Silent Hill: Downpour is finally here! After months of waiting, we can finally experience the game in full glory! But how good is the game, according to the critics? Check out our review round-up below for the answer to that question, and be sure to leave your opinion in the comments!
Score: 8/10 It does not approach the triumphant creative heights of earlier games, but nevertheless manages to keep its head well above the pitiful lows that recent installments have sunk to. All told, this is a return to greatness for a classic series, proof that there's life in the old town yet -- provided a studio with the proper respect for it is allowed to work its magic. Once again, it's a very good time to have a bad time in Silent Hill, and I couldn't be happier about that.
Official XBOX Magazine
The balance and pacing of Downpour’s combat are also evident in other aspects of its design. Sure, we wasted time rattling locked doorknobs and fumbling through frustrating puzzles, but generous saves and plentiful med-packs usually kept these immersion-breakers at bay. Varied encounters also keep you on your toes: whether you’re chatting up creepy NPCs, cracking macabre brain-benders, or hoofing it from a soul-sucking vortex in the hellish Otherworld, fresh threats are always ready to tingle your spine and mess with your mind. Downpour’s prison-based plot, supported by absorbing characters such as a corrupt guard and a female officer who relentlessly pursues Pendleton, will also keep you guessing until its satisfying payoff.
Silent Hill: Downpour makes some questionable tweaks to the established formula, but those decisions distinguish it from the rest of the series. You may not agree with all of Vatra's choices, but they succeed in making an old town feel new again. And when it's the eighth installment in the series, that is quite an accomplishment.
Like a fleshy mannequin creature emerging from a nightmare world, the Silent Hill series has been trying to claw its way back to prominence since the PlayStation 2 era. Silent Hill: Homecoming attempted to empower players with a combat-savvy protagonist, while Silent Hill: Shattered Memories removed fighting from the equation altogether, pleasing few gamers in the process. Silent Hill: Downpour is a more balanced effort, but an unfocused story, miserable combat, and general lack of creepiness restrict the game to a limbo of mediocrity. Similar to other Silent Hills, Downpour ignores past storylines.
Silent Hill: Downpour succeeds on many levels, giving us something fresh while simultaneously digging deeper into the roots of Silent Hill itself. Murphy's uninvited quest for self-understanding and redemption is made more poignant by the revelation that he's not alone. Others have walked the path before him and, as he discovers, others are walking it still. It's not without a few obstructions, but it's a path worth treading.
Thought it was Okay
An engaging story and creepy locales simply aren't enough to overcome terribly clunky combat and technical flaws in the latest entry in Konami's venerable survival horror series. Silent Hill: Downpour's developers may have taken the series in a new direction, but that doesn't mean they should have.
The most frustrating thing about Silent Hill Downpour isn’t the lousy combat, dull exploration, or even the technical gaffes. It’s the fact that every now and then while playing through the game’s story, you’ll see signs of brilliance; sunlight hinted from behind the overcast sky. From the Otherworld sequences to the interesting protagonist as well as the way the very town itself is molded to Murphy’s past all make for a game that could’ve really been something special for the series. However, all of the aforementioned issues play their role in making Downpour an unfun, disappointing experience.
Now it's time for Wikian's to review Silent Hill: Downpour. If you pick up a copy, post your thoughts in the comments or post your own blog! Let us know what you thought while fighting off the abominations!