off to play in depeche mode (enjoy the silence). So in both versions, for different reasons, the horror mode has been achieved: I wanted to haste back to the sunlight (foglight?) asap. With receding darkness, the lowlight occurs instead: the Hotel. If you played them, you need no description, if you didn't: this is when God forsakes this town to be consumed by evil as tons of doors turn the epic concept of Silent Hill into a manor pickup hunt. Again I wanted to get free asap, for yet different reason. I admire the time put into object placing but why to spent it on design half of which should be cut out? - the second play took much less time as I could ignore the spare rooms. Meanwhile I found intriguing tapes which reveal the storyline, and give me the answer I didn't get about the Coyote Creek leopard: why is this major material included as secrets, never to see by those who ignore them? Hiding best bits and exposing the ordinary is like writing a piano concerto to lock the piano part in the closet. Luckily, NPC flyby cutscenes remain in the main part, climatic and mysterious, and the push button got a camera hint - good, very good. For me this was the best bit: tedium was compensated, the level got strong in the concluding bar and reception. After another step into the foglight, I faced a buggy boss door but understood its real intention so no big deal with patience refilled. I took a breath, and... the identical room design as in the hotel reoccured in the hospital so again you get from the highlight straight into the lowlight. At that point I gave up seeking for fun and went idle, trying to ignore the door count and open them like the karate warriors repeat the same move over and over until it's perfect - but I lack the Japanese serenity so I played my favourite youtube vlogger to keep me going through this. Meanwhile, real outbalancing progressed in the background: the awful lot of room search made the actual horror content appear minor and irrelevant. The fixed version has it much better: the parts of light and darkness got closer in duration to each other so if you unluckily played the first release, this is one of the games worthy to wait a bit and try again - I guarantee the experience will be much better. Soon we do the obligatory vent, always fun, and reach the next horror chapter, packed with unique content like the one before. Then it becomes 1 to 1: a brief town run and the cursed church form quick chapters of peace and threat, very correct as for the final action part, and resolving into a highly relieving yet plot-twisting finale which lifted my output experience back to satisfying, nothing matters more than that. SUMMARY: Simple fixes made it miles better and I only want to remember that version - for the former release I could neither find proper words of recommendation nor discouragement from. Sense now prevails over nonsense so if you're careful you rather find than miss, and possibly not even need forum help or the walkthru, bless G-D for it. Still, this is no walk in the waterpark, parts everybody should witness oppose those never to include in a level and topic execution ranges from utter genious to worst abuse, so in one minute I felt honored to explore every corner, in another I ranted at bad solutions like AVGN does. Tactics? You need peace to attempt this game: therefore, highly recommended but directly after a level which will pre-relax you enough." - DJ Full (13-Jan-2017)

"What a wonderful level! I'm new to the TRLE community, but I am a huge fan of both Silent Hill and Tomb Raider, so a friend told me about this level. I must say, I am very pleased! The amount of detail and effort that must've went into this is just mind blowing. The atmosphere, environments, designs, gameplay style... it totally nails the Silent Hill vibe. My only complaints are that I did get rather frustrated at times with how super-mega hidden a bunch of things were and there was literally no direction at times of where to go. Also the final boss was impressive but lame as an overall fight. And some of the enemies had glitchy A.I. and movement. Still though this was an AWESOME level and I definitely see myself playing it again in the future. Mega kudos to the creator for giving me such a pleasant first TRLE experience! :D" - Penne_Pesto (11-Jan-2017)

"I know nothing about whatever this level set is based on, but I'm sure it must smack of the spooky and the macabre. I stuck with it for the three hours or so it took me to play through the game, out of a sense of duty more than anything else. There are some fun moments here, to be sure, but my strongest memories are of going down endless corridors, the most pressing decisions along the way being whether to turn right or left, opening endless doors, many of which had absolutely nothing behind them, and all the while groping my way through the fog and the darkness. Without Dutchy's walkthrough, telling me which doors to open and which ones to leave alone, I wouldn't even have made the attempt. You don't get even a hint of blue sky until the very end, but I suppose that's just a reflection of the builder's mood-setting decisions. I can see how some players would find this to be just an awesome raid, but unfortunately it's not my cup of tea. I've tried not to let my disappointment in the fun department detract unfairly from my scores, as this work obviously required much planning and skillful execution on the builder's part." - Phil (10-Jan-2017)

"As someone who is a fan of the first four games in the Silent Hill franchise, I have to say the prospect of having Lara visit the town(whether that be against her own better judgment or not), sounded incredibly fascinating to me. What kind of inner demons would Lara be confronting as literal symbolic creatures? What kind of strange and mysterious characters would she encounter, like the protagonists of the actual Silent Hill games have in the past? Or what kind of lore and backstory on the town itself would Lara find during her exploration of this long-abandoned place? Unfortunately dear readers, the answers you're about to get aren't really positive(as the creatures themselves are just lazily-rehashed enemies from SH2 with nothing truly unique about them and you never find any other sentient life or intriguing lore within the town itself anyway, to make the journey worth the trouble.) So if you're expecting the builder to have gone the extra mile and provided a proper Silent Hill experience(aside from having a redesigned Lara model wearing SH2 protagonist James Sunderland's clothing and a trip to what's supposed to be the Otherworld with nothing original to offer), stay well away from this one. As a standalone custom levelset however, it holds up better. But it still has problems. First of all, the general level design can be far too vague and confusing at many points, to a degree of frustrating unfairness(prompting many glances at the walkthrough and the town map file, when the latter should be in the game proper!). So shame on you MpGrill for not doing that. And secondly, the gameplay isn't anything too special either(as you'll find yourself constantly searching for that one key or item needed to move forward among samey-looking streets and rooms, that usually have nothing of worth in them, but chests containing medipacks and the odd useful item). Considering the Silent Hill franchise's reputation for deviously ingenious puzzles, I have to say I was significantly disappointed with the lack of anything of the sort to speak of throughout. Having said all that however, the texturing, ambiance and overall atmosphere pick up the slack in terms of conveying the immersive eerie otherworldly nature of the Silent Hill games quite well(even if the lighting can be a tad too dark for its own good and a concerning number of static objects glow rather obnoxiously whilst outdoors.) In conclusion, I'm afraid that I did not find myself enjoying this levelset very much and basically had to force my way through to the end. Give it a go if you'd like, but I personally wouldn't recommend it unless you're a very patient individual willing to put up with a lot of tediously-made game design, for ultimately very little reward." - Ceamonks890 (18-Dec-2016)

"Well, this is mostly about exploring and you can't see beyond the end of your nose due to the intense fog. Not having played Silent Hill, the game, I assume that's how it has to be and I won't complain for the fog, together with the background sounds and the musical choice, create a perfect horror atmosphere coupled with great textures that change a little from the usual tomb raiding scene. You can see a lot of work has been put into this. I'm also astonished at the fact that some people claim there aren't any enemies as we're faced with a great final boss and there are a few lesser enemies along the way as well (this was my first time ever being killed by bats). I was about to say my favourite levels of the bunch were The Darkness and The Hospital but that might be a little unfair on the rest, namely The Hotel. True indeed, there are too many rooms with absolutely nothing of importance inside except for the great looks of it all - again, I suppose that this for-the-sake-of-realism touch must be related to the game in which this was inspired. So, no complaints on my part. I'd rate the gameplay somewhere between a 9 and 10, so I'll give it a 10. Definitely recommended." - Jorge22 (18-Dec-2016)

"First of all, I have to admit the atmosphere of this game is just great. It manages to capture the feeling of the good old Silent Hill very well! I like most of all locations, because they are build with devotion and to be a stickler for details. Unfortunately the auther failed in creating exciting and motivating gameplay. All the time long you are searching for keys or ways to make this game move forward. In addition there is also much backtracking. I really missed some traps or compelling tasks. Also the enemies are - with a few exceptions - just boring or in many areas nonexistent. Summery: The gameplay destroyes all the nicely created atmosphere and landscape. Only play this if your are a great lover of Silent Hill." - The Boo (17-Dec-2016)

"Silent Hill fans, rejoice! This is the closest thing we have had to a new Silent Hill game in years, and it certainly delivers on what we expect from the series. Let's start with the flaws. For better or worse, this level set forces you to adapt to its style of gameplay, which is a constant streak of searching for extremely obscure or hidden objects/switches. While it does turn you into a detective of sorts and you really get the hang of surveying your environments, those said environments are huge which will leave you constantly feeling like you're looking for a needle in a haystack. That's where almost all frustration with this level set comes from. Also, the gameplay overall lacked depth and genuine puzzle-solving beyond finding ten keys to get to one final key to leave an area (or, in some levels, replace finding keys with opening doors). Finally, the giant plant-type boss was ridiculously difficult, almost impossible for me. I took me, I counted, 34 tries to get through that area. Not very fun. Enemies had odd A.I., and some weaker enemies had a strange ability to drain all of your health within seconds if they got close to you. The ending also felt kinda rushed. Now the good notes. This author is clearly a legitimate fan of the Silent Hill series and knows exactly how to recreate it. Every single ounce of this level set is oozing with atmosphere, style, and design that 100% captures the spirit of Silent Hill. I was blown away by the town, and seriously impressed with the author's work that he put into each level in general. The gameplay had good points as well, with there being fun platforming and interesting exploration. The secrets were especially interesting. I was also pleasantly surprised by how genuinely scary this level set was at moments. In the same way the Silent Hill games made me feel, I was constantly afraid of turning every corner, seeing shadows in the distance made me stop in my tracks, and the first time the Otherworld (or "Darkness") came, I was legitimately freaked out. Overall, this was a level set that was unfortunately riddled with frustration due to the excessive usage of incredibly hidden pathways and objects, but that frustration can be looked past as this is a seriously engaging and solid experience. Incredible visuals, 100% captures the spirit of the Silent Hill series, amazing atmosphere, and some engaging exploration. By far the best Silent Hill TRLE level to ever be created, and I'm so glad I stuck it through and got to fully experience it." - BHM Productions (17-Dec-2016)

"I've really liked this one. It has great atmosphere and the author used very good textures. It's definetely the best of Silent Hill on TRLE so far, but as any other game, there are flaws. I didn't have a problem with the fog, but it was annoying that you can't access the map in your inventory. First of all, there's no actual story/cutscenes in the game, which is the main aspect of SH, leaving the game with an empty feeling. The beginning of the game, which is the path to the actual town felt too long. There were too many rooms to explore in the school and the hotel, but there was nothing really important to collect in 99% of them and that felt really boring sometimes, specially with a lot of useless (though beautifully made) objects in the way. The Darkness was too linear, and I expected something way different because it was a totally different level and not the actual darkness of some place visited before, for example. Also, there was no puzzles and enemies at all. I know it's hard to recreate SH's world in a such old engine, but I felt that the author put his efforts on creating difficulty by hiding too well keys, switches and crawlspaces rather than creating actual puzzles, which is a main thing in both SH and TR. Other than that, like I said, the author succeeded in capturing the game's atmosphere and that's why I still enjoyed it. It's a nice levelset." - Gian Carlo (15-Dec-2016)
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