Silent Hill Homecoming- First Playthrough Thoughts Part 4: In which the audio is almost as problematic as the crashing

After discovering that I am, in fact, a moron and that the game had not glitched out on me, I made my way through the rest of the Shepard residence. The backyard had me spooked, with the sound of a barking dog playing loud and clear, but with no dog in sight to produce the noise. I was pleased that the refrigerator also contained a health drink, as the fridge is exactly the place you would expect to find such an item; this logically placed item lends some believability to the game world. Connected to the kitchen is another room blocked off from the main entrance we used upon first arriving at the house. This room appears to have been used by the mother, probably for whatever hobbies she may have. This room is also missing a picture, and I am sure that there must be some lore related significance to the mother’s room being barred of from the rest of the house; I won’t know what this significance is, though, until I learn more about the goings on in the town.

After examining these rooms, heading back outside and through the gate in the fence is only way remaining to progress. Heading through this gate and down the street leads us to the cemetery. Within the cemetery, we find a man behind a fence, digging a grave. He is unreachable upon first discovering him, so we have to forget about him for now and progress through the zone. Upon dropping into the large crater near the gated off man, we are assaulted by a new type of enemy, a skinned dog. By new, I mean new to this game, as this enemy type has existed in the series since the first game. I am neutral on the return of this enemy, but the dog barking from the backyard was clever foreshadowing for this moment. At this point, I was trying to find a save point, as there was no save point between here and the hole from part 2, as least as far as I could tell.

It was at this point where the developers must have read my mind, because less than 60 seconds after I started worrying about my next save, I located one just a few rooms over. It was also at this point where I gave up on the game for a second time. As I attempted to walk the remaining 10 feet to the next save, the game randomly minimized. I have had this issue with steam games for months, where they will randomly minimize for no discernible reason. I have no idea if this is an issue with steam or with another program on my computer; the only thing I am sure of is that it is not a fault of any one game, as it happens to a wide selection of them. Unlike many other games however, this one is not built to be minimized. As I mentioned in the previous post, attempting to alt+tab the game causes it to crash, and the random minimization caused this crash to occur. Having the game crash so close to a save is almost comical, but the lack of any cure for the random minimization, at least that I can find, makes me hesitant to play the game further when I could lose all my progress at any second. Before completely giving up on a computer game due to poor performance, it is always a sound idea to visit http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Home . Pcgamingwiki is a resource dedicated to listing all known fixes for badly running games, so I figured this would be the one place that would know how to prevent crashing when the game is alt+tabbed. Unfortunately, the page merely lists the issue at the top, indicating that there are no fixes. The page also lists the fix for some sounds only playing from the right speaker. I’d actually forgotten about this problem, but I first noticed it upon entering the Shepard house for the first time. When entering the house, Alex calls out “Hello?”. I had thought that there was someone in the living room off to the right of the front door saying Hello, but was just the audio glitching out. Being reminded of this issue was the final nail in the coffin; I slowly lost interest in playing the game when I realized I couldn’t be sure what was a glitch and what was a feature. I still want to experience this game, but I will hold off on doing so until I can play the console version. The PC version might be good enough for people who have played the game and know what it is supposed to be like, but for first time players such as myself, it is not the best way to experience the game.

I had planned to write until the end of the game, but it seems that idea has fallen through. I’ll be looking for a new game to cover, so in the mean time, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time.

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