PC/Mac/Linux
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Minimum System Requirements Windows XP/ME/2000/98 1 GHz Pentium III or Athlon processor (or equivalent) 256 MB RAM GeForce3 Ti/Radeon 8500 Video Chipset w/32MB VRAM DirectX 8.1b or higher DirectX 8.1 compliant sound card 4X CD-ROM or 2X DVD-ROM drive 4.7 GB HDD Space

The third installment in the Silent Hill series is as scary as ever, but unlike Silent Hill 2, builds upon the story of the first game, which was only available for the Playstation.

Graphics

Well, to put it bluntly, the creators of Silent Hill 3 have done it again, the graphics of this game are even better than its predecessor. This time around, 95% of the cut scenes have been rendered with the in game engine, but that makes little difference since they are better than any good quality as any pre-rendered cut scene I have ever seen. The graphics are simply amazing; you will not be disappointed as the quality of the graphics creates an extremely scary and fearful atmosphere. The textures have been created with the utmost skill and quality. The grain effect also adds an element of fear to the game but I chose to turn it off, as it seems to detract from the breathtaking visuals. I was also surprised that the game ran as well as it did on my pc, with only a Geforce3 and I had very few slowdowns.

Gameplay

The gameplay is the same as the previous games in the Silent Hill series, you can move around the main character with the cursors keys, shoot stuff, collects items, and use keys on doors. Nothing has changed since the last installment. One thing of note however is that you can use mouselook to look around on this pc version of the game. This makes the movement style similar to a game like Jedi Knight II in third person. However, this is the only similarity to Jedi Knight II, so don?t think it is similar in any other way. The game is based more on puzzle solving than action, as many who have played previous titles in the series will know. The fighting of monsters is part of the game, yes, but not as much so as Resident Evil. In addition, the game boasts some new weapons, such as the submachine gun.

Story

In this title you play as a girl named Heather, who you slowly find out more about as the game progresses. The story plays off of the first game in the series rather than a continuation of the second game. This game also presents a strong sense of conclusion, unlike the first game. Just like the second game, there are multiple endings. The story is pretty involved and much of the imagery in the game has a deeper meaning that it may seem at first. Fans of the series will know that immediately after playing the first two titles. I would also say this game has a more violent sense of fear rather than a fear based on the unknown as in Silent Hill 2.

Sound/Music

The sound in this game is amazing, and the music is very well executed by composer Akira Yamaoka. The sounds create a very real and visceral sense of fear with loud grating sounds, the footsteps of the various monsters of Silent Hill, and other effects. Like the Silent Hill 2 musical soundtrack, the Silent Hill 3 music is full of emotion and fits the game perfectly. I am a fan of the Silent Hill soundtracks for this reason.

Stability

I had no crashes or other problems running this game on a system above the minimum requirements.

Offensive Content

Sigh?where to begin. I would have to say the intro screen which states ?\'some parts of this game might be considered violent or cruel\' is an understatement. There is nothing to be ?considered? violent here, its violent whether you like it or not. This game is definitely the most gruesome of the series, with many violent images presented to the gamer. These images however do serve a purpose and have meaning behind them, but they are violent nonetheless. The monsters, like Silent Hill 2, are rather gruesome looking. Also, one more thing that deserves mention is, that many of the characters talk about ?God?. This kind of gave me the creeps whenever I heard them speak of it, and they speak of ?God? quite a bit. It seems there is some kind of religious commentary going on, but I?m not sure, and it doesn?t seem to be particularly caustic if it does indeed exists. However, players should realize that the people who speak of ?God? and the ?rebirth of Paradise? are severely disillusioned cultists who are trying to resurrect and have the rebirth of the god of Silent Hill. Naturally, you are fighting against evil in this game, but the occult elements still exist, with symbols of Samael, the evil god that controls Silent Hill and some other seemingly occult symbols. There is also a little swearing in this game, but it is minimal.

Conclusion

Awesome gameplay, story, and graphics, but the occult elements and violence are intertwined in the storyline and the gaming experience. Personally, I think this game has a lot of symbolism in it and is very intelligently made, however I cannot recommend this game to any Christian unless they are very mature in their faith and can see the difference between who God is and who the ?God? they speak of in Silent Hill 3 is and are able to stand the amount of the blood this game has.

Final Ratings

Game Play: B- Graphics: A+ Sound: A+ Interface: A Stability: A Offensive Content: F

Overall: D-

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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