New Screenshots Revealed For Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill on the original PlayStation did something for me that movies had stopped doing for years.  It gave me nightmares.  It was never about trying impress my peers when saying, “That movie didn’t scare me.”  Quite the contrary, I love horror flicks for the very same reason why I enjoy the Silent Hill series.  Except that at a certain age, the movies weren’t doing it for me anymore.  With the movies I was safe, the story would be told, and in a few minutes the credits would roll.   Silent Hill made it interactive.  It made me feel like a kid again (the same kid that peaked through upheld fingers to catch a glimpse of the abomination that was screeching through my parent’s television speakers).

Of course, Resident Evil should take credit for bringing the fear to the PlayStation, and I’ve always enjoyed that series as well.  But while Resident Evil made me jump out of my couch, Silent Hill’s spooks echoed long after the system was turned off.  There was never any question that those were mutated doberman crashing into the narrow hallway in Resident Evil.  But was that a shadow of a child that just strolled by the empty hallway in the abandoned school?  Was that really a nurse with skin hiding her facial features?  And then there was the two-headed baby walking on two adult hands…real nightmares with that one.

Silent Hill’s style and visual motivation (at least in the dark side of the town) echos movies like Jacob’s Ladder, and because of that the series has always been more about psychological fear, as opposed to making you jump out of your seat.

So when Silent Hill Homecoming was announced for next-generation consoles, I squealed at the notion of seeing these horrific creatures in HD.  Unfortunately, Homecoming did little for me (the game didn’t even offer the option for inverted Y-Axis).  I wondered if perhaps the series had lost its effect on me, so I went back and played Silent Hill 2.  I was relieved to discover that the game was still giving me a reaction that it gave me years ago.  Then came Shattered Memories on the Wii (also on PlayStation 2 and PSP).  While it wasn’t as well-received either, I found its experimenting with putting the player on the defensive side (since you could not use weapons) definitely rattled my nerves.  The game also utilized the motion controller in very clever ways.

Now, the series returns to next gen consoles and I’m thrilled again.  Understandably, I am holding some of my excitement back, but if you are a fan of the series, these newly-released images should definitely set your anticipations high.  While they don’t reveal much about the gameplay, the environment sure looks great.

Silent Hill Downpour tells the story of Murphy Pendleton, a convict who ends up in the terrifying town after his transport bus crashes (I would have preferred prison).  New to the series is an open-world environment, as well as side missions to get you better-acquainted with this larger environment.

I really hope the series brings back the fear.  With games like Dead Space scaring our pants off (or skirts), Silent Hill is not the only game delivering on terror, but if done well, Downpour could definitely show why the old series is one of the greatest.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook