[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below, it’s probably ad-blocker settings]
“Silent Hill: The Terror Engine, is both a close analysis of the first three Silent Hill games and a general look at the whole series. Perron situates the games within the survival horror genre, both by looking at the history of the genre and by comparing Silent Hill with such important forerunners as Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil. Taking a transmedia approach and underlining the designer’s cinematic and literary influences, he uses the narrative structure; the techniques of imagery, sound, and music employed; the game mechanics; and the fiction, artifact, and gameplay emotions elicited by the games to explore the specific fears survival horror games are designed to provoke and how the experience as a whole has made the Silent Hill series one of the major landmarks of video game history.”
So, kinda sad but – this was suggested to me by someone who saw it and told/gifted it to me as a psychological analysis of the SH games, not a cinematic/literary analysis [which is what this book is]. Not that it wasn’t interesting but… was very much a letdown. It possibly had to do with this starting off on the wrong foot and not being able to even itself out again but also just… meh.
This kinda immediately put a damper on how I was going to [not] enjoy this book. Despite the fact that I really tried to be stoked about it… it was stuff I already knew. I’ve read and studied aspects of all kinds of literary horror, from Lovecraft to King so I was familiar with nearly all of what the book pointed out. Pretty much same with a majority of the cinematic dissection. I have multiple friends in various fields of cinema and I’m usually the one who suggests the SH games to them.
The only real thing that kept me going through the book was my love for the SH series. This book primarily focuses on the first few games. And when I say that I mean: Silent Hill. Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 3. Silent Hill: 0rigins gets a few snippets here and there as does Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and a few bones are even thrown in for Silent Hill: Homecoming. But Silent Hill 4: The Room? It got maybe a single page’s worth of a mention at the very end of the book. Literally the last few pages of the last chapter. That part bothered me. There’s always been a lot of back and forth on if The Room was originally even supposed to be a SH game before it was forced into one but the fact of the matter is, well, it is. And I liked it a hell of a lot more than I did Homecoming. [Also sidenote, the book was written before the atrocities of Downpour, the awful ‘HD collection,’ the stupid ‘Book of Memories’ game, and well before the rise and fall of Silent Hills and how Konami is a PoS and now one of the most despised game companies out there]
Even with how much this series means to me, and how I always played the various SH soundtracks while I read it as ambiance… it was boring. Like really, really boring. Multiple times my eyes would kinda blur and my mind would wander off from boredom and when I finally focused back I had completely lost where I was and would have to re-read some portions multiple times.
Also, maybe the hard cover copies were better, but the pictures printed in my copy were awful. I didn’t mind so much that they were black and white, but they were printed so dark that even when my face pressed close to the page and eyes squinted, I could barely see what was in some of the pictures. Annoying especially when the picture was there and being used to point out examples of what the current chapter was about and all it was, was a black square blob.
Really I guess this book is either good for cinemaphiles, those who don’t quite understand the SH games, or maybe just SH memorabilia collectors. I’m going to keep it in my collection but otherwise, really wasn’t my favorite.
I give Silent Hill: The Terror Engine 2/5 Bloody Lead Pipes
“To our great pleasure, let’s hope Silent Hill, the survival terror games, will be an endless nightmare.”
[Welp. That’s not depressing at all for fans of the series. The SH games and Konami have now become a shitty kind of nightmare.]