Released more than eight years ago, Silent Hill: Downpour was the last mainline entry in the once critically-acclaimed Silent Hill franchise, which rose to fame for offering impressive psychological thrillers.
At release, the reception was quite lukewarm, due to several reasons that are easy to identify. The game was the last of a series of titles that failed to capture the elements which made the original a hit. It was also the second entry that was built after western standard, and many fans were alienated by the similar changes which were implemented in Silent Hill Homecoming, which introduced them for the first time.
Not great but far from being bad
Downpour tells a self-contained story focusing on the town as purgatory for the souls of people who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes or guilt.
The protagonist of the game, Murphy Pendleton, has experienced traumas and evil deeds, arriving in Silent Hill after a prison transfer goes wrong, allowing him to escape. A significant part of the plot is focused on traumas experienced by children, and the price of revenge
Tried and true
Combat mechanics are similar to the ones experienced in other titles. Melee weapons will break after a certain time, and firearms come with a limited amount of ammo.
In the vein of the other games in the series, the player will have to explore the city and look for key locations where important NPCs can be found. A trip through a parallel version of the locations will offer the chance to uncover significant details about the plot and advance the story.
Despite its age, the game manages to look well even today, thanks to the prowess of the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine, with the moments of rain being a particular highlight as the player moves from one place to another during the game.
As Konami has abandoned the series Silent Hill: Downpour remains a solid last entry in the Silent Hill universe.