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SILENT HILL: The Short Message
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A free Silent Hill game that doesn't suck? Silent Hill: The Short Message is P.T. for a new era

A free Silent Hill game that doesn't suck? Silent Hill: The Short Message is P.T. for a new era

7K View2024-02-02

SHOULD I PLAY SILENT HILL: THE SHORT MESSAGE?


Definitely play it if you have a PlayStation 5 and are open to horror games that tackle darker subject matter. Silent Hill: The Short Message is a completely free title with no monetization whatsoever. While it tells a standalone story, there are also hints at what we might see in future Silent Hill games, like Silent Hill f and Townfall. After the disaster that was Silent Hill: Ascension, it feels great to play a Silent Hill title that’s actually fun.


TIME PLAYED


It took me around two and a half hours to finish all three chapters of Silent Hill: The Short Message. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all of the game’s content, but it still feels substantial for a free title. Beating the game unlocked a chapter select screen, so if I decide I want to replay a portion, it’ll be easy to find what I’m looking for.
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WHAT’S AWESOME ABOUT SILENT HILL: THE SHORT MESSAGE?


Fun, creepy visuals. Silent Hill: The Short Message takes place in an abandoned apartment building, which is a terrific setting for a horror game. The walls are covered in graffiti, the building is falling apart, and the rooms are filled with remnants of the people that used to live there. Sometimes, things took a turn for the surreal, but just walking around those empty hallways felt pretty spooky.

There’s only one monster in
The Short Message, but that creature is spectacular. The cherry blossom entity that stalked me through hallways was visually striking and absolutely terrifying. The Silent Hill series has an incredible bestiary, but this monster is a standout. The creature was designed by Masahiro Ito, the creator of Pyramid Head, so I have no doubt it’ll show up in future games. 
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A story filled with twists and turns. The Short Message focuses on teenaged characters and tackles topics like social media and suicide. There are plenty of games that have addressed these subjects, but The Short Message manages to take its story in some surprising directions. The themes won’t resonate with everybody, but I was entertained from start to finish.

Tons of cool lore. I liked The Short Message’s story, but I absolutely loved the bits and pieces or lore I discovered throughout my playthrough. Most of this lore focuses on the fictional German town of Kettenstadt, which is where the game takes place. The town has a connection to witchcraft that goes back centuries. Some people worship a figure known as the Witch of Kettenstadt, while others believe that the town is plagued by a terrible curse. These beliefs have persisted for decades and have even led to mysterious deaths. None of this lore is directly connected to the main narrative, but I absolutely loved reading it.
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Fantastic music. The Short Message features new music from Akira Yamaoka, the long-time composer for the Silent Hill series. These tracks deliver everything I could want in a Silent Hill soundtrack; they’re atmospheric, beautiful, and slightly unnerving. I’m a huge fan of Akira Yamaoka’s music, so it’s great to see him working on a Silent Hill game again.


WHAT SUCKS ABOUT SILENT HILL: THE SHORT MESSAGE?

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The chase sequences can be frustrating. The Short Message has several pulse-pounding segments that require you to escape from the cherry blossom monster while running down long, labyrinthine hallways. Most of these sequences are excellent, but there’s one near the end that left me so frustrated I had to temporarily step away from the game.

In that specific section, I had to collect five items without getting caught by the monster. That sounds simple enough, but the corridors I was running through were dark, and the creature chasing me was relentless. If I got caught at any time, I had to repeat the whole process from the beginning, which absolutely sucked. If the game had kept track of the items I’d collected, it would have been fine, but starting from scratch was a major chore.

It’s not a mainline Silent Hill game. The Short Message is entertaining, but if you’re expecting something on par with Silent Hill 2, it’s going to be a letdown. This is a short, free game that essentially serves as a teaser for upcoming Silent Hill projects. The gameplay is limited, and the themes aren’t deep enough to compare to the best titles in the series. It’s a very fun horror game, and I strongly recommend it, but you should keep your expectations in check.


PLATFORM TESTED


PlayStation 5.
[Review written by TapTap editor Ndi]
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Abeng 21
Abeng 21
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ngewe

2024-04-16

Dagoth Ur
Dagoth Ur
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Had some similarities with SH the room

2024-04-15

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