First and foremost - I found DOWNPOUR strangely empty of meaningful things to discover and interact with - the game encourages you to explore and solve puzzles, but the rewards of doing so are mostly unsatisfying.
(spoiler) Example, there is a long and fascinating puzzle sequence where you have to find three different film clips and enter each film world, interact with objects in each world and then splice the three clips together to open a mysterious chest. Sounds great, but when you finally get the chest open, all you get is a PISTOL that's a little better then your current pistol - and ammo is so scarce in the game, what was the point?
The whole game feels like this. A large, interesting, creepy town to explore and all you ever find are more weapons, more healthkits and the occasional note.
There are some good bits and spooky moments, but all-in-all this feels like a wasted opportunity. They could have really saturated the city with interesting and meaningful things to find and interact with.
The COMBAT is just right for a horror game, the controls are mushy and clumsy and makes each encounter a tense, harrowing affair, with victory uncertain.
The STORY was lame in my opinion. I could care less about the tortured past of this Murphy guy. The cursed town of SILENT HILL is what is interesting - I wish the story was about the town and offered some new insight into the cataclysm that led to it's downfall.
posted by starlessbird (VANCOUVER, WA) Apr 25, 2012
Member since Apr 2012
gamers (50%) found this review helpful
From the get go, the game is a rental at best until it hits at least $30. For a Silent Hill game, it isn't great, but it is a step in the right direction and an imporvement over Homecoming.
Graphics are outdated, but not distracting. I played on the PS3 and oh boy were there some problems with framerate. And it isn't a choice of loading screen or slight dip in framerate, because there were loading screens too and half my drops in framerate were during combat scenes or if I turned around too fast (my PS3 is fine). While the outdated graphics were fine, the very obvious stuttering framerate did more to pull me out of the game and distract me than anything else. The blood splatter on the camera was annoying as well.
As far as story and characters go, Downpour did fairly well. The endings were a bit lackluster.
Some things got old fast though. When you open a door and walk into a room, it will eventually close behind you with a loud bang. This is scary twice. Then it gets annoying. There are quite a few gimmics like this. I loved the other sounds in the game though. I quite enjoyed the soundtrack. The monsters however, were lacking and looked pretty generic.
The combat mechanics were frustrating. I like that you had to swing hard and heavy. It means that the emphasis was no longer on combat, like it was in Homecoming. The idea is to run away more than fight. But I found a lot of places where that didn't work. I didn't like the free roam in Silent Hill because half the time I would go somewhere and get into a dead end, then monsters would endlessly spawn behind me. So naturally you get blocked in a corner and get murdered because even blocking staggers you.
-Interesting story and character
-Some brilliant moments
-Interesting take on the town
-A few bits that get old fast
-Monsters were dull
-The fight or flight/combat mechanics felt unfair