Silence is the brainchild of Daedelic Entertainment, you may not have heard much about them but the German based company have come up with something very special that will surely put their name firmly on the gaming map.
From the moment I launched the game, I was immediately relaxed. The title screen was gorgeous with an autumnal feel and piano music slowly playing in the background. The title screen gives you a few options, nothing complicated but with the nice addition of a bonus section that lets you look through some of the concept art for the game. The concept art is amazing. That gave me high hopes about Silence and I wasn’t disappointed. I launched the game and the same piano music played, opening up to a snowy town with children playing, building snowmen. The relaxed feeling didn’t last however as our protagonist Noah, entered the scene calling for his younger sister Renie. The emergency became apparent as the next shot showed war planes emerging from the clouds as Noah and Renie made their escape into an air raid shelter. This next part isn’t a spoiler but more a mood changer, you see a hand touch the glass in the door to the air raid shelter and then a explosion. The blood on the window makes it very clear what has happened and also makes you aware that Silence isn’t a nicey-nicey game that is going to give you an easy emotional ride.
So, Noah and Renie are stuck together in the shelter with nothing to do, so your first objective is to try and comfort Renie. Much like Tell Tale games the mechanic is quite simple, you have a scene and you have to work your way around finding objects that you can interact with in order to progress, that being said it’s not always apparent what you have to do with the objects and may require you discover something else before you can use them. During his showpiece Renie asks Noah to tell her a story of Silence. As they get into the swing of the story an explosion is heard, this is where the story really starts.
Time for a confession, Silence is apparently a sequel but to be honest I never played it’s predecessor so this was a new experience for me. Getting to grips with the story isn’t hard though and I don’t think you’re missing out by not playing the first one, although there are references that may not make much sense such as a clown called Sadwick. I think this is a reference from the first one, however it’s not really explained in this game. Silence is a place that exists between life and death, and the objective is to leave Silence whichever way you want to. I guess life would be the desirable way out. There is an element of “choose your own adventure” giving you options on how you reply or comment on certain situation. I’m not sure if this has an impact on your overall outcome but it gets your moral juices flowing that’s for sure.
The point and click style of Silence gives you plenty of opportunity to take in all of it’s glorious surroundings. Each character is 3D, laid over the top of 2D scenarios. Each scene is beautiful, from the plants growing in the ground, to the interesting creatures that play a small part, it’s clear Daedelic have spent a lot of time fine-tuning the gorgeous visuals in this game. The graphics are stunning throughout. There are a few cut-scenes but these blend in nicely and use the same graphics instead of switching between high rendered cut scenes and playable areas. The music laid over the top adds for an amazing atmosphere, fitting in nicely with the mood and pace of the game. I’m lucky enough to have surround sound in my living room but I would highly recommend playing this game either the same way or with headphones on to truly get immersed in the land of Silence.
Silence is a puzzle game, and each stage will have a few things to solve. At times it did feel that a puzzle was created purely just to fill out a level. An example of this is where you meet a character by the name of Kyra. She is a rebel and potential love interest (well I thought so anyway) who is trying to blow up a bridge. Blowing up the bridge is simple enough with the explosives she has but for some reason you need to use your friendly pet Spot, who is extremely cute by the way, to blow up a retaining chain on the bridge. Now that seems simple but to get to that point isn’t so. Most of the time there are hints and tips but sometimes there isn’t any, and as I mentioned before, it’s not always that obvious what you need to discover or use. That being said I can forgive Silence for these little flaws because as soon as you finish a puzzle the graphics and music soon chill you out and gear you up ready for the next objective.
Overall, Silence is a fantastic experience, the little flaws such as the puzzles and the often, at times amateur dramatic voice acting can all be forgiven every time you step into a new area. If you have ever played a Tell-Tale game or a point and click adventure then you’ll feel right at home with Silence, and if you haven’t then Silence will be a good first one to try. With an emotional and inviting story Silence will have you going back for more. I hope that this isn’t the last we see of Silence and I hope that Daedelic Entertainment will take us back again to continue the beautiful adventures.
Thanks to Daedelic Games and Xbox for Supporting TiX