Cold Heart follows the story of Jessica Chambers, an athletic college student, plagued by nightmares and an emotional vulnerability that has lead her to become dependent on her psychiatrist. She is slowly being eaten up by something deep inside her and needs to escape. She decides to go out of state and visit her parents but along the way she becomes trapped in a freak snow storm and ends up tailing an ambulance to hopefully a safe location. Sadly she is very wrong and soon realize's when she arrives in Silent Hill. The world around her has been conjured up from Jessica's cold, icy heart.
The player is able to control a flashlight via the sensor in the Wii remote. The flashlight can be upgraded to UV, Polarized and Infra red. These different flashlights allow the player to harm enemies, solve puzzles and melt the ice. You can also perform Melee attacks using the Wii remote. Improvised weapons which degrade and break can be picked up and ripped from the players environment.
The Wii remote also allows the player to move and twist objects to solve puzzles and unlock rooms, locks and more. The remote is also used to nod and shake your head when interacting with characters in the game, along with pointing to objects and individuals.
Weather changes as you progress through the game from slow light snow to heavy snow drifts. These weather patterns affect the players health and speed. The player is able to track their body temperature via a 'Temperature pill' found in the back of an abandoned ambulance.
Shattered Memories incorporated psychological profiling throughout the entirety of the game and is used in the exact same way it was originally presented in Cold Heart. The players actions change the environment, appearance of characters, amount of monsters and more. As with Shattered Memories, you are also given questions to answers and activities in flash back style therapy sessions with Dr Fairchild. The answers from the player are all added to their psychological profile which affects the game play and their final result.
As mentioned above, the weather can affect the players health which can lead to death. To help with energy and temperature levels, you are able to upgrade clothing to increase temperature. Food and drink (Candy bars, chips and canned food) are found in various locations of the town, these help with the players body heat, health and stamina. A 'hydration backpack' would also be available to sustain the player against the elements.
The player is only able to hold what they can carry. This would be visible on the player or stored in pockets. If Jessica is carrying too much, the player would need to decide to throw out an item or ignore what is available entirely. This makes it harder for the player to hold onto much needed weapons and health related items.
Cold Heart's location resides mainly in the west of Toluca Lake. A new take on the town as well as unseen locations would all be present throughout the game.
To make it easier for the player to return to previous locations, you are able to annotate the map. This allows the player to plan routes and pin point puzzle locations for future reference. Puzzles within the game rely on audio cues from the Wii remote. These include listening to chamber clicks when picking locks.
A metal detector can also be used to find items hidden in the snow. The torch is used to melt snow and ice which reveal hidden messages and objects. The UV torch also allows the player to uncover hidden schematics and reconnect wires to connect power.
One puzzle method I find rather unusual is that the player is able to go sewer fishing. This allows the player to fish in the sewers to find much needed items.
This part of the game changes on how the player reacts to the monsters and from their psychological profile. You can either run or try and fight, these actions affect the weather and monster appearance.
Jessica begins to run from them, using the flashlight to slow them down, along with knocking over bins for them to stumble and climb over. After the chase Jessica appears on the lake front but it's not over yet. As she runs over to the jetty more monsters begin to appear. One of them launches at her, knocking her into the lake. She appears seconds later, panicked and freezing. In the distance a showboat can be seen as the lake begins to freeze over. The boat becomes frozen and still. The ice now trapping her head above the water and a flashback begins...
“Are you scared of tight spaces?”
“Have you ever dreamt of being buried alive?”
“Any dreams about drowning?”
“Would you rather die by drowning or by being buried alive?”
Following this Dr Fairchild holds up flash cards, one of drowning, one of being buried alive. The player then has to “Point to which you fear the most."
Next the player has to choose from a series of abstract images as to what best looks like a monkey, an eye and a snake. The therapy scene ends with Fairchild asking:
“You scared of snakes?” “They’re really nothing to be scared of, they don’t attack unless provoked, you know? Well most of them at least…”
We return to Jessica in the lake, she's quickly loosing consciousness in the water. A figure approaches in the distance, monsters appear to be close by but they appear to fear/obey the stranger. As they get closer Jessica's recognizes him, she saw this man in a bar earlier.
"I know you" she says. He replies with "I know you" and smiles.
She shouts for help and notices he doesn't seem to show any urgency in helping her. He replies to her call for help with "Better the devil you know..." and then stamps on the ice breaking it around her. The screen turns black.
The mans behavior is driven by data gathered so far in the game. His appearance and dialogue alters dependent on the player.
We return to Jessica lying on the ice next to a hole she has just been taken out of. She is cold, her temperature dropping fast. If she doesn't get inside soon, she will die. She heads over to the frozen showboat and climbs aboard, taking a chocolate bar out of her backpack to restore energy as soon as she's inside. On the boat her temperature begins to return to normal. Using the Wii remote, the player is able to take a pipe from the wall to use as a weapon. The goal here is to reach the engine room. The player needs to use the flashlight to investigate corners and hidden details throughout the boat. On the way to the engine room you're attack by two monsters which once again you can fight or run from.
As soon as the monsters are out of the way Jessica's phone begins to ring, it's the man who helped her out of the ice.
“If you ever get off the lake come see me at the Boathouse. I’ll be there, i'm meeting my Mother” there's silence then a baby begins to cry “Not NOW, Quiet!” he says angrily. The call ends.
Making your way to the Captains Quarters you're attacked by monsters once again. As before the player can run or fight.
When you enter the Captains Quarters a cut scene begins. Inside Jessica finds a girl weeping in the corner. She ask's what's wrong but is ignored. The girl jumps up and stabs Jessica in the chest with an icy knife that she concealed in her dress and then runs out of the room. Jessica looses consciousness and another therapy session begins.
Dr Fairchild mentions about how last time she was talking about her father and she should continue.
“Would you say you were closer to your father than your mother?”
“Were you an only child”
“But you feel you were your parents favourite child?”
The player once again has to answer yes or no.
“Ah ok, now then, please take a look at these four drawings. Pick the one that most looks like the sort of thing you used to draw as a child.”
In this example the player points to a sketch of clouds and a girl with a dog. “Nice choice” he chuckles. “Now let’s get creative. Here’s some pencils and an eraser. Jessica, can you draw me your idea of the perfect home… take as long as you want.”
The player can now sketch on screen and switch color pencils and use the eraser.
“Fantastic, is there no end to your talents?” and the the therapy session ends.
We return back to Jessica in Silent Hill. Jessica wakes up and checks her chest, there is no sign of a wound at all. She looks out the window and notices the lake is no longer frozen and the boat is heading towards the shore. The boat shudders as it docks and Jessica makes her way outside…
Although Shattered Memories does contain a lot of the original ideas, I would have loved to have seen another female protagonist but i'm happy with how Shattered Memories turned out in the end. You can view fully scanned images of the pitch document right HERE