By biospank 2 Comments
So first to start this off I liked this game, I really did, unlike some other people that thinks that killing everything should be a part of every game. It’s not in a survival horror. This is the reason why Silent Hill: Downpour brought me a tear of joy. You can just run if you want to or you can fight off the monsters. Plus it has great atmosphere with an interesting story (not Silent Hill interesting).
So I have cleared the air, with me liking this game. But you might wonder why it is not a Silent Hill game it has tittle stamped over it. Well, I am going to bring some points why it’s not a Silent Hill game.
This is little but crustal part is wrong. For one I am going to show to you in some images.
this is the downpour map with non of the street names that where in Silent Hill 1 or any of the original ones 1-3.
If you don't believe me look after Sagan St or Matheson St. They have simply changed the map probably because they think a whole town can change its layout. Before you go, what does the map have to do with Silent Hill? It has only one thing that is staying true, too what is already established with Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3.
Maybe it’s just me that think that this is really a thing that should be in a Silent Hill game.
Monsters and the otherworld.
So this here have at-least not stayed true to the series that have been established maybe because of the lack of 伊藤 暢達/Ito Masahiro/Masahiro Ito. He was the monster designer in Silent Hill 1-3
He even made the most iconic Silent Hill Monster "Red Pyramid Thing», «Red Pyramid», «Bogeyman «or "Pyramid Head" and there have been a debate over this one for a long time. Because is Pyramid Head only for James or is he for everyone? Because of a memo that is found in SH4 that reads something like this; Help he is going to kill me, it’s the red devil. Or at-least that is what I remember from that memo.The answer to the question is Pyramid Head is only for James, and that is the truth. If you don't believe me then either play trough Silent Hill 2 it’s on PS2, Xbox and PC. But don't get the HD collection it’s a really bad port, of these amazing games.
But back to why Pyramid Head is only for James(only read this if you are ready for spoiler),
But if you remember that Pyramid head was also called the "Bogeyman" well they have him in Silent Hill: Downpour he looks something like this.
Yes, this is actually the one monster that is Pyramid Head of this game he even has his name bogyman. But with a twist that I am not going to spoil, but as you can see this is little to none in inspiration, and when you meet him for the first time you really don't care or feel afraid like the first time you meet pyramid head in 2. But there is a twist from this monster that is actually kind of great.
These are actually all the monsters that are in Silent Hill: Downpour and all of them have one thing in common they look like something from Hellraiser. They simply don't fit the game, when you go out in the rain around town or in the prison. They just don't fit the games atmosphere or what has been established before with the monsters that have been in the original games. Because in Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4: The Room the monsters had a specific theme. This is what this one lacks, the reason why they should have hired Masahiro Ito's private company to do the monster design, because he knows that every Silent Hill game had a specific theme. He even made the cover art for this game and the canceled Silent Hill: Homecoming
If you cannot see from the "Cover Arts" from booth of them they are more interesting than the western ones. They are actually, so good that I am going to import the Japanese Silent Hill: Downpour one. I cannot do that with Homecoming because it was canceled maybe because it was Hostle game inside of a Silent Hille game.
But back to the monsters so the theme of this game has nothing to do with brutal torture that becomes gory in the end like Silent Hill: Homecoming, but at-least they were not sexualized monsters like Silent Hill: Homecoming which did not make any sense at all. If they would have changed to the Hellraiser monsters then it would have worked for Silent Hill: Homecoming.
Sorry, that I’m out of track, but I really can't see a reason why they could not hire Masahiro Ito's private studio to draw the monsters? He would get the script and all the information he needed, probably. And then draw specific themes of monsters to Silent Hill: Downpour. That is the point I wanted to make with this kind of a long text.
The Other World.
The Other World in this game is like what some fans have speculated since the new ones arrived. That it’s another dimension rather than what I have learned from the first game. Where Harry Mason says; "The Other World is where someone nightmarish delusions becomes real" and so was the case with Alessa Gillespie, where trough out the first game you are experiencing her nightmare. And the transition was more or less everywhere changing from fog to darkness. In every old Silent Hill game had a transition; my most recent memory is from 3 where it was violent and unpleasant for the protagonist. In 4 it was a rebirth you could say, because he going through the hole in the wall in his apartment. I can't remember Silent Hill 2 transition so much but if I remember correctly it was somewhat slow and had something to do with James psyche.
The transition part is the most important thing in a silent hill game; it made things scary and you anxious.
The transition to The Other World in Silent Hill: Downpour is really not explained. You can almost only come with the conclusion of it being another dimension, the first transition kind of made that unclear because it happens before your own eyes really quickly let’s just say it has something to do with a kitchen. But in every transition that is with the otherworld you are running from this red light thing with picture down below. It even has a name it’s called “The void”
But you will also see these things in "the other world" they are called "Wall Corpse" and "Tormented Soul". But "the other world" in this game is not scary, because of the monsters and the "Void" sometimes it can get frustrating if you are not sure where you should run. So you can die and have some really cheap deaths because of it, So exploration is not really an option when you come to the other world.
But there is one final “Other World” which is interesting, which I don't want to spoil if you don’t have played this game yet. So don't read that spoiler if you are thinking about playing this game.
The final stage in the other world or the whole game you are in a prison where you learn why he is in Silent Hill in the first place.
They made me have the conclusion that it’s a dimension with him wakening up on a bench in Logan's Park on the 3rd transition and on the 4th transition, the same thing happens only you are in the morgue on St. Maria's. That only happens later in the game, which I think is really dumb. But again this is not explained.
Memos and unexplained characters.
The old silent hill Memos explained what is going on or what has happened before in the town of Silent Hill. With either The Order or the Boiler Explosion that happened in 1, or other things. But it explains the sub-plot and the plot allot more than just not reading any of them did. Just to give you an example in Silent Hill 2 a memo explains that it’s the spiritual power that is the cause of all the things that’s is happening in Silent Hill. So it turns itself to be the nightmare for some of the people with bad things in their heart (you might say sin).
But in Silent Hill: Downpour there is no mentioning about The Order or other things that could be interesting to have in memos. Instead there are police reports, psychic evaluation to some jail letters, etc. Just to explain the Character more, rather than what happened in the town. After all this is a different town.
But all of the fancy memos are kept in this fancy book of his that is really a plus. But the memo thing kind of bummed me out because there is nothing interesting to read.
This is the unexplained character that is called Howard Blackwood. You don't know why he is there or what his goals are or anything, so with old Silent Hill, everything was explained when it came to other characters. They were interesting and felt human, and you could guess their goals, if it was not explained.
But with the black postman there is absolutely nothing not a single memo or anything other than Murphy saying; "Something tells me this guy is somehow more than just an ordinary postman. The way he talks, the way he moves... I mean... he's way too relaxed for this ridiculous place. He's at home here, alright. I still can't figure whether I should fear him or trust him, but still... he's the closest thing to what I would call a reasonable person around here." and then there is the another encounter when you wake up on a bench and gives you a letter from St. Maria's Monastery. Murphy takes the letter and throws it to the ground, but to his surprise, Howard produces another letter from his bag, and it is exactly the same to the one that he just threw away. This happens right after the 3 transition to the Other World
But other than that there is no Memo or anything that explains this character. But he is in Silent Hill: Book of Memories maybe there is something there like a memo or something.
The games plot and why I liked it.
The games plot.
Murphy Pendleton a convicted felon who have been in Ryall State Prison for years after stealing a police car. Seeking revenge for someone killing his kid or a unspecified reasons, but Murphy strikes a deal with George Sewell, a corrections officer at Ryall, to secretly grant him access to a sequestered inmate, Patrick Napier, in the prison shower room. After reminding a confused Napier that they used to be neighbors, Murphy savagely beats him. The scene cuts to black before Murphy lands the finishing blow.
Sometime later, following a riot at Ryall, Murphy and a few other inmates are scheduled for transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Prison. They are accompanied on the transport bus by Anne Cunningham, a Wayside corrections officer who appears to have a particular interest in Murphy. The bus route passes just outside of eastern Silent Hill. Here, the road suddenly drops off into nothingness, forcing the driver to pull on the wheel, which sends the bus hurtling through the road barriers and down a hill.Murphy surviving the prison bus crash. And then comes to the outskirts of Silent Hill, and meets Howard Blackwood a brief conversation, Howard tells Murphy that the roads are all out and that the best way to leave town is via the nearby sky-tram.
Well I don't want to spoil the whole game but let’s say Murphy did a bad thing and there are 6 endings and 2 of them are surprise Easter eggs and the jail number on his back is also an Easter egg for Silent Hill 4: The Room it’s the apartment number.
Why I liked it.
I am not sure if this is the amnesia thing written all over the character or what, because they are vague or smart enough to keep it to them self’s, the writers I mean and each memo explains more about the character. Even though its just a Police report to psychic evaluation report, or something else. You kind of feel you know him more.
The exploration of the town is also fun to do because of some of the side-quests makes exploring the town allot more fun and when it rains there comes more monsters. The combat is not bad so beat them up too they go down then you can chose to take the killer blow to their head or not, so it makes the delusion of choice here, but you can easily just run past them or run to another place. And depending on how many you kill the worse ending you will get, even making so-called good choices with other characters you meet. It has little to no effect for the endings as I have experienced. Plus I got a smile from the Easter eggs of Silent Hill 4 and other Silent Hill games that are around town. I also liked how things did wrap up, with endings.
So I liked it allot more than the other newer games where they just try to rip off Silent Hill 2. This game tries to do it but has new enough elements that you are really not sure if they tried to rip it off, you might say. In the other games they had the whole amnesia thing going on even with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and the worst part it did not have anything to do with Silent Hill either, only the name stamped onto it.
Murphy is an interesting enough of a character and you know from the beginning that he has done bad things, and it does not feel like the other newer games where, “oh boy I forgot that he was dead” or something in that vein. So you kind of know there will be something, at first I thought it was going to be something like. That he forgot about his son or something, but it’s something entirely different than that.
Also Anne Cunningham even if you only meet her some few times you know it has something to do with her. I am not going to say why she is pissed at Murphy because that is a major spoiler but it is an interesting one.
So I do recommend this game if you can find it at a low price or even buying the Asian version of the game. It is worth playing trough.
Why it is not a Silent Hill game.
So with the newer speculation with the newer games they have missed what was the point of Silent Hill and the same have the developers. They have for the most part just tried to rip off Silent Hill 2, with the amnesia thing going on where “I forgot that my dad was dead” or another person. After all an amnesia story is an interesting one but it depends on how you do it. That will make it interesting. The newer games have not done that in an interesting way.
So you might wonder what is Silent Hill about. Well it’s about a cult that worships a demon god and a spiritual power that is drawn to that false god. In Silent Hill we learn that the other world is actually Alessa nightmare where she has tries to suppress it, but the nightmare is too strong, so she split her soul in half and the other part is Cheryl Mason. And then Alessa have gone around spreading the seal of metatron to suppress the nightmare. But the nightmare is too strong.
Another thing that never happens was in Silent Hill: 0rigins where they require fire to give birth to do the sacrifice of the demon god’s birth. That is simply untrue. In the first one there is a memo from a newspaper that talks about a Boiler explosion, that is the reason why Alessa got burned. But that newspaper bit is only in the Pal and Japanese version of the game. In the NA version it’s either a bug or something that got lost in translation because it’s not there.
So the nightmare or Other World is actually real and in nr1 its Aleesa's nightmare and not Harry’s.
In nr2 we learn that a nightmare is specific to a person and that it’s an old spiritual power that is projecting the nightmare to people that has done something bad. But sometimes the nightmares collapse to each other, that happens sometimes you can see that when you meet Eddie, where you see meat hanging around the room, So it’s not a direct sequel to the first one, but it’s rather shows what happens after plus it explains about the old spiritual power that got perverted by the cult in the town. I had to say that again for a second time because some people still believe that Silent Hill 2 has nothing to do with the cult but it has. The third one is a direct sequel to the first one and the nightmare is specific to Heather Mason because she is basically Alessa's clone so that game is like the first one and explains more of the cult and its propaganda. And it’s actually the ending of the saga that was Silent Hill by Team Silent.
So why is Silent Hill: Downpour not a Silent hill game? Well it does not have "The Order" nor does it have specific themes of monsters to nightmare/Otherworld also I got the impression that the Otherworld was a form of another dimension which it is not. Trough out the whole game there is no sign or mentioning of The Order or the spiritual power. Instead it’s a ghost town. With side quest that makes the feeling of it being a ghost town even more apparent, for there are noises and other things that make this feeling even stronger. Even if you meet some monster here and there, it still feels like a ghost town. It’s not bad but they could have a memo with The Order in it or something else.
Well that is all I have on my mind, I do recommend this game but I don't feel like with the newer games that this is not a Silent Hill game. So I hope the next Silent Hill game that would be produced by Hideo Kojima that it would be made in Japan and with some of the older guys that where in Team Silent and that it would have the old J to K horror like the first 4 did.