Content warning: This review discusses Silent Hill: The Short Message’s story, which includes references to self-harm.
As a lifelong horror fan and longtime horror critic, I didn’t expect to review a free Silent Hill game that launched, PT-style, just a few minutes after it was revealed. And I certainly didn’t expect it to be as forgettable as it is. After more than a decade away from consoles, Silent Hill: The Short Message revives the series as the first of several games over the next few years. I sincerely hope future installments in the franchise can rekindle the long-absent magic because The Short Message doesn’t do that. In more ways than one, it’s not the playable teaser Silent Hill fans hoped for.
Silent Hill: The Short Message is a first-person horror game built on the idea of a time loop in which its tormented main character is trapped. If that sounds familiar, wait until you play it. The game is blatantly inspired by PT (or “Playable Teaser”), Hideo Kojima’s guerrilla demo for the never-released Silent Hill title he was once working on. The Short Message is not Konami running back PT’s story without its director. It’s a brand-new entry into the series meant to be something of a jumping-on point for players uninitiated with the previously hibernating horror series. It’s neither tied to any past entry, nor a teaser for a future installment.
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