|System: Xbox 360*, PS3|
|Dev: Vatra Games|
|Pub: Konami Digital Entertainment|
|Release: March 13, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language|
Fans will be happy to know the Otherworld returns, and fairly often too. The transition from the normal world to the more dangerous Otherworld is always fun to watch, even if it means you're about to be forced to do something that's decidedly not fun. Unfortunately, the way you'll be spending your time in the Otherworld is by running from a red light that chases you and drains your health. More often than not, these segments turn into frustrated chase sequences where you have to rely heavily on trial and error.
Vatra made a smart move by pulling Downpour away from the more recent games in the series, like Homecoming and Shattered Memories. It never looks quite as good as, say, an Alan Wake or Dead Space, but there are some genuinely terrifying moments that are helped mostly by the well-designed world. It's obvious that quite a bit of love and effort went into crafting this game, because the amount of detail here is incredible. When you're outside, the town of Silent Hill is familiar, but different enough to still be intimidating to explore, especially due to the creatures that call it home. When you're indoors, it's easier to feel safer, but it's always a mistake to drop your guard. The claustrophobic corridors of a deserted subway system are just as dangerous as the wide-open streets of Silent Hill.
If you're a fan of Silent Hill, and particularly the first three games in the series, then there's a lot here you're going to like. For those unfamiliar with the series, this is a little more difficult to recommend, and that's mainly because of the frustrating, unrefined controls.
When I first heard that Vatra was handling development of Silent Hill: Downpour, I wasn't entirely convinced. Now that I've played through it twice, I can say without a doubt that this is the path Silent Hill needs to continue to take, because it has that old school survival horror flavor that fans, including myself, have been clamoring for since 2003.
Date: March 14, 2012