Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reveiw: Silent Hill Downpour

I don't think it's a secret that I love Silent Hill. Even tough there have been things in some games that annoyed me to hell, I've come to accept almost all of the games in the main series. Therefore I were quick to jinx the review for Downpour. And after playing trough the game and giving it some time to sink in, I'm now going to let you in on what I think about it.

  • Developed by VATRA GAMES - Published by KONAMI
  • Reviewed on Xbox 360 (Also on PlayStation 3)
  • PEGI: 18+ / ESRB: M
  • Reviewed by Anna Råberg

As soon as we fire up, we learn that our main character, Murphy, is a prisoner on his way to be transported to a new prison. Over all a quite type. But during the ride there, the bus drives of the road and Murphy soon finds himself all alone by the wreck. After a long walk trough the forest, he makes it to the little town called Silent Hill. And from this point onwards it all goes to hell in a teacup. 
One of the big things that got to me in Downpour were that we were actually playing a prisoner. And from the look of it all, someone who have committed a crime. Unlike it's ancestors, where we later learns to know they've done something, Murphy is put as guilty from the start. Over all the story is very satisfying and it goes in the line of the games, still it shines on it's own. The only thing that depressed me were that I felt it were to short. When I finished the game the first thing that went trough my mind were “Wait, is that it?”. I felt that there were much more potential to be had that were just left in the dark. 

Let's get the combat system of our chests at once, since I know that's what people often want to know. Now, first things first, I liked the system in Homecoming. I thought it were smooth and easy to use. Downpour has a mix. When going into combat we're treated with the normal camera, no zooming in or anything, kind of like Silent Hill 2. But if one holds the left trigger, it changes into the more Homecoming like battle. So I say that's the best of both worlds. At times I were frustrated with the combat system but over all it flows really well. 
The other gameplay is very basic. Move Murphy with the left control stick. The face buttons are used to investigate things and also to attack and block while in combat. With the direction pad you toggle your flashlight and also there's a quick button to take a health pack, if one does not want to go into the menu. The graphics are neat. Over all it's no surprises at this area. I love that they went for the more grey and watery Silent Hill, since I were growing awfully bored with the blood and rust one. There's a lot of open areas to explore and I'm sure I haven't even seen half of the places you can go to. That's said I probably have a lot more interesting sights to see.

Now I think I have to bring this up at this point. The enemy design, were awfully lame. Don't get me wrong there are one or two interesting fellows in there. But over all, there were to few enemies for such bland designs. Right now, there's only two of them that I can remember clearly, the rest were so forgetful. On the other hand this is a problem I've had for a while with Silent Hill games, I just hope that they'll take it in and fix it soon. Now I confess I were really scared when I heard that Yamaoka weren't going to do the musical score for this one. Guess I were just stuck in my ways. There's no problem with the soundtrack, I couldn't feel any greater “difference” from the other games. The only thing that made me lift my eyebrow were the song playing during the ending credits. That one just felt awfully off for me and lifted me right out of the feelings I had for the ending. 

I've seen some people that I think been to quick to judge Downpour. And to hear the tedious line “It's not Silent Hill, it's not Japanese horror” makes me kind of angry. Downpour is the first game in a long time that made me scared. It has some really interesting areas that makes you uneasy, you will often try and figure out the “safe way to play” because you don't want to go stray of into the darker parts of the city. The elements of freeroam were great. If you wanted to enjoy the main story like me, that were fine but I've seen so many gripping side quests as well. I can't recommend this game enough to you and I recommend you go into it with your whole heart. And most importantly, not with the attitude that there will never be a “real” Silent Hill again, because this one nailed it.

Final Evaluation:
9/10 - Amazing Game

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