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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Hill IS BACK..sort of
*CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS***********

So your probably like why give it 5 stars for fun.. but a 4 overall??.. well lets get into it..

As a whole Silent Hill Downpour is almost what you want it to be.. dark.. creepy.. intense moments of i dont want to go that way.. the puzzles.. its just missing one thing very classic to the franchise :(.. lets start...
Published on April 2, 2012 by Freeze the Prophet

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87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One BIG Problem
God dammit Silent Hill, either come out with a completely horrible game or a really stellar game! I'm sick of the past 5 Silent Hill's just being "okay", and Downpour is no exception. I'm not going to go over the story because really it's better to experience rather than be told what it is. However it got some things right and some things wrong, lets go over them shall...
Published on April 9, 2012 by I'm Right


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87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One BIG Problem, April 9, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
God dammit Silent Hill, either come out with a completely horrible game or a really stellar game! I'm sick of the past 5 Silent Hill's just being "okay", and Downpour is no exception. I'm not going to go over the story because really it's better to experience rather than be told what it is. However it got some things right and some things wrong, lets go over them shall we?

Pros: The atmosphere is WONDERFUL! Not since Silent Hill 2 has it been filled with so much dread, when the town started raining I started getting nervous on how many monstrosities would emerge from the thick fog as I was frantically running around the town looking for shelter, and a moment like that without any combat or monsters is a really really good thing from a Silent Hill game, subtelty is a hard concept to pull off that the other past installments haven't really grasped.

The story is good, I'll keep this short for my afromentioned reason but the characters are much more lively and realistic than the other games (especially Homecoming), the facial animations were great and the characters were interesting enough. The story also ditches that cult BS (really we're not trying to play virtual Wicker Man) and sticks to someone's personal hell, which 2 has shown us can make for a strong story. When I got to the ending though the character (who looks a lot like Henry Townshed btw) completely contradicted his personality from the course of the whole game, and that felt a little inconsistent. Overall though the story is good, yeah.

The puzzles are also good, they don't slap you in the face with their simplicity and they're all unique and rather memorable.

The combat is perfect as well, items break and your character sucks at fighting, that's exactly how survival horror should be. This isn't resident evil here where you take out hordes after hordes of monsters with a minigun, you're supposed to be at a disadvantage and they got that part right.

The levels are pretty good too, most other games keep throwing you in the amusement park or the hospital but this one finds some new areas of Silent Hill to explore, the cavern level especially was fresh and new and the library level felt right at home with the classic Silent Hill games.

Cons: Well my biggest gripe with Downpour is the monsters. THEY AREN'T SCARY! All of the monsters are usually just people with weapons, *yaaaaawn*. Where are the grotesque abominations of nature like the Manneqins or Schisms? The monsters are seriously disappointing and almost killed the game for me, the tense atmosphere contradicts the goofy looking standard horror movie monsters. Correct me if I'm wrong but Silent Hill was a lot creepier when weird contorted monsters would come out of the fog, not some woman holding a knife or whatever. Seriously, after getting atmosphere down they completely dropped the ball on this one. Wow. Also the giant red ball chasing you was cool, the first time. After awhile though it's just "here we go again", it's that predictability that takes the tension and fear out.

Another problem I had with it is the game freaking lagged out more often that not. It wasn't even a quick subtle thing, it's like the whole game is lagging when you're playing online, but since this game is offline there's no reason why it should be chugging along when I enter a new room.

As the game progresses it starts to become repititious with few suprises. I was hoping the game would get more and more f'd up and disturbing, but it just kind of stayed consistent the whole time, never taking any risks or upping the ante. So while the atmosphere was really well set up the whole pay off was really disappointing, playing Downpour was like inflating a balloon and nervously waiting for it to pop, but instead it slowly deflates until it's empty again. A lot of good ideas were shown here and all the pros show that the designers are heading the right direction, but I think I'm done with paying $60 for a new silent hill game until people say it's a perfect game.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Hill IS BACK..sort of, April 2, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
*CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS***********

So your probably like why give it 5 stars for fun.. but a 4 overall??.. well lets get into it..

As a whole Silent Hill Downpour is almost what you want it to be.. dark.. creepy.. intense moments of i dont want to go that way.. the puzzles.. its just missing one thing very classic to the franchise :(.. lets start with the puzzles..

~Puzzles: If your an old school player you know not to just run around aimlessly without taking the time to check out everything around you. Because you WILL miss clues, pieces to quests or puzzles, and mysteries all over the place.. the puzzles can be complicated. on easy they make the puzzles a cakewalk but on normal and hard the pieces to puzzles are scattered around the map.. not just laying next to or in the same area as the puzzle.. e.g: The movie theater puzzle.. on easy everything is in the theater.. on normal or hard you have to go outside looking for the part needed. But the puzzles are fun none the less with the creativity to majority of them.. Some Are simple as "ashes to ashes".. And then some require you go into hell for "dead mans hand"... lol my personal favorite one.

~EXPLORATION: In this game you have the ability to free roam to your hearts content.. theres no rush to get anything done..There is numerous side quests along side the main story line.. giving you multiple stories to get immersed in besides the one about the main character himself.. The open world addition to this game is awesome in my opinion.. The map is huge.. you think you have almost explored it all, then you realize theres an entire upper map and sides as well as underground! that you havent even touched yet! also the CHANGING elements outside, when you spend too much time wondering around outdoors, you'll notice the smog starts to get darker, and eventually rain drops start to fall.. stay out longer and then the thunder and lightening comes! The open world enemies get real excited when it rains hard so beware. dont wonder around defenseless *WARNING*..

~Combat: yeah it can be hit or miss with the combat.. you can power attack or quick attack.. me personally ive found it easy when you use the autolock on button before engaging in the fight with any enemy.. The weapons arent forever. let them crack into any weapon long enough and your just holding a piece of the handle that was your axe.. or just your barehands!.. Dont sit still is a good tip for fighting any enemy to keep the weapon from having to be used for blocking.. Ammo for guns is almost non existent on normal and hard so save any when u come across it.. Easy seems to have it more plentiful or maybe its the easiness of the monsters that dont require much work in the fights. Also Your not required to fight anything in the open world roaming, you can flee at anytime and escape on foot or into buildings ending the confrontation.

~Main Story: The writing to the stories is deep all the quests have back story.. except for maybe 2 or 3 quests.. with the main story being a touchy subject, ill leave it at that.. and this is where i found some of the gripes about this game sadly.. first off being the softer side of the monsters in the main story, they are all the same monsters your run into in open roaming, with the exception of the "new" boss (i wont say the name).. and the "otherworld" monster.. that really just seems like a giant killer wormhole..:\ nothing seat jumping unfortunately.. DONT get me wrong.. the transformation into "otherworld" is awesome each time!!.. a few times the graphics of where you are is amazing to look at (tick tock ;p).. the other gripe about this game, of which i found the most saddening is the removal of the **SILENT HILL AIR RAID SIREN!!!!!.. i cant even begin to complain about how much of a let down it was to not get that epic part of the franchise in this game.. i mean its what you get silent hill for.. to walk into a door.. have it close behind you and suddenly have all hell break lose around you as you hear the sirens fill the air and skies blacken to night.. ahhhhhh! such good stuff!.. But no sirens.. just a bell rings as you transform into the otherworld..

~lasting appeal: The game again has several sidequests.. some that require you play a second or third time to beable to unlock them.. "digging up the past".. alternate endings.. :X so playing just once is out of the question if your an achievement hunter seeking all 42.. And even if you didnt want to do the achievements.. just to roam around in the ghost town with the dark ominous music creeping you out in the dark should be enough..lol

for the people not big on the franchise but want to check out a very deep and rich single player story, this game is for you.. with hrs upon hrs of gameplay.. (i was over 17 hrs into the main story and still not completed it only 45%) one thing for a good experience, dont cheat and put your brightness settings up though :p.. they give you flashlights that stay on as long as you want for those afraid of some darkness.. also a lighter that you can only hold with no weapon equipped..

For old fans of the game pick it up also just to show love to its history.. some points like i mentioned above were left out sadly but change comes to everything so just run with it.. it doesnt diminish the game any in the over all aspect. The ability to open roam the whole town is well worth checking it out.. just to treat yourself to that feeling of man.. im in silent hill.... going door to door... alone... get me out of here! lol
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review time, March 16, 2012
By 
Brock Samson (3rd Cirle of Hell) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The only thing that kept me from giving this an overall five was the lack of Newgame+. If you enjoy unlocking costumes and weapons for another play through then too bad, no Samurai swords or sexy beams to be found here.

Combat:
Fighting can be fun and challenging with breakable weapons. Block too much and snap goes the weapon, which is exactly why they did just that. If all you did was block until you had a chance to counter combat would grow stale. After awhile you learn not to keep your back to the wall and maneuver around groups of enemies to keep from being surrounded.
Puzzles:
Kinda disappointed with the difficulty levels. I tried it on normal because I didn't wanna get stuck anywhere too long, but once I tried it on hard the answers were the same. For some I didn't even need to figure out the combo for a door cuz it was still the same. Some puzzle hints became more cryptic and the answer slightly altered but I still felt cheated. So if you like brain teasers start on Hard for the puzzles.
Spook Factor:
I must admit this one was much more freaky than Homecoming. Hearing women crying or children laughing as you enter a dark room gives you that uneasy feeling. Then you see the item you've been seeking in the back of the room, knowing hell could break loose the second you grab it really freaked me out. However this occurs more in side-quests throughout the town than in the Nightmare world. All it really has to offer is being chased by some fiery orb thing, which becomes more annoying than anything else. Its kinda like "Oh, here's this jerk again...well let's get to it."

Lastly I have a few gripes about some decisions that were in the games creation. Whenever you die you are given full health after you load you're last checkpoint. Seems kinda stupid if you ask me, you're omost rewarded for your failure. It pretty much eliminates the need to heal because you know if you do die you can try again, probably with more health than you previously had. You can also regenerate up to forty percent of your health. Again eliminating the need to heal. Over time you'll have a stockpile of Medkits you may or may not choose to use. If you're like me and you don't want to run out of healing items when the bossfight comes then you need not worry. Speaking of which there are two bossfights, as the series goes you enter the nightmare realm then fight some ugly-ass monster to return to reality. Am not sure what I love more, fighting those things or just seeing what the twisted freak will look like. Sadly there is not much variety with the monster here.

You might think with all those complaints why did I give it four stars? Well it is really fun, and on my third time through I still have yet to figure out all the mysteries. Plus the multiple endings keep wanting to play.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Hill - Once again open for tourism!, March 27, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Intro:

The Silent Hill franchise has gone through as much corruption, loss and self-discovery as the souls so often finding path into the quiet, plotting town. It too has seen brighter days. Any major fan will talk about the golden age of Silent Hill, one that cleared a new path for survival horror, pockmarked with rust, cult insignias and letters from deceased loved ones. It was a franchise unlike any other of its time, giving nods to classic American horror freshly picked from the minds of Stephen King, David Lynch, Edgar Alan Poe and Wes Craven, going as far as naming streets after these figureheads of terror.

The fan base will claim the Golden Age of Silent Hill spiraled downward when the original creative team (AKA Team Silent) began to trickle off to follow their own individual paths. While this would have happened eventually, Konami was forced to toss the series between developers like it was a troubled, deformed foster-child. In truth, Silent Hill was just misunderstood.

Around this time, Sony released Silent Hill in theaters and harvested a new audience that grew enough curiosity to hop on the next big game. During this period, one started to see the effort on combat increase in the games, while a lot of creative decisions fell short, blurring the brand of Silent Hill. In some cases, the art was brilliant while the writing stunk. Other titles had a genius plot but drab design. While the franchise still released solid, functional games, these titles just couldn't reach the caliber the franchise grew up on. The spirit of Silent Hill felt lost. And so did the fans.

In 2012, Konami promised audiences three new game titles and a movie sequel wearing the brand of Silent Hill. One of these games was Silent Hill Downpour by Vatra Games, the title most closely following the formula for a Silent Hill game while also continuing the franchise's chronology. While skepticism from recent history still hung in the fog for fans, many of them feel a sense of lifted stigma from this title.

My Review of Silent Hill Downpour:

Let me start by saying I'm reviewing this game as a long-time fan of the series since 1999. I do not blindly love every Silent Hill game - in fact, I'm highly critical of certain titles as I believe certain developers really didn't know the town of Silent Hill at all. While the ability to make a great horror game seemed apparent, the ability to carry on the Silent Hill brand and spirit were quite absent.

I also consider myself a survival horror fanatic - that means, I understand the formula, elements and impact of what the genre of survival horror should have. Furthermore, I know the basics for any successful Silent Hill game:
The town of Silent Hill
a cast full of questionable, untrustworthy, damaged, unstable characters
a deep, unsettling score full of ambiant sounds and moody melodies
realistic environments under psychological wear-and-tear
raw combat with man-made weapons or everyday objects against unnatural looking enemies that often resembles the protagonist's psyche
multiple pathways and endings
and last (but certainly not least), those little in-game menu sounds for obtaining/using items. If you experience the series like I do, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, I might go as far to say you won't agree with my opinion of this game at all.

Story 9

Likely so, Downpour starts off with a simple enough concept to become the engine for a good Silent Hill game. A prisoner escapes his shackles after a transport bus crashes on the outskirts of Silent Hill. Murphy Pendleton's freedom is just on the other side of this little tourist town, and if only he can find his way through, that freedom is all his.

To me, a good plot starts off with a simple enough concept like this with plenty of room for exploration. Who is our protagonist, Murphy Pendleton? Why is he a prisoner, and is he truly guilty? The game begins with a handful of questions that Silent Hill will eventually answer in full or in part, giving the player the resources and information to dig as deep as they'd prefer without getting overwhelmed.

There's a handful of personalities that Murphy meets along the way, all with varying levels of involvement in the town and in Murphy's story. Some only make a small entrance with a more mysterious exit, while others just won't stop showing up. Some are completely vital to the main campaign while a small few are encountered optionally through side quests, which adds a whole new level to getting the Silent Hill experience.

More on the side-quests - Murphy has the option of investigating different paths on the town map. For example, he might meet a character in person or through journal entries that sends him off on a scavenger hunt for a small list of items. In that same area of town, an unlocked door pleads to tell you the history of its contents. I really loved the addition of these mini-games as it fleshed out the town. Whether you're gaining insight on a specific resident, location or experience, these side-quests were always full of memorable moments.

If a player decides to follow the main campaign without side-quests, he or she will still get a fulfilling enough experience. As with any Silent Hill game, be prepared for a ton of reading, searching, and exploring the foggy streets and dark buildings.

There are a few events where players decide how to interact with other characters that could drive the rest of the story. My only wish here was that these decisions carried more weight than they actually do. For instance, Murphy is asked whether he wants to save a woman falling from a cliff or simply let her fall. Whichever decision you make still has the woman falling. It would have been more dynamic if helping her actually prevented the fall altogether, but each decision still warrants different cut-scenes and dialogue.

Sound 9.5

Like a lot of fans, I felt a bit distraught over Akira Yamaoka's absence in this title. However, when I heard that Daniel Licht took the reigns, my level of hope quickly replenished. I've been watching Dexter for five seasons, so I'm familiar enough with Licht's style that I thought it would effortlessly find its place in Silent Hill. I was right.

While Yamaoka made heavy use of creaking metals and wailing machines in his scores, he contrasted the deep, industrial sounds with moody, western-inspired strings that sounded like music you'd hear on an old, European record player.

Licht kept all this in mind, commemorating Yamaoka's sound but never seeming too shy to add the Licht style. The two composers actually have a very similar feel to their work - the obvious similarity is their appreciation for the strings. While Yamaoka seems to love short, catchy picking of the guitar or mandolin, Licht loves the long, crying melodies of the violin or cello. It's these similarities that helps the Silent Hill sound undergo a smooth transference from one composer to the next.

Yamaoka aside (we'll never forget you, Akira!), Licht introduces some tunes with what could have been inspirations from classic seventies horror films. There's a ton of ghostly riffs interrupted by chaotic, squealing notes. Never does the music feel too powerful to the point of it taking you out of the game. It feels like something following your every step, yet never stepping right in front of you. Overall, Licht truly composed a haunting score completely fitting to the Silent Hill franchise.

The general sound effects of the game are no less perfect than the score. Like most elements of a good Silent Hill game, it's the little things that really make the whole so successful. Random, inaccessible cries of a disturbed child or nearby, muffled footsteps all make a much-welcomed return. There's a crisp "kerplunk" after dropping your rusty, hollow pipe on a sidewalk and alarming slams of a door. Distant howling enemies accompany the background hiss of rainfall. Nothing seems too melodramatic or out of place, but rather quite realistic to the franchise.

I can't give a perfect 10 for sound as Konami allowed Korn to make the theme song. Unlike Licht and Yamaoka, Korn portrays their emotion on the forefront of their track through angry vocals and hard rock-n-roll rather than behind intelligently orchestrated sound. With no judgement on their music as a whole, it's inconsistent with the subtlety of malevolence that previous Silent Hill tracks do so well.

Gameplay 7

Within recent years, a new horror sub-genre, mostly carved by Capcom with the Resident Evil franchise, has emerged from horror franchises. It's been coined as "Action-Horror", and, while I hold a special place for this sub-genre in my gaming library, I must clearly emphasize that Silent Hill Downpour is not Action-Horror and an audience expecting this will be firmly disappointed. Its apparent that Silent Hill became a successful enough series to catch eyes of fans from nearby genres, but I just don't think those gamers have any idea what they're getting themselves into when playing a true survival horror game like Silent Hill. While the environment and enemy roster can seem completely otherworldly, our protagonist and his struggle in fighting must seem realistic and plausible.

With that disclaimer said, I was mostly satisfied with the mechanics of combat in Silent Hill Downpour. Some previous Silent Hill entries designed combat systems where enemy attacks were too calculated and fighting became too much of a formula rather than a true-to-life struggle with monsters. Don't forget the fact that you're basically fighting demons - it makes no sense to assume a protagonist understands them. Vatra made close examination to how this combat would work in their game.

Fighting is mostly done via melee weapons, which are strewn about Silent Hill like they would be in any given town. You'll find a wrench next to a garage and some glass bottles in a pile of trash. While many of these weapons will eventually break, some of them break too soon. I doubt a fire axe will meet its demise even after cracking 100 skulls. Who knows - I can't say I've tried it. With a semi-unrealistic weapon breaking system aside, the general desperation of a person fending off Silent Hill creatures is there. Murphy grabs anything sharp, blunt, or sturdy enough to defend himself. While guns and ammo are rare, they're still found in believable recurrence and locations.

Your weapon inventory is limited to two slots - one for a firearm and one for melee weaponry. While it might not make sense to hold a pitchfork, shotgun, and hatchet in one's pocket, it made me wish Murphy would at least find a backpack or side-bag to hold more of a weapon selection system. Of course, it never became an issue of not having another weapon in the immediate vicinity, as there is always something laying around to wield against foes once an equipped weapon breaks. If there's not, Murphy always has his bare fists to use.

In a given enemy encounter, Murphy can attack, block, and throw a weapon (which can still be picked up later after a brawl). There's no guarantee that these moves will always work with success, as enemies become pretty unpredictable and fierce. It makes sense to me that holding a weapon in front of your face won't always stop a raging monster from getting a good swipe in. In a lot of games, the block is successful without fail if you time it right despite the ferocity of enemies you're encountering- but not in Downpour. In the same turn, a monster can't always block the 30 pound pick-axe you've sent down on their head.

If swinging a brick around seems worthless to a player, he can instead stand near a pile of bricks and hurl them at a hovering enemy. Throwing becomes a huge asset to the combat system, as getting close to certain opponents could seem like suicide. In other cases, a toss could also function as a simple way to draw attention to a given enemy if one has built a solid lure-and-kill system for encountering groups. The act of throwing weapons further builds the concept of desperate combat that Silent Hill should maintain.

Vatra introduces the element of rainfall in this new title while also setting a precedent of weather directly impacting game-play. Roaming the streets of Silent Hill feels somewhat safe if Murphy can just avoid enemy encounters. Here comes the rain again. As the drops fall harder and more plentiful, the monsters feel more invitation to show up in numbers and surround our protagonist. This helps deter a feeling of safety during exploration as the rain can come at any moment. I found myself on countless occasions wanting to stay near shelter or a subway system for when rain began to fall.

When encountering the Otherworld, Vatra gives a semi-unique spin on gameplay. Murphy will suddenly see the fabrics of one world burn away to reveal the metal skeleton of Silent Hill's alternate, sinister dimension. This cues the appearance of a bright, red light that begins to pursue Murphy with it's deadly presence. If Murphy doesn't run quickly enough, his senses start to slow and he eventually becomes devoured. These chase sequences felt like obvious nods to Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, where the protagonist ran from an unstoppable force of monsters. I loved how Vatra included these sequences and I genuinely enjoyed them, getting the intended effect of panic and fear; I did, however, miss uninterrupted exploration of the Otherworld. In Downpour, you're only given glimpses of rusty doorways and moldy corridors as you rush past them with no time to stop and absorb the not-so-heavenly sights.

Puzzles also return in Silent Hill Downpour. Not only are these riddles engaging and fitting to the story, but players also have the option of choosing a puzzle difficulty level - similar to the first 3 titles. It further enables the player to customize their game to their combination of difficulty preferences.

A minor setback for me (but a huge hangup for a lot of audiences) comes when the game encounters bugs and/or frame-rate issues. Vatra could have polished their product more in this aspect. Murphy will be running when suddenly the game will slow down, stop, and skip ahead a few seconds. It didn't happen often enough for me to completely break my appreciation for the rest of the game. It was, however, enough of an issue to cause a red flag for many fans.

Art/Design 10

Downpour looks great. There's some introductions of new elements that could have easily fell through but worked well. I applaud Vatra for taking these risks and, unlike some past developers, actually having success with them.

One of those additions, as mentioned in the game-play section and blatantly in the game title, is rainfall. While it certainly adds fear and panic during town exploration, the rain also holds symbolism for Murphy's condition and recent life events. There's a metaphor in the fact that Murphy's demons come out to spite him most during the downpours. Rainfall not only interacts symbolically with the game but graphically as well.

After a storm recedes, the presence of water still remains as the environment and Murphy both hold a wet after-sheen. Oftentimes, the sun will slightly start to peek through the fog to give accent and reflection on the layers of water. There's a subtle sparkle to the town's exteriors that, anywhere else would seem enchanting, but in this particular setting seem surprisingly sinister and even mocking to Murphy's hope for freedom. Silent Hill has never mixed fog with rainfall and sunlight, but Downpour does so successfully. It makes for an overall intelligent use of light for mood, storytelling, and aesthetics.

The town of Silent Hill - the most basic foundation for the game itself - seems both real and understood. There exists an obvious care and patience in its sculpting that allowed me to truly believe Vatra got it right on their first go-around. I saw a delicate balance between layers to any given setting. A row of Victorian houses that once sat gracefully in succession to each other are now overgrown with dying weeds and weaved together by twisted, rickety scaffolding. A movie theater, at one time painted with romantic movie posters and colorful advertisements, now sits in tragedy with overturned furniture and dark, empty rows of seats filled with memories of giggling teenagers. It's a dichotomy the Silent Hill franchise so well established as an art form in the horror genre of gaming, and Downpour gives it a dramatic comeback.

While Silent Hill initially shows a sullen, desaturated surface characterized by the fog and realistic architecture, she's notorious for revealing her more threatening side - a world coined so famously as "the Otherworld". Of course, we've learned how this dimension appears depends on the game and the protagonist roaming it. For some, it has come with rust, flames and metal. With others, it appears as swollen, mold-infested hallways or rooms lined with veins and flesh that appear to be breathing. In Downpour, Silent Hill presents its Otherworld to Murphy as an intricate system of machines and engineering, oftentimes with water flowing between loud, rapid mechanisms. It holds an undeniable likeness to imprisonment. Murphy will head towards open doorways that are abruptly slammed shut with barred doors. Corridors become mere crawlspaces that force undeniable claustrophobia on the player. At one point, the Otherworld transforms into gears of a clock tower while Murphy tight walks a spinning minute hand. This side of the Silent Hill universe seems so familiar yet completely unique to Murphy's psychological journey.

The monster design is no different when it comes to reflecting Murphy's psyche. For the most part, the creatures appearing in Silent Hill downpour are humanoid. That is - they're form does not stray too far from human anatomy. I didn't mind this as much as I would've guessed. A few of the designs resemble prison inmates, incorporating tattoos and restraints - something Murphy undoubtedly saw during jail-time. There's a particular enemy design that stood out from anything I've seen yet - a glass-like statue whose shadows are the culprits for causing Murphy harm. Though to defeat the foe, Murphy can only attack the statue. Another enemy uses its scream as an stunning attack. While Vatra didn't go for the completely surreal approach with the enemy design, their choices still fit into the universe and gave the player some variety in concept and combat.

Replay Value 9.5

Vatra filled Silent Hill Downpour with enough side-quests, Easter eggs, bonuses and information that a second play through is highly encouraged. A particular side-quest opens up on a second play-through which requires a good deal of experience to complete. Not only are certain side missions only available after you finish the game, but Vatra also gives the option of achieving multiple endings. Having various end-results to a game doesn't just add replay value - it contributes to the overall dimension of plot and character. Seeing different paths Murphy and his supporting characters make are points a player may not want to miss out on if engaged in the story. These endings are mostly fueled by decisions Murphy must make throughout his campaign, and seeing the result of opposing choices seems enticing enough to try a second time.

The plot is deep enough that it could easily benefit a player to go through the game a few times. A lot of my questions were not answered clearly as my first play through overwhelmed me with a lot of information. Playing the game again, I'll have more of a chance to focus on what I missed for a better understanding of Murphy's story as a whole.

The game is also filled to the brim with small, but powerful references to previous games. I've heard rumors of a few that I definitely didn't see or find and am eager to experience them myself. While most Easter eggs are static points of interest, some of them show up for mere seconds, and if a player fails at catching them, the experience expires instantly until beginning a new game.

For a perfect score, I would have included some more bonuses for finishing my first game. Perhaps a collection of alternate outfits and even a bonus weapon that mirrored the humor of previous bonus weapons like Heather's light-sword or Alex's laser gun. These small, goofy additions often make a second play through an even greater time, as there's nothing quite as satisfying than offing a Silent Hill demon with neon green lasers.

Overall 9/10

My experience since beginning Silent Hill Downpour has been extremely positive aside from a few technical glitches. The game felt like a proper continuation of the series in this gaming generation. Vatra added a substantial amount of setting, character and game-play to the Silent Hill universe and Daniel Licht composed a beautifully unsettling score - all while the whole team kept the brand of Silent Hill unscathed and prominent.

Opening the town to more side-quests and encouraging the player to explore came as the best new addition to the series. My desire to freely roam and investigate Silent Hill never felt completely satisfied by previous Silent Hills. Vatra succeeded in painting rich new angles of my favorite, maleficent town by letting us confront and interact with these simple side- scenarios. I don't know if I'll ever forget my moment in the movie theater or the story behind all the ribbons tied to telephone poles. The experiences set new landmarks and pushed the boundaries further for future games to nod to and aspire from.

Furthermore, Daniel Licht's score fell right into place, especially after this being his first shot at portraying the concept of Silent Hill. I can't think of anything he didn't do right. It came as such a pleasure to experience Silent Hill musically in a new, yet fitting way. The story begins with the right amount of intrigue necessary for a Silent Hill plot to develop healthily. The feel of a natural survival horror game makes a return with the moody atmospheres, puzzles, and desperate combat any survival horror fanatic lives for. Its an overall package that I'm really proud to play and look forward to replaying in the future. While the Silent Hill franchise may have grown rickety after the years, it has finally made its comeback with Downpour.

I applaud Konami, Vatra, and Daniel Licht for releasing such a solid addition to my Silent Hill library. I can only hope that Konami recognizes they've reformed Team Silent and that they hit the target with this game.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic SH game for modern consoles, March 14, 2012
By 
Ryan (Biloxi, Mississippi) - See all my reviews
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Downpour is easily the best Silent Hill game since SH3.

For those unfamiliar with the previous installments, don't worry. You don't need any knowledge of the previous games to understand this one. For those familiar with Silent Hill, Downpour should be a welcome surprise.

I think the game has received some bad reviews for one simple reason. Ironically, it's the same reason I've come to love the game so much: Downpour feels like a classic Silent Hill game. While the controls and menus are certainly easier to manage than what you'd find in SH 1-3, they're very reminiscent of those older features, and that may be a problem for gamers who expect more refinement in 2012. If you're not accustomed to the older titles, then combat may feel a bit clunky to you. But trust me, that's part of the fun. If you could handle these monsters like Chuck Norris, you wouldn't be so terrified of them. And if you loved the way those classic games felt, then Downpour should feel like coming home.

If any part of the game is lacking, it's the monsters. They're still scary most of the time, especially when you don't expect to see one. But they're not as grotesque and disturbing as what you'll find in the classic titles. Still, this game has scares where it counts, particularly in the game's eerie atmosphere. My favorite moments in SH 1-3 were the parts where I'd find something strange in a dark room, like a mannequin, and when I'd turn, there'd suddenly be a bloodcurdling scream, and I'd discover that the mannequin's head had been chopped off. What just happened?! That element has returned to Silent Hill.

In regards to the technical issues some have cited, I've experienced slight lag in maybe two of the game's environments, and I've had a few freeze-ups occur on the loading screen. Luckily, the game saves quite frequently, so I was never set back that much. Another issue is the graphics. While most areas look spectacular, others feel a bit bland. In most houses, nearly every window has the same smudge prints, every table has the same books, the same vase of flowers, etc. Sure, the table's contents are organized differently room-to-room, but it's still noticeable. However, it's hard for me to fault the developers too much, seeing as how the world they've given us is quite large, and identical decor is kind of a staple of the older games, isn't it?

To sum it up, Silent Hill Downpour's strengths and weaknesses are the same strengths and weaknesses present in the original trilogy. On the one hand, this might trouble some newcomers to the series and keep it from attracting positive reviews. On the other hand, those looking for a taste of what they experienced in SH 1-3 should be pleasantly surprised. If you can handle the occasional glitch and you love old-school survival horror, I'd say give this game a chance. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but short, July 3, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I had alot of fun with this game. I haven't played much silent hill, only the original and origins for psp. This game was really cool, I liked exploring the town and the other world was really creepy. The visuals are really great in this game as well. The only two complaints I have about it are there are times when the frame-rate literally gets so bad it locks up for a second or two and that most of the enemies are the same, there isn't much variety to them. Other than that, I enjoyed the game and played through it multiple times to get the different endings
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scared me to death, July 1, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The game is not perfect, but it is superb. The sound is beyond anything I've experienced yet. Playing this game with turtle beach headphones actually made me uncomfortable at times. My only major complaint, would be that the combat feels a little clumsy, having just one way to attack with melee weapons watered down combat significantly. Not being able to dodge like you could in homecoming was frustrating at times too. I wouldn't pay full price for it (and I didn't), but its worth playing. Some of the best graphics and sound to date, lacking in control... reviews saying there is no plot, are the opposite of correct haha... the story is excellent, read all of the mystery notes and don't just rely on cut scenes and dialogue, SH games are not meant to be rushed through, READ!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Hill is Back... With Some Slight Flaws..., November 12, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
If you like the Silent Hill series, you've probably played Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 2 is one of my favorite games of all time and has one of my favorite game stories of all time. It's dark, creepy, and a multi-layered story unfolds as you play, giving you a memorable ending based on what you did. The combat always put you at a disadvantage and the enemies and world were all manifestations of your character's guilt. The series has had some ups and downs and many of the games missed the entire point of Silent Hill. Many of the games are just creepy games with weird enemies and bad combat. Silent Hill Downpour is a solid return to its roots.

Concept: 9/10
A return to Silent Hill with an escaped convict who brutally murders someone in prison. The story unfolds and explains why "Murphy Pendleton" did what he did. There are some areas that are open ended and you must wander through darkened streets as vile creatures emerge from the fog. There are optional side quests and multiple endings based on your morality choices.

Story: 8/10
With the help of a corrupt prison guard, Murphy Pendleton, a criminal with a fairly clean record and no criminal history, brutally murders another prisoner in the showers. This prisoner finds himself in Silent Hill, a dark world of violence, and sudden storms which bring out vile creatures. As Murphy progresses through the story, questions are answered and those answers are disturbing at times. There are multiple endings based on simple YES/NO morality choices made through the adventure.

Graphics: 7/10
The game is definitely scary and the graphics provide a dark and creepy atmosphere. Murphy carries a flashlight and the dynamic lighting casts eerie shadows. The characters and enemies look pretty good, but not great.

Gameplay: 7/10
Silent Hill Downpour consists of Exploration, Side Quests, Combat, the Otherworld, and Bosses.

Murphy wanders through Silent Hill and finds clues to the story, keys, and useful tools to open doors and get past barriers. At times, the game feels like a terrible scavenger hunt in a very dirty haunted house where you wander aimlessly. In the Options Screen, you can set the game to highlight important objects. Health Packs, Keys, Weapons, and Ammo will shine in the dark. This is VERY HELPFUL!

As Murphy wanders the desolate streets of Silent Hill, there are some houses with their lights on. These houses contain puzzles and/or side quests. Some of the quests are simple and others are multi-staged and require combat. The puzzles all make you think and they're memorable, but none of them are too frustrating. Some of the Side Quests are confusing and cannot be completed until much later in the game.

The combat is simple because this is a horror game. If the combat were complex, it would be an action game, right? Murphy can pick up an object like a knife, brick, crowbar, shovel, axe, gun... and use it to bludgeon enemies or throw the weapon at them for some extra damage. All of the weapons have a durability stat and they do break... often at the worst of times. There is a block button, an attack button, and a throw button. The enemies move around you and attack. You can block and counter or if you attack, the enemies will counter and you must block. Some of the enemies have special moves too, so be careful. There are only a few different types of enemies and they mostly reflect Murphy's past actions. For example: One enemy is a psychotic convict with a mechanism on his head to stretch his eyes and mouth. This alludes to the fact that a prisoner may have seen what you did and they're gonna tell. There is also a giant humanoid bat monster... because... umm... someone making the game thought it needed giant bat monsters.

Some of the game takes place in the Otherworld. The city will fade away, leaving Murphy in a hellish place, often running from his life from The Void. The Void is a slow moving invincible ball of pain that damages Murphy. If Murphy is too slow, he is engulfed by the void. Speed is the only way to escape. Unfortunately, Murphy will sometimes have to run through traps and guillotines to escape the void.

There are boss battles and they could have been much better. One is very simple, the other is more like a puzzle / level. That's it.

World: 8/10
The world of Silent Hill is incredibly creepy and it reflects Murphy's guilt. The settings, the enemies, the items, all tie into the story. Unfortunately, there is some slowdown at times and that hurts.

Sound: 10/10
The sound effects are creepy and the music sets a grim atmosphere. Occasionally, something will make you jump.

Replay Value: 4/10
Aside from different difficulty levels and multiple endings (3 of which you can get from your last save) there isn't much reason to replay the game. It will take about 12-25 hours to finish the game, depending on how much you get lost and how many side quests that you do. You cannot Save! Instead there are autosaves at the last checkpoints and you can load the last 5. This helps if you find yourself in an unbeatable situation, but for the most part, this game is a one-way trip.

Overall: 8/10
It's great to see a Silent Hill game with a disturbing story and a creepy atmosphere again. Every element of the game ties into the story, too. The game is a bit flawed because there is an awful lot of wandering, some of the side quests are confusing, and the slow down is bothersome. If you really like dark stories, than this is a game for you. It's not a Great Game, but it is nice to see the Silent Hill series right its ship.

Buy this game (cheap) if you liked Silent Hill 2.
Buy this game (cheap) if you like horror.
Buy this game (cheap) if you like an engaging story.
Rent it if you have 12 hours to blow through it or 25 hours to solve all of the side quests.
Avoid this game if you hate being lost or wandering through open areas.
Avoid this game if you like sophisticated combat and combos.
Avoid this game if you need great graphics.

If you liked this game definitely check out Alan Wake, Condemned, or Dead Space 1 or 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive Storyline!, February 4, 2013
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Another great addition to the Silent Hill series! I loved the storyline, graphics and the new characters. I couldn't stop playing the game and had to play as much as I possibly could the first night. There are so many missions and side quests to complete that will make your heart race. I not only beat the game, but I am currently on my third play-through! I have now achieved 2 out of 6 endings, working on my third :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, January 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
After being too frightened to play anymore after finding an easter egg, I decided to go online and see if there were anymore. I ended up finding out just how elaborate silent hill is and how much detail they put into every character, every street name, every building, everything. And the crossover to the "other world" is magnificent!
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Silent Hill: Downpour - Xbox 360
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