Here’s the preview I’ve written to the other website I work on: Xbox Team Portugal. You can now read it translated by Silent Haven (thank you!)
Silent Hill Downpour – A flurry of changes
Change is always essential in whatever, and that is what has happened with the Silent Hill series that over the last several years has suffered. If you are the best, this is a subjective question, but the essence of the series has declined when compared with their early years. Much of the fan community comes to make it very concrete divisions, divided as this great series into periods: Silent Hill with Team Silent (team that developed the first four games) and Silent Hill Post-Team Silent. Of course it is always difficult to impose these divisions, but it is certain that the potential of this series is large and not proportional to the sequels that have been developed. All this may be due to the instability of particular technical staff. Since Silent Hill 4, with the departure of Team Silent, that this game was given to a variety of studios that have not shown to be the best options.[[MORE]]
The proof of this was the first Silent Hill Origins (2006), the sixth title in the series that serves as a prologue that explains a little more of the sources (as its name indicates – Origins) the events of Silent Hill 1 launched in 1999. Origins can then be almost regarded as an adaptation of the first story because it shares many of the elements, like the characters, the story was not about the origins of everything. This fifth title (considered 0 chronologically) was developed by Climax Studios, who came to take the reins of a highly successful series, formatted and with so many vices of the old team so adored by fans. This studio has therefore decided to risk and change some elements of that universe so familiar and introduce others to the claim of success. However, Origins has gone unnoticed by many, and he even not be considered as a true Silent Hill, and was released only on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
After little success, Konami decides to risk once again and, shortly after the release of the film adaptation of Silent Hill, directed by Christophe Gans, announces a sixth title (chronologically Being Silent Hill 5). He was then confirmed Silent Hill Homecoming, and this was also confirmed delivery of the game to a new studio, Double Helix Games, founded precisely upon the development of Homecoming in 2007 by two studios of Foundation 9 Entertainment, The Collective and Shiny Entertainment, virtually unknown. It would have been the correct option? Deliver precisely the “premiere” of the series on next generation consoles to a studio almost unknown without any quality project developed to date? The answer is clearly obvious, Double Helix Games took a little imaginative approach and literally threw it to consoles. Homecoming functions as a mix of “inspirations” where they were glued visual elements of the film released shortly before (where creatures were transported to the big screen for the console), ending it all with the clear inspiration that got Silent Hill 2 (2001 ), in relation to the plot that is so far is considered the best in series. At the end, resulted Homecoming not harm, but was satisfactory only the encompassed, and was not done justice due to the potential of the series.
After this troubled path, the changes did not stop there. Konami studio moved again, back to the fact that Climax Studios was responsible for the latest sequel to Silent Hill. I refer to as the Shattered Memories, a remake of Silent Hill 1 which has a completely different approach from those who’ve seen to date. Since the story to the game mechanics, our well-known elements have been replaced by “updates”, modernizing the series a very risky. Shattered Memories then came “Shatter” (shattered) the family and introduce a new view of events, adapting the original story to a completely different gameplay without resorting to fight or paused moments in the fog or dark and gloomy places. The taciturnity of the corners of the infamous city that knew was replaced by snow, snowy, and run much since “Harry Mason” can only flee from danger without recourse to any kind of weapon but tools to help you escape, an approach so completely new. Interestingly, Shattered Memories was not unwelcome but unfortunately was not applauded as a return to magic characteristic of the series. The question remained: Will happen again?
After this brief journey through the recent past of Silent Hill, we return to this and we focus our attention on Downpour, the eighth official title of one of the best survival horror series in videogame history. Unsurprisingly, Konami gave the project again at a new studio, also recently founded – Vatra. This studio located in the Czech Republic has become over the past two years the home of Silent Hill hoping for another comeback made.
Since its announcement at E3 2010 that has divided opinions Downpour, especially given its startup where it was confirmed the departure of Akira Yamoaka, composer responsible for the original soundtrack of all titles to date. It was because the only “survivor” of the team that created the original Silent Hill. Unlike the Japanese, Daniel Licht (Dexter) was chosen to take the reins of audio from Downpour. (You may have access to samples of all 19 tracks from the new soundtrack here)
Taking the cue, started by the component sound. Daniel Licht’s work is fantastic and it is easily proven by some of her past, among which Dexter TV series that has Licht as a composer. However, the announcement of his involvement has caused some concern to many of the fans since the departure of Akira was something previously unthinkable. Anyway, the work that Licht has developed to Downpour, it is shown loaded with great expression and emotion that seem to serve the plot perfectly. However all is not linear, in addition to the return of Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, the voice of the melodies of Silent Hill, which is good news, also confirmed the participation of well-known band Korn, with a theme created for the purpose Downpour. “Silent Hill”, the band name of the author of Korn, was based strictly on the history of Murphy Pendleton, the protagonist, and has divided opinion quite controversial.
Judging whether the participation of Korn on the soundtrack of Silent Hill was a good decision, it is difficult to do with justice since everything depends on personal taste of each one, because if for some it is unthinkable that band in the series, for others to become will be required to buy this game because of such participation.Anyway I am sure that this does not affect the plot that shows very well founded.
Downpour account because Murphy with Pendleton as the protagonist, an inmate who is transferred from the prison where he was serving time for another prison institution, however, on the way to your new address, the police van which followed Murphy, other inmates and the authorities, suffers imposed a serious accident at the gates of the town of Silent Hill.
That accident is why a great opportunity for Murphy to fight for freedom is and what it does, however, instead of finding it, will be seen trapped in his own nightmare in which the good way “Silent Hill” will have to face the his actions and his own mind that becomes your worst enemy in the city that will take you to the ultimate penance.Until that happens a lot, even too much.
In the skin of the protagonist, the player will have the opportunity to experience its history and face their demons, but the real news in a Downpour is the inclusion of side-quests, that is, optional missions whose objective is to earn rewards and find out about the city itself as well as learn more about the character himself.Anyway, because of its optional, will not feel obliged to respond to such missions.
In addition to this implementation, with a clear view to boost the game in order to meet a wider range of players, also saw the inventory is completely renovated, as has become clearly more realistic in that Murphy can only carry a weapon time and all these weapons are destructible and can be caught in scenarios full of features that can save you life, what happened to the conventional ending inventory whose capacity is infinite and the character can no longer carry chainsaws, shotguns, pistols and tens of other objects in his coat pocket. This underlines the mechanical pressure Downpour intends to cause the player, like Shattered Memories, in many situations will be smarter to opt for unrestrained flight, since the vast array of enemies is not literally to play and they become real threats to Murphy is not at all a warrior and this will be proved in several battles that are interspersed throughout the game. In addition, the player will be aware that the weapon you are using is fragile and may break soon after leaving Murphy with just their fists.
This mechanic has been explored in Silent Hill Origins, the protagonist also had at its disposal destructible weapons, the lack of them, his fists helped him to survive. However, in this mechanic Downpour this seems to be more fluid and abraded, something that will give many points for this game, it promises to have the best combat system of the series. (Note that this aspect has always been presented as the weakest of the series) Anyway Silent Hill Downpour does not privilege the fight in the foreground, instead places more emphasis on exploration and psychological terror increased the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Do not expect a lot of fights, most times will certainly have to wander through the city deserted, flooded by the coherent fog that seems to be working quite well. Anyway not only the fog that will give you nerves, the rain also marks a central place in Downpour (flood), whenever it rains in the city prepare to fight or protect themselves from enemies, and when referring protect, I mean the literal sense of the word. If they are not prepared to meet immediate harbor from the rain and wait for the danger passes. There may return to the “routine” but the absence of enemies is not guaranteed, as Silent Hill has always been a city very unpredictable. When it rains, it is very easy to realize this because, in addition to see the rain falling and water throughout the city, Murphy also will literally soaked, which gives a more realistic touch to the approach that sought to give. Murphy is not just a puppet that follows instructions, clear that the control but it always show their reactions to danger, the unknown and other situations. And that was before the player who deliberately interacting with the environment, now is Murphy who is commenting on what he sees, always accompanied by a mysterious voice that talks to him. In addition also other mechanical properties were “easy.” When Murphy need to climb a ladder and climb or crouch to get through an object, it will do this automatically without this interaction is required to complete the action buttons.This can clearly be useful, not only on the trails but also throughout the game in general.
Like all the previous games, also Downpour will be offered multiple possible endings, which will be released in accordance with the decisions of the player throughout the game. This decision-making system seems to be more effective than implemented in Homecoming, where decisions are irrelevant since all would lead to the same site. In Downpour is different, and the first major example is the episode with Anne Cunningham, who accompanied the police van in Murphy. Reaching for the prisoner and eventually fall to the brink of a precipice and it’s up to decide whether or not Murphy should save it. Not wanting to give spoilers, any of the decisions the player will result in the fall of the police, but is a sample of what can expect from the plot: Anne will reappear in history and probably will die again in the hands of demonic enemies of the city. The answers to the mystery are still unanswered, it will have to wait for the launch to find out more about what Murphy Pendleton back to Silent Hill (in addition to the accident he suffered).
Apart from all these developments ago Downpour also presents an authentic graphics new generation, which although not perfect, and fulfill their task, and give, for now, special attention to detail given to the town of Silent Hill that in addition to being the largest representation of the entire series, with a really wide area, every corner appears to be equally detailed, with a noticeable large hard technical and artistic. Downpour will certainly be able to provide several hours of operation for the player beyond the issue of large area, also a good number of doors can be opened, because even though it will not prevent Murphy locked to discover what lurks on the other side.
Also within the sets and graphical Downpour strand, also alternative universes Murphy appear to be great in the negative sense, that is, seem to be sufficiently chilling, although up to now also appear to be repeated in appearance as promising in terms of unpredictability be great, where once again the water will occupy a symbolic role but still unknown to date.
But enough of innovations, Vatra also wanted to bring back some elements of past games, and that may have been those who helped build his charismatic atmosphere. I refer to as the fixed camera that will be present in Downpour, only in some areas, with the main objective of creating tension on the player who is being “watched”.The second major rescue is a choice before the game and the difficulty of the puzzles separately as with a Silent Hill 2 and 3. This perhaps needs a more experienced by old fans and that he found embodied in Downpour. In addition to these rescue along the game will not only available but collectibles “Joke Items”, similarly to what happened with Silent Hill 3, for example in Heather have access to as an extra Sexy Beam which becomes a kind of Sailor Moon in the town of Silent Hill and surrounding areas. It is expected that some of these joke items may include relationships with previous games, as it became clear in the first few levels Downpour where a jukebox started playing a theme from the first game. These implementations are certainly very smart because in the midst of so many new players still can “grab” the elements which are probably familiar, in the case of those who have had the opportunity to play the first game. For those who debut in Silent Hill, will have at its disposal a game that promises to be a vast and terrifying experience that seems to be brimming with a unique climate and extremely well represented which will enhance the atmosphere in a way that goes beyond the conventional and to prove that not be necessary since only visual hints, what is unseen is what is most feared.
Silent Hill has downpour release date scheduled for next March 13 in the U.S. and 16th in Europe. Not to forget that March is the month with three Silent Hill releases scheduled! Silent Hill Collection HD also arrives in stores the 20th of that month.
Translated by Silent Haven