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February 5 2012
Silent Hill: Downpour - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
29/3/2012MindscapeKonamiVatra Games
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$99.95
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Fog returns to Silent Hill in Downpour.
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Murphy Pendleton is the main character in Silent Hill: Downpour.

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It's a cable car... in Silent Hill!
Perhaps the biggest question about this game isn't if in it's eighth iteration the series is still fresh, nor if the storyline will impress, but rather if the gamble of Konami outsourcing the development to Vatra games pays off. It must be said though that the company did extremely well by outsourcing the recent Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to MercurySteam. But enough of the questioning, let's see what to expect from this latest game in Konami's horror series, which we must say does look impressive...

Murphy Pendleton has been incarcerated for several years, having had his sentence extended once already. Due to his history at Ryall State Prison, he is being transferred to nearby Wayside Maximum Security Penitentiary-but a freak accident cuts the journey short. Waking up in a forest next to the wrecked bus, Murphy has a clear shot at freedom. He makes his way into the sleepy town of Silent Hill where mysterious locals welcome him into a slowly developing personal hell.

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Preparing to smash, whatever, with a sledgehammer.
Silent Hill: Downpour's gameplay continues along the lines of previous games in the franchise, a third person action/horror game which builds suspense through limited visibility (fog is usually employed), eerily haunting sounds and music, and some puzzle solving thrown in for good measure. As the title suggests this game will probably include quite a bit of rain too, a downpour perhaps? Fortunately for Murphy there are some weapons to be found around the town of Silent Hill (you would think after all these games the town would have been cleaned out by now, but it's not!) including firearms and melee weapons - although you'll only be able to carry one melee weapon at a time and these will degrade with extended use. In actual fact this game will take more of an action slant then previous titles, and be set in new sections of the town with new locations which should offer something fresh to seasoned Silent Hill gamers. At times Murphy will be transferred to the haunting "Otherworld" which is filled with haunting images, body parts, music and thoughts and will test both the character, and the gamer!

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Visuals in Downpour are dark and moody.
Using Unreal Engine 3, Silent Hill: Downpour is a visually impressive title with plenty more atmospheric locations on offer, some fantastic looking enemies. 3DTV owners will be pleased to hear that the PS3 version of this game will be the first in the franchise to offer 3D support as well.

Sound has always played a major role in the Silent Hill franchise in building the atmosphere, and many of the scares too, and we expect this latest game to be an audio tour de force. Some may be disappointed to hear that long time series composer Akira Yamoka has been replaced by Daniel Licht, but that's not such a bad choice as (according to this page on Wikipedia) Daniel has been involved in a large number of horror movie projects, including several for Clive Barker.

After originally being slated for release in October 2011 the game was pushed back to March 2012 to allow the developers a little more time to polish off the title. Unfortunately that was a little too much for the design director Brian Gomez who stood down following this delay - not due to creative issues but rather at the wish of his family due to travels between Los Angeles and Brno in the Czech Republic where the game is being developed. Let's hope the final game meets the quality of some of the better titles in the franchise.