Your Silent Hill Game Rankings!

UniqTeas

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After looking through previous topics, I couldn't find this exact topic - but I thought since this conversation is naturally occurring in other threads, we may as well make it it's own thing.

Here are my personal SH Rankings (Haven't played Downpour yet!)

1. Silent Hill 3 - The art work is the biggest reason I put this game on top. It looks so gross and so amazing at the same time. Every location is fraught with imagery that evokes different levels of emotions. I think the story could be adapted a little further, but man is it fun to be Heather and look to come to SH for vengeance.

2. Silent Hill 2 - The most popular game in the series for good reason. Still one of the best stories in video game history and every side character/moment/event/monster adds to the theme. This is the most focused a Silent Hill game can be. And Pyramid Head is still scary - even after playing through the games probably 4 or 5 times.

3. Silent Hill 1 - The first game in the series. When you go back to it - it looks so dated - but man, the story is in tact. When I first played it, I thought it couldn't possibly be as scary as Resident Evil 2. But man, was I ****ing wrong. It brought scares. And the emotional value of the ending still resonates with me.

4. Silent Hill 4: The Room - I HATE First Person, so I did not want to play this game for so long - but I am glad I have it a shot. Once again, a top notch story even if it is a little loose in terms of connection to Silent Hill. Another great presentation of art, horror, and a high creep factor. People hate on Henry for being dull. But I like his Dimitri Martin looking ass. My biggest gripe with the game is that you have to visit the same locations so many times.

5. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - This is the SH game I have played the most. If you don't know about this game - it is a slight re-imagining of the first game except there are only a few varied enemy types and long chase sequences. It is a mystery of a game and it is deeply innovative on a psychological level. The game evolves the enemies and minor details based on choices you make in separate therapy sessions and in the game. The twist at the end is beyond words. And getting the different endings is pretty fun.

6. Silent Hill Origins - EDIT: Completely forgot about Origins which is probably NOT a good sign. But I still enjoyed the game. This is a game that feels like they were TRYING to make a Silent Hill game and a lot of the decisions ended up just being weird. But the game is quick to play through and fun too. It fights with the story canon of the original game, but I still played it through probably 4 or 5 times just to see all of the unlockables. So it can't be that bad!

7. Silent Hill Homecoming - What is great about this game is the level of detail in the enemies. They are some of the creepiest in the series and the battle mechanics are difficult adding to the tension. But the game feels like a fan game and not in the best way. It feels very forced. I don't think it is a bad game, but it didn't capture the innovations of the other installments. The team that developed the game went too far in to the action realm and SH fanboy theories to make this game great. But like any RE game, it is still a good game.

Let me know if you agree/disagree and let me know what you think!
 
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bSTAR_182

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I definitely agree with many of your thoughts on each individual game!

My ranking:

1. Silent Hill 4: The Room
Out of all the games, I found this one to be the most unsettling and creative. Team Silent found yet another interesting way to bring new characters into the series and tell a very Silent Hill-y story. I completely disagree with those who claim that it has no place within the series or that it doesn’t feel like a SH game.
I love how they utilized the cult religion and its affect on the town’s orphanage. I also enjoyed Henry as a protagonist, even though his reactions to certain things were a bit lame. There was a bit of a Jacob Singer (from Jacob’s Ladder) vibe with him.
The amount of backtracking in the game is definitely annoying though. While first person didn’t impress me either, there is a level of immersion that the creators wanted you to have during those bits of the game and it worked for the most part.

2. Silent Hill 3
This was my very first SH title that I played so it naturally holds a special place. I agree with your thoughts on this game, @UniqTeas. Of all the Silent Hill games, the graphics in SH3 stand the test of time. It has some of the most macabre locations, imagery and atmosphere within the series. The story, while not the strongest, is still very enjoyable. I loved Heather as the main protagonist; she is flawed, troubled and has attitude. I’d love to have a solid follow up to Heather- something tells me she went on to live an even more troubled life following the events of SH3.

3. Silent Hill 2
This game, to me, has the second strongest story within the series... which I know may be an unpopular opinion amongst other fans. It’s such an acclaimed game that I feel like I am beating a dead horse when discussing it. Its strength is how things perfectly tie into the theme of the game’s story though.

4. Silent Hill
The game that kickstarted it all. It has the 3rd strongest story of the series. While the graphics are dated, it’s story and characters are compelling enough to make it all worth playing through. It’s a tragic series of events but the canon ending has that sliver of hope. I’d love to see this game (or even the entire series) remade on the same scale as the RE series.

5. Silent Hill: Homecoming
This is the SH game that I have played the most and I will defend this game to the end lol. It is a flawed entry to the series because it takes some inspiration from the SH movie (utilizing Pyramid Head, the the design of the nurses, and then the transformation from the fog world to the other world, etc.). I do love the story revolving around the main character and Shepherds Glen and comes close to that of the original core games. The Hospital ending, in particular, leaves more room for imagination which I love.
Without trying to spoil too much, the main protagonist, Alex, is justified in being more capable in fighting than the any of the other protagonists featured in the series.

even if he wasn’t an actual soldier, he grew up with a dad who was clearly ex-military. Military fighting magazines were also found in various locations if I remember correctly, and he truly believed he was in the military.

6. Silent Hill: Downpour
While it was a fun game to play initially, it is pretty forgettable. I haven’t had the urge to play it since the first play through. I remember feeling like it was a missed opportunity for the developer to create a truly demented story entry for the series, because of the protagonist being a prisoner. The monster designs were also unimaginative.

7. Silent Hill: Origins
Completely forgettable.

Never played Shattered Memories to give it a rank.
 
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UniqTeas

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Excellent choices and well thought out. I like that while we had mostly the same heights and criticisms, our personal tastes still ended up ranking the games differently. Humans are so unique.

I will say that if you get a chance to play Shattered Memories somehow - it is worth it. The game doesn't take too long to complete. And it is a world worth exploring. The ending is probably the best ending for a SH game and the new Harry is pretty interesting.
 

bSTAR_182

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Excellent choices and well thought out. I like that while we had mostly the same heights and criticisms, our personal tastes still ended up ranking the games differently. Humans are so unique.

I will say that if you get a chance to play Shattered Memories somehow - it is worth it. The game doesn't take too long to complete. And it is a world worth exploring. The ending is probably the best ending for a SH game and the new Harry is pretty interesting.
Well said! :)

I wish I would have gotten my hands on Shattered Memories when it came out. I was never a big Wii person so I just skipped it when it was released. But I have heard many fans speak highly of it.
 
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Mr.R

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That's a good one @UniqTeas ! Alright, let's see...

1 - Silent Hill 3: This game is amazing and between 2 and 3 is a very, very strong contest. Although I like 2's story better, I think the gameplay is a bit more refined on 3 and the game is more challenging as well, which in turn make the game more fun. I also prefer Heather as a protagonist than James. Oh, and this game is still beautiful, even for a PS2 era game.

2 - Silent Hill 2: There's no deny SH2 is one of the best of its genre. The story is deep and the world is atunned to the story, but in a subtle way (most of the time...sometimes it's pretty explicit). This game has also a magnificent atmosphere. What brings this game down and behind 3 for me is gameplay. SH2 is still a bit clumsy on controls, but even with that, is a very, very easy game. Even on the hardest setting, it's still a breeze, which hurt the replayability of the game in short bursts. Still, it's a masterpiece anyway.

3 - Silent Hill: I used to love this game back when I had the PSX. I think time wasn't as kind with SH1 as it was with the PSX RE games. It's a very clumsy game, with a very weird combat, but like SH2, it's extremely easy. The story is amazing and Harry is also one of my favorite characters on the series.

4 - Silent Hill Shattered Memories: This game has a good premise and its world is amazingly built. The signs, the shops...the town has personality, way more than in the other games. It's always cool to call every number in display with Harry's phone and see what will happen. The great downside for me, is the lack of actual combat. The story is a cool twist on SH1, but saying too much can spoil the surprise and I think this game is worth playing even today. I don't know how hard it is to find though. I have the PS2 version.

5 - Silent Hill 4: The Room: It's not a bad game and although it has a nice story, some good settings and some creepy enemies, I remember to feel more annoyed than thrilled when playing the game. Thing is...I played this game only once, when I bought back then and never replayed (which is rare for me). I remember being annoyed by the inventory space limit, which was a first for the series. I didn't felt bothered by the first person segments in the apartment though. Maybe I should replay this game again, after all these years and see if my opinion of it has changed.

6 - Silent Hill Origins: As a game, Origins is not that bad. As a generic, horror game. As a SH? It's not good. The story almost seems like a fanfiction prequel of SH1 (which kind is) and the protagonist is so boring. Also, it's so weird walking through Alchemilla Hospital hitting nurses with a freaking TV! Again, the combat in this game is...kinda good, really, but it feels too generic for me to put it higher.

I unfortunately never played Homecoming and Downpour too much to have an opinion and they're kinda rare to find here these days. I'll keep looking though, I was always curious with them.
 

Jonipoon

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1. Silent Hill 4: The Room
There is just something about The Room that makes it stand out. Everything from the art direction, atmosphere, music and overall design feels similar yet different from previous entries. With a much bigger emphasis on Japanese folklore than before, this game really captures psychological horror better than any other game in the series, and the unique story about Walter Sullivan and his childhood really captivates you. Sure the gameplay was a bit different from the previous 3 games, but its definitely a minor issue. The ghosts are easily the most horrifying monsters in the series, and the incredible sound design plays a huge factor in that. Many people who gave up on this game half-through overlooked on some of the best aspects of the game. The room, which is your safe haven during the first half and even automatically heals your health bar, later becomes haunted and drains your health! Because this happens gradually, its a very effective way of showing psychological horror. Lastly, everyone who complained about the game "re-using levels for the 2nd half" forgot that those 2nd halves were greatly expanded upon - they were really not the same levels. And for all that its worth, I'd say that Henry is a likeable character because of his shyness.
I'd actually tie first place with the first game if I could, because I also love the first game, but if I had to pick a number it'd be this one.

2. Silent Hill
This is the essential Silent Hill experience in my opinion. This is the game that started in all, and I'm still to this date incredibly impressed by the developers who came up with the setting, lore and history of Silent Hill to complement the story. They did so much research on religion, cults and occultism and it shows in the game. The story was definitely difficult to grasp the first time, and it took me several years before completely understanding it. Surprisingly, I replayed the game a few years ago on the PS3 and it has aged well. Once you get past the older graphics the controls are not too shabby, and the atmosphere stills evokes terror thanks to the incredible sound design. The voice acting (while still being cheesy at times) still works and actually feels rather epic at times. Harry Mason is my favorite character in the series, he wins Dad of the Year and is the perfect representation of a everyman character in video games.

3. Silent Hill 3
Like others have mentioned above, the graphics in Silent Hill 3 still look AMAZING for a 2003 game and goes to show the capability of the PS2 when utilized well. While this game has the weakest story of the first four games in my opinion, it is the most fun to play. The replayability is just through the roof, it's just SO DAMN FUN. It is in some way a rethread of the first game, but its such a joy to revisit levels from the first game in such HD glory like Alessa's classroom and bedroom. Heather is a very sassy character and you can't help but love all the sarcastic comments she gives to everything around her. This game was really when Team Silent outdid themselves in terms of graphics and gameplay. The PS2 version is 100% bug free.

4. Silent Hill 2

Many people disagree with me on this, but for me SH2 has always been my least favorite of the original Team Silent games. While I still like it very much, I belong to the group of fans whom considers SH2 to be vastly overrated. The story is actually not that good or unique, but its the way its told that makes the game great. You have to give credit to the game where credit's due, such as the amazing cast of complex and well-written characters with interesting backstories, motivations and eventual fates. The monster design and symbolism is also top notch, and Pyramid Head remains a classic character even though he's not as scary as the first time you played the game. There is also a unique grimness and tone to the game, with a more bigger emphasis on cold colors compared to the rusty blood and fire of SH1 and SH3. The biggest downside of SH2 is that its by far the easiest game in the series. Even on hard mode the enemies are incredibly easy to down, and the game gives you too much ammo and health drinks. I hate to say it but I think one reason why SH2 is so many people's favorite is because its the only one they managed to finish. Even so, it has the best atmospheric soundtrack with a very dreamy, otherworldy vibe to it.

5. Silent Hill Origins
From here on, all of the other games are either weak or terrible in my opinion. Origins, while being completely unnecessary and messing up both characters and major events from SH1 lore-wise, still managed to preserve the classic gameplay aspects from previous games. It was a fun side-game and I enjoyed revisiting locations such as Alchemilla Hospital, and the theatre level was pretty neat. Sadly the game feels completely disconnected to the first game because it changes so many established things. To name a few; The fire in the Gillespie house was an accident and not arranged by Dahlia; Alessa was a burned victim at this point so the little manifestation we see of her in this game is impossible; the town does not have the power to magically teleport people from one location to another; Travis being able to automatically shift between the mirror worlds breaks everything we know about the Otherworld from previous games; the Flauros does not contain a demon; Lisa Garland would be a kid at this time and not an adult; etc, etc. There are just too many nuisances. I somewhat wish that the game had focused on Travis story only, perhaps that would've been a more interesting game.

6. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
When this game was first announced, I was very excited. A remake of the first Silent Hill with Harry Mason returning as the protagonist? Wow take my money! Unfortunately, as more info about the game released I quickly found of that the game was actually going to be a "reimagination" and not a remake. Still, I had somewhat high hopes since it looked new and different. Then the game came out, and I played it. Turns out the game was trash and had nothing to do with Silent Hill at all. End of story.

6. Silent Hill Homecoming
Terrible controls, terrible story, terrible characters, everything is terrible. Don't ask me anything more. I hate this game with passion.

7. Silent Hill Downpour
Never played it but I saw some playthroughs on YouTube. It's just as bad as Homecoming if not worse.
 

bSTAR_182

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Great points for some of the entries, @Jonipoon.
I agree about the backtracking with SH4. While it seems tedious, it’s essential for the storytelling. I actually prefer each level the second time you run through them because the story is unraveling more.

When it comes to my list, my top two are pretty firm. Between SH and SH2, those can fluctuate depending on my mood.

I feel like I should squeeze P.T. into my list. I’d probably put it just above Homecoming. They had me hooked with that demo even though I never had the chance to play through it, I got to see plenty of walkthroughs and still felt creeped out and captivated just watching.
 

UniqTeas

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Well Mr. R - looks like we have very similar tastes. Our lists are nearly identical in both the numbering and reasoning. I knew I like you. haha.

6. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
When this game was first announced, I was very excited. A remake of the first Silent Hill with Harry Mason returning as the protagonist? Wow take my money! Unfortunately, as more info about the game released I quickly found of that the game was actually going to be a "reimagination" and not a remake. Still, I had somewhat high hopes since it looked new and different. Then the game came out, and I played it. Turns out the game was trash and had nothing to do with Silent Hill at all. End of story.
That is a fair point. They made the claim that it was a reimagining of the first game and didn't deliver on that due to the new narrative they wanted to push. I can see why a fan would be frustrated. I still think that as an outside of canon adventure, it is a good game. But that is completely fair.

So interesting that not many of us have played Downpour. I guess the critical backlash sealed its fate before we got the chance!
 

1995umk3

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I only played the first one on ps1.. I was in the snow moving around and that was it... I think I did some stuff but I never finished it.

Ranking: Not decided yet... but it looks like something I will finish someday, you start with it snowing around you and it sets setting for a great game.
 
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Jonipoon

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When it comes to my list, my top two are pretty firm. Between SH and SH2, those can fluctuate depending on my mood.
Yeah, I saw what you wrote about SH3 and Heather. I've actually done a bit of fanfiction about Heather's life post-SH3, because I believe that if Team Silent ever got the opportunity to make SH5 she would play some part in that.

What interests me the most is the fact that Heather is the reincarnation of Alessa. Because of her upbringing and loving relationship to her adoptive father, she has a different personality and view on life compared to that of Alessa who was abused by her real mother. Yet still, Heather technically does possess the same powers as Alessa. During the events of SH1 Alessa had just gained the supernatural ability to fly, create force-fields and even knock people over with her mind. In SH3 there is of course the unlockable "Princess Heart" costume that literally turns her into a superhero who can shoot laserbeams out of her eyes. While this was done in a comical fashion, it was intentional. There's a reason why no other protagonist were given this kind of costume, and that's because it fits the character of Heather being the reincarnation of a powerful psychic.

If you look at the first four games, Team Silent expanded upon the powers of the town in every game. It went from having no Otherworld at all (pre-SH1), to being able to summon people with darkness in their hearts (SH2), to being able to spread to places outside of Silent Hill at a greater capacity (SH3 and SH4). They were constantly trying to reinvent the series and bring in new stuff (contrary to the Western developers whom could never get past SH2), and I believe that the natural evolution for a SH5 by Team Silent would've taken place nationwide. By that I mean a further expansion upon the lore surrounding Native american spirits. I think the powers of Silent Hill would eventually spread to other places around the whole country where Native americans did worshipping, and the consequences would be fatal.

So why do I mention all of this? Well, because I think Heather would eventually be pulled back into the world of Silent Hill, since the powers of the town are still there and the Cult was never really destroyed. And when that happens, I think it's time we get to see her gain back her supernatural powers again, and this time for real. I know it doesn't quite fit with the everyman trope of the Silent Hill series, and that's why she probably shouldn't be the main playable protagonist but rather just a central good character.

Gosh I got a little carried away there, but I just love talking about Silent Hill so much.:biggrin:

So interesting that not many of us have played Downpour. I guess the critical backlash sealed its fate before we got the chance!
Yep, Konami lost most of their fans along the ride, and I think the HD Collection and Book of Lost Memories were the final nails in the coffin. P.T. and Silent Hills ushered in new hope but that's in an alternative timeline we never got to visit.
 
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Hel

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And when that happens, I think it's time we get to see her gain back her supernatural powers again, and this time for real. I know it doesn't quite fit with the everyman trope of the Silent Hill series, and that's why she probably shouldn't be the main playable protagonist but rather just a central good character.
True, Heather is unique in many ways compared to the other playable protagonists (being female, a teenager, the rebirth of a character from a previous game with a story that is also a continuation of a previous story, which has never been the case before or after if I'm not mistaken), and yeah, her potential powers set her apart even more, but that's exactly why I would want her to be the playable main character again.

The reason I stopped playing the Silent Hill series is that after a while, every game felt the same to me. Yes, the story is always different (except for 5, where the main twist was recycled from 2), but gameplay-wise, you always run around pummelling monsters to death with steel pipes and swords and other melee weapons, solve puzzles that may or may not make sense depending on their difficulty (looking at you, Silent Hill 3 on the highest puzzle difficulty setting), then the otherworld takes over and you keep running around in an alternate version of the same location, one of those locations is usually a hospital, and there's almost always a creepy child running around. I loved that in the first three SH games I played, but then it got old.

I think playing as a character with supernatural powers would be a good way of mixing things up a little. It could affect the combat, the puzzles, even the entire world if Heather gains the ability to summon the otherworld at will, with or without dragging other people into it too. I'd love to see where they would go with this, but sadly, we'll probably never find out.
 

bSTAR_182

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Yeah, I saw what you wrote about SH3 and Heather. I've actually done a bit of fanfiction about Heather's life post-SH3, because I believe that if Team Silent ever got the opportunity to make SH5 she would play some part in that.

What interests me the most is the fact that Heather is the reincarnation of Alessa. Because of her upbringing and loving relationship to her adoptive father, she has a different personality and view on life compared to that of Alessa who was abused by her real mother. Yet still, Heather technically does possess the same powers as Alessa. During the events of SH1 Alessa had just gained the supernatural ability to fly, create force-fields and even knock people over with her mind. In SH3 there is of course the unlockable "Princess Heart" costume that literally turns her into a superhero who can shoot laserbeams out of her eyes. While this was done in a comical fashion, it was intentional. There's a reason why no other protagonist were given this kind of costume, and that's because it fits the character of Heather being the reincarnation of a powerful psychic.

If you look at the first four games, Team Silent expanded upon the powers of the town in every game. It went from having no Otherworld at all (pre-SH1), to being able to summon people with darkness in their hearts (SH2), to being able to spread to places outside of Silent Hill at a greater capacity (SH3 and SH4). They were constantly trying to reinvent the series and bring in new stuff (contrary to the Western developers whom could never get past SH2), and I believe that the natural evolution for a SH5 by Team Silent would've taken place nationwide. By that I mean a further expansion upon the lore surrounding Native american spirits. I think the powers of Silent Hill would eventually spread to other places around the whole country where Native americans did worshipping, and the consequences would be fatal.

So why do I mention all of this? Well, because I think Heather would eventually be pulled back into the world of Silent Hill, since the powers of the town are still there and the Cult was never really destroyed. And when that happens, I think it's time we get to see her gain back her supernatural powers again, and this time for real. I know it doesn't quite fit with the everyman trope of the Silent Hill series, and that's why she probably shouldn't be the main playable protagonist but rather just a central good character.

Gosh I got a little carried away there, but I just love talking about Silent Hill so much.:biggrin:


Yep, Konami lost most of their fans along the ride, and I think the HD Collection and Book of Lost Memories were the final nails in the coffin. P.T. and Silent Hills ushered in new hope but that's in an alternative timeline we never got to visit.
I really love your thoughts on Heather! Honestly, I never put much thought into the powers angle that Heather could also possess. I’d be curious to read your fanfics if you have them posted somewhere. :)



@Hel Yeah I can definitely see where you’re coming from in feeling that many of the stories felt rehashed. A continuation on Heather could help bring the series full circle and create a more unique continuation.

While the ending of SH3 seemed hopeful for Heather, perhaps she’d even establish a sort of father-daughter relationship with Douglas, its hard not to imagine that she would still be troubled with her past. I can totally see her having unhealthy coping mechanisms with her depression from her experiences. While, initially, she seemed like she wanted to leave her past in the past, as she took on the name that her father gave her, I could see her dabbling in learning her powers while under the influence of prescription drugs or in a fit of rage. She did have a temper. I’m so into the witch ideas lately, after watching The VVitch.

Unfortunately I think you’re right though, this is an idea that may never be explored especially since people are stuck on SH2’s establishments.
 
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Jonipoon

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True, Heather is unique in many ways compared to the other playable protagonists (being female, a teenager, the rebirth of a character from a previous game with a story that is also a continuation of a previous story, which has never been the case before or after if I'm not mistaken), and yeah, her potential powers set her apart even more, but that's exactly why I would want her to be the playable main character again.
I think it could be done right if done in a gradual fashion, IOW she starts off with undeveloped powers and has to use melee weapons and guns, but later in the game she slowly starts to gain her powers back. Gameplay-wise, it would feel very rewarding for the player when the protagonist keeps getting stronger and stronger. Especially if you get to revisit levels with new powers.

The reason I stopped playing the Silent Hill series is that after a while, every game felt the same to me. Yes, the story is always different (except for 5, where the main twist was recycled from 2), but gameplay-wise, you always run around pummelling monsters to death with steel pipes and swords and other melee weapons, solve puzzles that may or may not make sense depending on their difficulty (looking at you, Silent Hill 3 on the highest puzzle difficulty setting), then the otherworld takes over and you keep running around in an alternate version of the same location, one of those locations is usually a hospital, and there's almost always a creepy child running around. I loved that in the first three SH games I played, but then it got old.
Well, I do agree that the games never really expanded beyond the original gameplay, but why should it? Its a very good formula because it works for everyman characters that are not your typical action heroes. Silent Hill is neither an action game, fantasy game, sci-fi game or adventure game - and never has been, so it just wouldn't make sense for a SH game to suddenly introduce a protagonist that, for example, is a soldier wielding a rocket launcher.

I think playing as a character with supernatural powers would be a good way of mixing things up a little. It could affect the combat, the puzzles, even the entire world if Heather gains the ability to summon the otherworld at will, with or without dragging other people into it too. I'd love to see where they would go with this, but sadly, we'll probably never find out.
This is what I think the magic mirror thing from Origins should've been used for. Not for Travis, but for Heather in a future game. There are fan theories that claim Travis can travel between the mirrors because he is a psychic as well, but that's just fans making up excuses to defend the developers who had no idea what they were doing.

Much of the themes from SH3 is about teenage angst about looks and appearance, and mirrors played a huge part in that. For example Heather makes comments about her reflection in the mirror, and there is a special mirror room in the hospital where Heather's own reflection becomes distorted. However, Alessa at her full capacity was able to summon the Otherworld without the help of mirrors, so I think Heather wouldn't need it either. For a game however, mirrors would be a good element to utilize. To this very day I still hate that Travis can travel between the mirrors in Origins, lol.