Silent Hill 2 is one of the best horror games (opens in new tab) you can play on your PC. It's also 16 years old. That means it's a little tricky to get it running, and when you do, it looks, well, like a 16-year-old videogame. That's where Silent Hill 2 Enhanced Edition comes in: It's a collection of mods and enhancements that fixes bugs and improves the graphics and sound, resulting in the "definitive Silent Hill 2 experience."
"Silent Hill 2: Enhanced Edition is the culmination of years of hard work by talented programmers and modders to fix and enhance the PC version of Silent Hill 2. The dedication and passion by these talented individuals cannot be understated," the page says. "Thanks to their time, commitment, and talents, we now have a version of this beloved game worthy of calling a true HD experience. From major bug fixes to finer, nuanced adjustments, the attention to detail in improving Silent Hill 2 PC is worthy of praise."
Getting the ball rolling is a big, multi-step process that begins with the installation of the game itself. Silent Hill 2 is not on Steam or GOG, so you'll have to track down a physical copy; you'll also have to skip the DirectX 8 installation, then modify the game folder properties once everything is copied over. The instructions look intimidating, but the process is laid out in very clear, specific steps that should actually be quite easy to follow.
After that, it's time to begin the enhancement process in earnest. The first thing to do is install the Enhanced executable, which is simply a matter of backing up and then copying over a directory. Then comes SH2 Enhancements, "the culmination of fixes and fix packages made by many talented programmers and modders." Following that are Enhanced Edition Essential Files, the FMV Enhancement Pack, IndirectSound, the Audio Enhancement Pack, WineD3D for Windows, ReShade, and Xinput Plus.
It's a lengthy and complex process, definitely not fire-and-forget but not really difficult in the strictest sense. Follow the steps in order, don't wander off the path into the "I Know What I'm Doing" woods, and you'll end up with a dramatically improved Silent Hill 2, with support for higher resolutions and widescreen displays, better audio, and improved controller functionality. A detailed breakdown of what each part of the Enhanced Edition does is available here, but be aware that there may be some spoilers sprinkled around in there too.