Gorgoth recently posted, on Silent Hill Community, some kind of review regarding what, on his opinion, didn’t work so well in Silent Hill Downpour. He makes reference to many aspects from the game including the creatures and otherworld designs and makes quite interesting comparisons between old games and other kind of sources, to illustrate his point of view. Really worths a visit!
The reason the original titles were as disturbing as they were, is because they left a lot to your imagination. They used a lot of abstraction and distortion to make you think of troubling, macabre subjects without explicitly showing them. Having to actually figure out these grotesque visions gave them a much deeper impact than they would have had if you were just shown explicit, graphically violent and gratuitous images.
In Downpour there is virtually nothing that instills doubt and uncertainty, nothing that makes you think more deeply of what you’re seeing. No half-living maybe-humans undulating in pain behind iron bars. No creatures whose impossible anatomy reveal neither intention or sentience. No letters and phone calls from deranged madmen with broken psyches….We’re just being subjected to plain old scary monsters, a lot of unquestionably dead prisoners, and whilst in the otherworld, not much at all.