In case you forgot, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and horror movie maestro Guillermo del Toro are making a new Silent Hill together. If you’re not excited/weeping in terror at the prospect, you might actually be one Silent Hill’s soulless denizens. Sadly, it’s still a long way off. Thank goodness for fan games.
Silent Hill: Alchemilla is a fan game built on Valve’s Source Engine (the piece of seemingly immortal technical wizardry that powers Half-Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, etc), and it’s a bit of a curveball relative to the rest of the series. While its creators very much want you to drown in foggy doom atmosphere reminiscent of Silent Hill 1 and 2, you won’t find any baddies to fight or flee from in this one:
“So we have an ADVENTURE type game in [the] Silent Hill universe with NO MONSTERS and NO GUNS, MELEE.”
“In our game you will not find inventory system or notes system — there are no people who could do that on Source engine (people start to hate it cause it’s outdated). So just sit tight, take pen and notebook and play as hardcore gamer, make notes yourself, draw your maps yourself.”
That last bit, despite being a result of tech limits, actually makes for a pretty interesting exploration experience. “Maybe,” I thought to myself when a puzzle stumped me, “maybe I really am going insane. Or maybe I’m just very bad at drawing maps.”
Silent Hill: Alchemilla is a pretty solid game though. It’s spooky without being overbearing about it, and the environments are pretty stellar. Only problem is, it is, as the developers said, pretty adventure game-y in the sense that it’s an item hunt. Your mileage might vary on that front, given that weary minded frustration can sap the atmosphere out of any room, no matter how immaculate its siiiiiiiinister ceiling mould is.
Still though, Alchemilla is definitely worth a go. So long as you have a Steam account (which includes Source Engine files), getting it up and running should be a snap. Check it out for free here.