There may not be too many horror and suspense-laden games in the market nowadays, what with all the young gamers preferring to spend their cash on those fancy new wartime shooters and slick racing games, but that doesn’t mean that the genre is dead.
We’ve seen a resurgence lately in horror games, although they’ve been suffixed with an “action” label as well, in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Silent Hill Downpour is one such game that is bucking the trend however, preferring instead to go back to its legendary survival-horror roots for the next entry in the series.
When asked by the US PS Blog which Silent Hill game was the inspiration for the return to basics, Producer Devin Shatsky quickly answered with “Silent Hill 2”.
Silent Hill 2 was one of the big fan favorites in the series, so we took elements that were appealing in that game and integrated them here. Downpour has a standalone story that’s not tied to any other Silent Hill game, so it’s taking the broader concept back to its roots.
Downpour features a prisoner by the name of Murphy Pendleton, whose prison transport happens to have crashed in the mysterious and spooky Silent Hill town. He’s more of an average person according to Shatsky, and not some massive brawler who can rip heads off and put boots to asses.
In Homecoming, you played a somewhat more badass character. But in Downpour, Murphy is more of an everyman. He’s far from a tough guy. He can fend for himself, but overall he veers much closer to the protagonist of Silent Hill 2. You’ll want to run from enemies more than usual: you may be able to stand toe-to-toe with one enemy, but if you’re outnumbered, the best strategy is to run.
Now, I’m an absolute wimp when it comes to horror games, but I still enjoy immersing myself in them. I’m like Courage the cowardly dog, except there’s a lot more high pitched screaming, but even I have to agree, fusing the action genre with horror has been a bit detrimental to that particular field of gaming.
It’s great to see developers going back to what made an original game so unique and terrifying, and I’m looking forward to the potential mental trauma that Silent Hill Downpour is likely to inflict on me when it launches later this year.
Last Updated: January 6, 2012