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Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill: Downpour

Silent Hill: Downpour is a survival horror video game developed by Vatra Games and published by Konami Digital Entertainment. The eighth installment in the Silent Hill video game series, Downpour was released in March 2012. Set in the series' multiverse, which consists of reality and an alternate dimension whose form is based on the series' eponymous fictitious American town, Silent Hill: Downpour centers on Murphy Pendleton, a prisoner who enters the town, periodically entering the alternate dimension, and unlocks personal repressed memories. The game uses a third-person view and is 3D.

Silent Hill: Downpour Plot

Murphy Pendleton makes a deal with corrupt officer George Sewell to gain access to sequestered pedophile, Patrick Napier and murder him. Later, Murphy is sent to another penitentiary under the supervision of officer Anne Cunningham. The transport vehicle is forced to swerve off road to avoid a chasm in the road. Murphy awakens in a foggy setting and attempts to flee, but is confronted by Anne. While approaching him she falls into a deep pit. Murphy finds Silent Hill's outlying districts to be abandoned except for postman Howard Blackwood. While exploring, Murphy is transported to Otherworld, encountering a formless void which pursues him until he is returned to the foggy dimension. Murphy uses a sky tram to travel to Devil's Pit, a tourist attraction. He meets park ranger JP Sater who dismisses Murphy's strange experiences. After Murphy learns that Sater is indirectly responsible for the deaths of eight children, Sater jumps to his death. In downtown Silent Hill, Murphy again encounters Anne. She accuses him of a past crime, but is unable to shoot him and lets him go.

Murphy explores the town, encountering monsters, apparitions and the periodic radio broadcasts of Bobby Ricks, who plays songs dedicated to Murphy. Murphy eventually locates the radio station and Ricks. Ricks requests Murphy's aid in escaping the town, where he has been trapped by unknown forces. Ricks suggests using his boat, but he has lost the keys. Anne interrupts them before all three are attacked by monsters and Murphy is knocked unconscious. He recovers to find himself alone in Otherworld. While escaping the pursuing void, Murphy encounters the Wheelman creature.

Upon escaping Otherworld, Murphy is greeted by Blackwood with a letter asking him to come to St. Maria's orphanage. There he meets a nun who informs him that he is there to claim a deceased relative. A young boy forces Murphy to collect a poem to ward off "the Bogeyman" before he can gain access to the Morgue. Murphy returns to the boy with the poem, but the Bogeyman appears and snaps the child's neck. While exploring the orphanage, it is implied that Murphy's son Charlie had been abused and murdered by Napier. After reaching the morgue, Murphy finds that the awaiting corpse is the Bogeyman. It attacks Murphy, but he successfully defeats it. Finding Ricks' boat key on the Bogeyman, Murphy goes to the craft and sails away from Silent Hill.

Anne appears on the boat and shoots Murphy when he refuses to return to the town. Murphy wakes in Otherworld and eventually confronts the Wheelman. He disables its life support systems, killing it. Murphy relives the favor he had to repay Sewell requiring him to kill Frank Coleridge, a corrections officer who was planning to testify against Sewell's corruption. Anne appears and discloses that Coleridge was her father. Left for dead by his assailant, he survived and was confined to a wheelchair in a vegetative state, until his death years later. The Wheelman was a representation of Coleridge. Anne had arranged for Murphy's transfer to her prison, blaming him for Coleridge's death and intending to exact revenge on him. It is shown that Anne sees Murphy as the Bogeyman.

The ending varies based on choices made by the player throughout the game. If Murphy does not kill Anne, the "Forgiveness" and "Truth and Justice" endings show that Sewell assaulted Coleridge and framed Murphy after Murphy refused to do it. Anne forgives Murphy and the pair are transported outside of Silent Hill where Anne reports Murphy's death, allowing him to escape. The "Truth and Justice" ending additionally shows Anne seek revenge against Sewell. If Murphy kills Anne, the "Full Circle" and "Execution" endings show that Murphy did kill Coleridge. "Full Circle" shows Murphy commit suicide out of guilt, only to awake in an Otherworld prison to relive the events again, observed by the Wheelman. "Execution" shows that Murphy also killed Charlie, and he is executed for the murders. If Anne kills Murphy, she awakens as a prison inmate in events mirroring scenes of Murphy in prison, with Murphy taking Sewell's role. A joke ending can be obtained that shows Murphy tunneling out of his cell, to be greeted on the other side by a party in his honor, with various characters from the game and series present.

Silent Hill: Downpour Gameplay

The objective of Silent Hill: Downpour is to guide prison inmate Murphy Pendleton from a third-person view through the monster-filled town of Silent Hill, after the transport vehicle carrying him crashes there. Gameplay focuses on exploration, puzzle-solving, and combat. Side quests involving the inhabitants of the town also appear in the game. The player can shape Murphy's character through several moral choices presented throughout the game, by allowing him to act on or refuse opportunities to save non-player characters. For combat, he can only carry one melee weapon, which will gradually deteriorate and break. Firearms and ammunition are scarce, and Murphy has difficulty aiming a firearm. As his "health" (a measure of the amount of damage he can endure before 'dying') declines, his clothes take on a bloodied and torn appearance to reflect this. The game features a real-time weather system, in which rainfall will periodically occur; during this time, monsters appear more frequently and stronger.

Reception
Silent Hill: Downpour received mixed reviews, with aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic assigning the Xbox 360 version 66.61% and 68/100. and the PlayStation 3 version 66.58% and 64/100 In general, most critics were split on the game's story and atmosphere yet criticized the combat and technical performance.

Game Informer gave it a 7/10, stating "I donít regret my time with Silent Hill: Downpour, but mediocrity hung over most of my playthrough." Destructoid gave it an 8/10, stating "When it's not forcing a sub-par combat system on players, and when it allows itself to be as imaginative as it can be, Silent Hill: Downpour is a stylish, slickly produced, beautifully foreboding game." Games Radar gave it a 7/10, stating "In spite of its flaws, Silent Hill: Downpour does manage to be smart and imaginative in bursts...The actual gameplay leaves a lot to be desired, but as recent Silent Hills go, this is one of the better ones." GameSpot gave the game a 7.5/10, saying "Downpour makes some questionable tweaks to the established formula, but those decisions distinguish it from the rest of the series." Official Xbox Magazine summed up its review with "the gameís many puzzles and open-world areas did leave us aimlessly wondering and wandering. But varied gameplay, solid combat, and an effective mix of psychological scares and freaky encounters make Downpour a worthwhile trip.", giving the game a 7.5/10.

One of the most negative reviews came from IGN, which gave it 4.5/10. The review said that "The most frustrating thing about Silent Hill Downpour isn't the lousy combat, dull exploration, or even the technical gaffes. It's the fact that every now and then while playing through the game's story, you'll see signs of brilliance; sunlight hinted from behind the overcast sky."

Several reviews singled out the soundtrack for praise, although one criticised the overall sound design, saying dead silence too often made combat commonplace instead of terrifying. The Joystiq review stated Licht did an "admirable job" with the score, yet lamented "the loss of longtime series composer Akira Yamaoka may be Downpour's biggest detriment."


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