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== SILENT HILL DOWNPOUR ==
Silent Hill games have been right up there in my all time favourite games and Silent hill Downpour has to go down as one of the best Silent hill games around. Silent Hill Downpour is a survival horror game and is the 8th installment in the Silent Hill franchise. Silent Hill Downpour was developed by Vatra Games and published by Konami and is available for the PS3 and Xbox 360 only. Silent Hill Downpour has had some very cruel reviews in my opinion and Silent Hill Downpour in my eyes has FINALLY reached the quality that Silent Hill 2 proved out to be. The story is fantastic and in the game you finally get to explore the whole of the misty and mysterious town of Silent Hill. The game centers around puzzle solving more than combat which I think makes the game much more thrilling. Also Downpour is the first Silent Hill game to heavily involve water hense the name Downpour and I also think this is an added bonus to the game.
=== STORY ===
You are Murphy Pendleton a convict in the Ryall State Corrections Facility who was convicted for several years after being caught stealing a police cruiser. Murphy agrees a deal with George Sewell who works as an officer inside the prison. Sewell secretly helps Murphy set up an inmate in the shower in which Murphy beats to death with a pipe and stabs him with a knife for a reason unknown till later in the game. Murphy and a few of his fellow inmates are transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Prison after a riot breaks out but as they are being transported to the new facility the bus crashes just outside of Silent Hill after the road just vanished into thin air. Murphy awakens near the crashed bus with nobody else around him and he sets off, he finally reaches a gas station after a little walk which in turn leads him to the hell that is Silent Hill. Now Murphy must find a way out of the misty and mysterious town that is full of fear and torment. Is there a way out of Silent Hill for Murphy?
=== GAMEPLAY ===
There is only one game mode in Silent Hill Downpour which is the story mode but I think that's much better because any online mode would of meant a much shorter story mode. When starting the game you will notice that the camera is just like any other Silent Hill game and set in a third person perspective which does make the game more enjoyable in my eyes. You basically get a book where Murphy will put everything he finds such as paper with clues, documents and even maps into it so you can access it at anytime. Murphy will walk cautiously but by pressing a button he can run for what seems a very long time without even getting tired but in this Silent Hill its actually usually a good idea to run when in combat rather than fight. Murphy visits a lot of places such as the town and parts in the town which include a bank, police station, church and many more and most of the places are of decent size so there is a lot to explore.
Most of the towns doors cant be opened but its always best to check because there are a few doors that lead to new places and can always have some very valuable items in them. However when you're in a big place for exploring such as the police station then you will notice that almost every door can be opened and explored. Previous Silent Hill games had doors galore but would never open and you found yourself clicking on every door with no chance of it opening. The places you explore are much more detailed now and give the feeling that Silent Hill is back to its best like in Silent Hill 2. The game is actually quite suspenseful and creepy at times which Silent Hill is best known for. It also has those moments that make you jump and make you feel that your heart is in your mouth. I myself have jumped several times with this game and I just keep getting lured into it more and more its really exciting.
There are a lot of new bits to this Silent Hill which include new enemies, new story and new environments to explore. The combat isn't the best but its much more realistic than any other survival horror game because now your weapons can break and weapons are found in relatively sensible places and for example in an older Silent Hill game you would find a gun on a park bench but not in this game because the guns are much harder to find. I found the shotgun in a locked room in a shop and I found a pistol in a locked drawer. Also weapons such as sticks, wrenches, axes and more can be found and used but all have different durability. Axes are one of my favs because not only do they deal a nice amount of damage but they can actually be used to hack away at boarded up areas and doors for more exploring and to continue the game.
Something else that is new to Silent Hill Downpour is side quests. There are lots of side quests in the game that can reward really well and earn achievements and more, definitely worth doing. The puzzles in the game are varied because at the beginning of the game you can choose what difficulty you would like the puzzles to be with easy, normal and hard. Items tend to be in different places and further away on a harder setting so that leads to even more exploring. There are 3 or 4 huge different areas of town to explore with lots of side quests and more. I also love the rain and other storms that the game has because if you're outside whilst its pouring down with rain then you better hurry and get inside whilst it stops because that's when all the monsters come out to play. The streets are full of them when its raining so be warned. Lots of different enemies and some exciting new bosses.
There is no Pyramid Head in this Silent Hill but there is someone equally as bad if not worse. There is a little bit of backtracking in the game but nothing to make it bad and the backtracking for once is actually really enjoyable. The game does have a bit of a frame rate issue and is a little glitchy in places but nothing dreadfully bad. Silent Hill Downpour is phenomenal overall and to make things more interesting there are tons of items scattered all over the place from health packs, key items, money, coins, artifacts and more. Silent Hill Downpour is a thrilling and exciting new game that really should get more credit.
=== GRAPHICS ===
Silent Hill Downpour graphics are superb in my opinion and this is by far the best looking Silent Hill game. One thing that impressed me the most was the weather effects the game has because its phenomenal. The rain and thunderstorms in particular look absolutely stunning. I was also extremely impressed with the look of the town and how well its designed to detail. I wasn't too impressed with the main protagonist of the game because he just seems really plain looking and very similar to some of the previous characters such as the main protagonist from Silent Hill 4 The Room. Enemies are really good and most are very well designed but the best thing is they're all new monsters which makes the game even better, although its a shame the famous nurses aren't on it as well as Pyramid Head. Overall the game looks stunning with a few glitches the only real problem.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
The sound effects are probably part of the reason the game is actually very creepy at times. The music is by someone entirely different from previous games and has been completely changed but it really does work and seems to keep you more on edge through the game. Its a very different type of music but definitely works well. Something that impressed me a lot was the way the game tried making things worse with the freaky sound effects such as screams and creaks when you're walking and other bits like clanging and banging because it sounded really good but at the same time quite frightening. The characters voices are very good as well and sound like a proper Silent Hill game. Overall the sound effects are definitely a highlight of the game and stand out tremendously.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
Silent Hill Downpour can be a very difficult game but it depends on what difficulty setting you have the game on for each thing. There are two options which are puzzle difficulty and game difficulty which can be altered to suit your gaming style. I tend to have both on hardest setting because it makes it a proper battle for survival this way. Having puzzle difficulty on easy makes the game far too easy in my view because you don't have far to go to get items and other bits. Game difficulty varies and the easier you have it the easier the combat is and it alters how many monsters will attack etc etc. The game varies from easy to hard on each but because the game offers alternative endings and secret endings you will find you might need to go through the game numerous times.
The length of the game is quite good in my opinion and the main reason for this is because the Silent Hill games have great replay value and it never gets boring however many times you playthrough the game. One playthrough on easy might only last around 10 hours but on the much harder setting where backtracking is involved and trying to survive more frequently then the game can last around the 20 hour mark. The game is even better because you definitely need to go through numerous times to unlock everything and to get the other endings to the story. Plus with side quests the game can last even longer. So overall Silent Hill Downpour is quite lengthy.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
There are a total of 41 achievements on Silent Hill Downpour and most you will get from doing the main story and some will be achieved by finding and completing side quests. However there are some that require you to finish the game on different difficulty settings for both game difficulty and puzzle difficulty. Some achievements involve killing so many different types of enemies and for achieving different endings in the game. So overall a nice mix of achievements are on offer and will definitely make the game last longer and keep you on your toes.
=== PROS ===
*Silent Hill Downpour has a very solid story as usual.
*Multiple endings, lots of enemies, tons of weapons and items as well.
*The music is fantastic, sound effects are brilliant and the graphics are really good.
*The town is back and looking better than ever full of fog and creepy monsters.
*Its a quite creepy and scary game at times and definitely lives up to the title of survival horror.
*Explore the whole town and visit some exciting places such as the police station, a bank and much more.
=== CONS ===
*A few glitches and the frame rate is a little dodgy and slow at times.
*Can be quite difficult at times if you have it on a tougher setting than easy.
*Contains bits that some gamers may find disturbing and should be an 18 not a 15.
*Could be too scary for some gamers and definitely not for the lighthearted.
*No multiplayer although developers had considered it. Maybe next time eh?
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Silent Hill Downpour has rocketed up in my all time favourite charts because it simply is fantastic and its a well designed game overall. Yeah its a little weird and it certainly has made me jump on more than one occasion but I think that adds to the game success and one of the reasons why it works really well overall.
This is a game I would definitely recommend. If you loved the older Silent Hill games such as Silent Hill 2 & 3 then you will be glad to know its finally back at its best with Downpour and similar in ways to those games. If you wasn't too keen on Silent Hill Homecoming then you will be glad to know that this is far better than that (even though i liked it). Also if you like a good survival horror game this is right up your street and one of the better survival games out there because it really is more difficult to survive.
The game has an age rating of 15+ but I do feel there is enough in it for it to be considered an 18+. The game manual isn't the best but it does offer some good info on the game and what it entails. The game is relatively new out and some may find its a little pricey. I got mine from Asda for £39.97 but I do feel its worth it. Amazon and eBay have the game for around £45 which is ridiculous.
Overall Silent Hill Downpour has to go down as one of the best games so far this year. Whilst the price is a little hefty, the game is definitely worth it in my eyes. I would give Silent Hill Downpour a stunning 9/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!