What’s a Silent Hill game without combat? A moody adventure game where you spend too long kicking around a hospital, hoping you won’t see more of those awful twitchy nurses. At least, that’s what I’ve seen so far of Silent Hill: Alchemilla, a free fan game/Source mod which has all of the puzzling and rust without any of the stomping-on-squirming-things. It’s relatively thoughtful puzzling too, and I only stopped playing to write this post because I was stumped. I’ll return later though, as I want to see more of its unarmed first-person take on Silent Hill, and maybe more of those frightful nurses. I do like them really.
Alchemilla tells an original story with in the old Silent Hill way: you’re in a strange and deserted city, something seems wonky with your noggin, and the world keeps unexpectedly turning all rusty, foggy, and fleshy. It sounds good, with its own original music and a better voice actor than most actual Silent Hill games, and looks nice enough too. Here, see this trailer:
Its puzzles require a little note-taking, attention-paying, and thought, but also a fair bit of back-tracking and are ultimately just ways to open locked doors so it can be a bit frustrating. It does go a bit overboard with bloody writing on walls, but I suppose that’s more understandable in a Silent Hill hospital than in many other games. Still, I will be returning. It’s certainly better than I’d expected from a fan game.
The creators say they had wanted weapons and combat in Alchemilla, but couldn’t find help to do it right. I’m okay with it not having any. P.T. is the spookiest Silent Hill game in yonks, and that does perfectly fine without. I’m a little tired of wonky survival horror combat, or survival horror combat that isn’t wonky and therefore undermines the horror.
Download it over here. In case you, like me, don’t explore zips, do note that contains an installer rather than being something to simply drop into your SourceMods folder. Everyone with a Steam account should be able to play it, as it only requires the free Source SDK Base.