Silent Hill 3

released on May 23, 2003

Silent Hill 3 is the third installment in the Silent Hill survival horror series and a direct sequel to the first game, although this is kept secret from the player for plot twist purposes. Like the previous entries, Silent Hill 3 is a survival horror combining action-based combat and puzzle-solving, but is somewhat more combat-oriented than the preceding installments. The main character is able to side-step and block some attacks, but in general shares with the other protagonists of the series their relative ineptitude in combat.

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The perfect horror game.
The sound production of this game has been done to perfection. As you venture, every new place there is a different sound to offer making every corner of the game unique. Going through all the places you eventually start to feel like you’re really trapped in that place and as you encounter the various creatures. It feels like you yourself are running for your life as you progress. The story at start feels weak but the way it pieces up together by connecting the dots it’s just mind blowing. It still baffles me how well it keeps up in terms of graphics as compared to all the newer AAA titles.

um clássico q me deixa feliz ate hoje. baseei minha personalidade na heather

this game is fucked up. 2 thumbs up.

This review contains spoilers

Silent Hill 3 (SH3) is a 2003 survival horror game developed by Team Silent, directed by Kazuhide Nakazawa for this installment of the franchise. The game follows Heather Mason, the 17 year old daughter of the protagonist from the first Silent Hill game. From a completely surface level perspective, the game is about a teenage girl trying to get home. Silent Hill 3 takes this simple concept and expands upon the fears that accompany it through creative level design and recurring themes of claustrophobia and stalker paranoia. Before I delve deeper into analyzing this game I’d like to say that it’s one of the few things in the medium of horror that has genuinely scared me. There’s a certain comfort in watching a horror movie, knowing that you have no control over the events that occur, and that you yourself are completely unaffected. Horror movies also stick to a set runtime of predictable tropes, culminating in a fun little adrenaline rush you simply sit back and watch. In a horror game like Silent Hill 3 however, the character becomes an extension of the player which makes the looming threat of violence much more stressful.
Plotwise, the game is a continuation of the story from the first game. Heather Mason finds herself pitted against the town’s local cult leader, Claudia Wolf, who is devoted to ensuring the birth of their cult's God. Heather is the reincarnation of Alessa Gillespie, a psychic girl who was pregnant with the God of the cult before her soul being split and reincarnating into Heather Mason. Convoluted cult horror aside, the key plot point of Silent Hill 3 is that the overarching conflict of the game comes from an unwanted pregnancy.
To understand what makes the horror of Silent Hill 3 so effective, one must first contrast it to the two Silent Hill games preceding it. SH1 and SH2 each center around an older male protagonist who travels to the titular town of Silent Hill in hopes of finding someone. Upon arriving, the town warps and in the case of SH2, gives life to manifestations of both their fears and their traumas. The gameplay loop involves traveling from location to location, solving puzzles, and acquiring keys that grant them access to new areas where they repeat this process. From a design standpoint, the male protagonists have a lot more freedom to explore the town. Silent Hill 3 alters this formula by removing the exploration and making the game extremely linear. The linearity paired with claustrophobic environments work together excellently to express the game's recurring theme of paranoia from a female perspective. In comparison to the previous games, the enemies of Silent Hill 3 are considerably larger and more aggressive. One of the recurring enemies, the “Closer,” is a bulking monster with body bags for massive arms that they use to block hallways. Since Heather is the reincarnation of Alessa Gillespie, she shares her memories. Alessa was abused as a child by her mother for not believing in the cult religion of The Order so this enemy acts as a living manifestation of her repressed trauma of maternal abuse. This enemy isn’t the first time the series has explored themes of abuse however. In Silent Hill 2, the character Angela was a victim of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her father and brother. In every encounter with Angela, she acts isolated and distrusting towards James, the protagonist of SH2. Near the end of the game, James finds Angela in a room lined with flesh walls, and on those walls are pistons repeatedly thrusting in and out of orifices, symbolizing her sexual assault and isolation she feels as a result of that trauma. While this is a centralized case of symbolism, Silent Hill 3 includes these themes all across the game in both its level design and enemies.
The primary source of horror in Silent Hill 3 stems from the environmental design and overall atmosphere. Throughout the course of the game, Heather experiences shifts from her world to the “Otherworld” of Silent Hill. This alternate reality is characterized by an overall orange hue, rust laden industrial equipment (fans, grates, fences), and blood splatters. Composer Akira Yamaoka’s sound design is what most heavily reinforces the oppressive atmosphere of the Otherworld. All throughout the game things such as distant footsteps, screeching, and banging are heard. An important thing to note is that the location where Heather first shifts to the Otherworld is a shopping mall. This interpolation of a seemingly normal public space into a living nightmare emphasizes the theme of stalker paranoia that Heather experiences. Like Angela’s room in Silent Hill 2, throbbing flesh walls and womb imagery make a frequent appearance. The strongest example of this is the final boss taking place in a damp circular room with flesh walls that you enter by jumping through a uterine hole. With the conflict of Silent Hill 3 beginning with Heather’s unwanted pregnancy, the narrative conclusion of Heather essentially aborting god is extremely satisfying.
Silent Hill 3 to this day stands as the single scariest thing I’ve experienced and is well deserving of that accolade. Heather Mason is easily my favorite horror protagonist and is one of the main reasons why this game is as excellent as it is. Her reactions feel genuine and her angsty personality gives the game a unique identity that would be well missed in her absence. Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack and sound design is the perfect compliment to her character and makes her fears feel all the more real. In conclusion, Silent Hill 3 is a masterclass of atmospheric horror that is equal parts terrifying and thematically strong.