I liked it. It was much better than I expected, even though the criticism directed at it is not unjustified. It's got a wonderful setting, fantastic art direction, great graphics, a very nice soundtrack, some very likable main characters (this time you get to play several characters, and I found Renie and Spot a lot of fun), several funny creatures, good voiceovers (the little girl Renie is actually spoken by a girl with talent, not an adult disguising her voice; I played the original German version, but in English it seems to be the same), the writing is nice enough (I often enjoyed Renie's childlike comments, they felt refreshingly authentic and funny in a cute way), and the story, while not the most exciting, was a good one for a sequel, familiar but also new and different enough.
They also experimented with several new features to distinguish it from its predecessor, The Whispered World, and keep things interesting, and these are hit or miss. If someone prefers the traditional classic point-and-click adventure style to some features of newer games, I can see how they might actually hate them. The puzzles are simplified, there are no more inventory puzzles, and if you pick up and hold an item, by default there are even on-screen hints with what you can use it sometimes, although I think you can turn off that option in the menu. It doesn't mean that there are no puzzles or that they always solve themselves, it's just that after examining your surroundings and trying a few things you're quite guaranteed to find the solution, and there is hardly a challenge of having to think outside the box anymore, and hardly a risk of getting stuck (pressing Space also shows all hotspots and gives hints). Personally, I have to admit that the absurd puzzles were never my favorite part in adventure games, and getting stuck badly enough to have to quit and maybe even consult a walkthrough is something that ruins part of the fun for me, so I didn't mind this game being easier than The Whispered World.
I did get stuck one time though and actually had to check for the reason on the internet, and it wasn't due to me not being able to figure out a puzzle - it was because I overlooked one of their other new features: the on-screen display for a balancing mini-game, in which you have to steer the mouse in the direction opposite to where the cursor is pulling, and then switch quickly if it changes. They also introduced a mechanic that instead of you just telling the character to push or pull an object it makes you pull the mouse in that direction while keeping the button pressed, and this was a very awkward way to control the character's actions, because as simple as it sounds, I never quite figured out how it's actually supposed to work, how far I'm supposed to pull the mouse etc. I always got through it somehow, but it was no fun. Both of these new mechanics seem to try imitating QTE style controls, and that's a direction I don't really like adventures to take because I have yet to see the game where this actually makes the action more engaging instead of more frustrating and annoying. Fortunately it's not as bad as to ruin the enjoyment of the game, just a minor annoyance. Something else they tried to copy from other modern adventure games is choices. I thought that was a nice distraction, if somewhat pointless most of the times, and with the choice at the end, (just like in Life is Strange) I got the feeling that there is one "right" ending and one "wrong" ending, even though there is still enough room to debate and defy that.
My main points of criticsm of the game, apart from the minor QTE-like annoyances, would be the long loading times between screens - it's almost like we're back in the late 80's / early 90's again, when you had to switch disks every time you entered a new room - and the savegame system, which only gives you one save slot per playthrough, and autosaves in it. Maybe they did that because of the choices, so that you can't just try all the choices but have to pick and roll with it, although there's always the option of quitting the game and restarting from the last autosave, so in practice you could still do that, it's just really tedious to go through it all again, listening to the same dialogues etc. And the choices aren't interesting enough to replay the whole game; just like in the Telltale games, they're often just a choice in what spoken dialogue line you will hear next before the game continues the same regardless of your choices. So I thought this savegame system is inappropriate for an adventure game.
I thought it was a good sequel to The Whispered World, and one of the reasons for that, apart from likable characters and superb production values regarding art, sound and setting, was that they tried to do things a little differently this time. Not all the changes were great though. Personally I actually liked the easier difficulty, but I disliked some new QTE-like mechanics and the one slot autosave system. And the loading times felt prehistorical. Oh, and it's short (maybe ~6 hours?), but that's something I welcomed, and as I received it as a gift, the price was no concern for me. All in all, I think I liked Silence even better than The Whispered World.
Post edited December 04, 2017 by Leroux