I love survival horror in general and Silent Hill series in particular. I finished the first game more times than any other game (except, maybe, Resident Evil 2). I was very active at Silent Hill forums, read plot analyses, collected soundtracks and counted days till the next game. But at some point, in my eyes Silent Hill lost its dark attraction. Movies, comics, inferior games were too much for me. So it took me almost 3 years to check out a new game in the series.
Another game, another lost soul. This time protagonist’s name is Murphy. He is a prisoner, being transferred from one prison to another. Bus crashes during a drive through the stormy night and Murphy finds himself at the outskirts of Silent Hill. As in every other Silent Hill game, Murphy explores locations around and inside the town, shifts between *real* world and otherworld and fights his own demons.
I didn’t finish the game yet, but do enjoy my time with it more that I enjoyed Silent Hill: Homecoming. I certainly will finish Downpour. However, it doesn’t live up to Silent Hill 1,2,3 or 4. The game is not bad, it is ordinary though. Nice graphics, decent story, solid gameplay, but nothing special. It is not as disturbing as Outlast, doesn’t have tons of hidden meaning and symbolism like first few Silent Hill games, the gameplay doesn’t offer anything new and graphics are not cutting edge even for 2012. There are some things that I would like to emphasize:
- Interesting gameplay pace change – the game is pretty linear for a few first hours. Then Murphy gets to a Silent Hill. Then game becomes open world(-ish). Or should I say “open town(-ish)”? There are side quests, quick travel system and Easter eggs. Interesting and refreshing.
- Weapon system is different from other Silent Hills, but it works. Murphy can carry only 2 weapons – one melee and one firearm. Or two firearms. But that’s it. At least game does not become a gorefest with main character running around with shotgun, sniper rifle, magnum, grenade launcher and assault rifle in his pockets (which is totally fine for shooters, but bad for games that supposed to be scary).
- Otherworld. This time it is unusual. Different from Otherworlds in other Silent Hill games. The atmosphere is different. There are running sequences like in Shattered Memories. I enjoyed the contrast of being able to fight monsters in a *real* world and being relatively helpless in Otherworld.
- Room 302 is in the game – you can get inside ^_^
Should I bother?
Yes. But only If you’re a Silent Hill fan. If not – go play Silent Hill 1,2,3,4 or Shattered Memories and become one. Then finish other Silent Hill games. Then play Silent Hill: Downpour. My personal rating from best to worst: Silent Hill, Silent Hill 3, Silent Hill: The Room, Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Silent Hill: Downpour, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, Silent Hill: Homecoming.
Also, own PS4 with P.T.
Also, R.I.P. Silent Hills