Through the years, the Silent Hill franchise has never failed to spook gamers with its surreal elements and nail-biting audio score. This eighth installment is no exception. The latest outing is developed by Vatra Games, a team emanating from Czech Republic.
You assume the role of Murphy Pendleton, a distressed convict from Westside correctional penitentiary, originally incarcerated for pilfering a police wagon. The story begins with Murphy?s transfer; the transport vehicle carrying him suddenly veers off the road to evade a chasm. The driver loses control of the wheel and the bus hurtles to a downward spiral, killing other pinned inmates in the upshot. As you regain consciousness, you slowly realize the gravity of the situation. Murphy awakens in the derelict and follows a narrow path leading to the outskirts of town.
Anne Cunningham, an empathic female officer, assigned to supervise the trip confronts him after he attempts to flee. That is where the complication lies, all throughout the narrative, players will be asked to make choices. These predicaments that question morality will ultimately mold Murphy?s character, as well as affect succeeding events.
Explore the eerie town of Silent Hill; encounter misshapen creatures and malevolent apparitions. Gather clues and news bits to gradually reveal his mysterious link with the ominous town. Another noteworthy element is the introduction of dynamic weather effects; enemies are more hostile and callous in drizzling environment. Murphy?s clothes turns a darker shade of crimson with every arterial spurt and damage he receives, a clever way to assess his current condition.
Silent Hill Downpour?s compelling elements include its atmospheric level design, nerve-wracking sound, stellar voice acting and breathtaking visuals. The game contains a glut of side quests that merit exploration, rewards vary from alternate attires to new weaponry. Silent Hill?s forte is creatively incorporated with an over abundance of puzzle solving sequences and horrifying moments that will leave you at the edge of your seat.
Despite its efforts, the game suffers from technical gaffs including rampant texture popping and shoddy frame rate. In addition, the iffy controls feel sluggish and loose, awkward animations and atrocious collision detection spoils the overall experience. Weapons are feeble, easily break after much abuse. Shooting is a chore, very inaccurate even at close range. Lack of monster variety, you will get to see the same set of enemies over and over again. Murphy?s character is forgettable, he simply lacks personality.
Overall the game fares well but fails to reclaim its former glory. I give it a mediocre 3 out of 5 stars. Hoping for a better iteration in the next generation outing.
Image Source: Viso Games