Hey guys! Welcome to my first ever live-log of a videogame review for the newly released Silent Hill: Downpour. That’s right, this is the first 5 hours of this brand-spanking new game, only here on Moar Powah!
Now, let me talk about all the reviews floating around on the Internet. Most say the game is good with a couple of glitches, save for IGN who I wouldn’t trust to butter toast, let alone review a game properly since they gave Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days a freaking 8. Really? An 8 for that Mary Sue-mission-based-side-quest monstrosity? Okay, so rage aside, I have been looking forward to this game, and most of the reviews point to it being a pretty good game, especially considering it’s unsuccessful predecessors. I’ve heard the gripes about the music, the voice-acting, the slight glitches, but in the end, I just want a new experience from Silent Hill.
Do I expect to be terrified out of my skull? Hell no. The masters of horror as of late have been the Japanese and since this is a game determinedly American, I expect little screaming. And even Silent Hill 2 only jostled me a little – the game that holds the record for making me scream the most is probably the revamped version of Resident Evil….DONT YOU JUDGE ME
Here’s the rules: Every hour I must pause the game, and write down my impressions of what’s happened – be they good or bad. And I will describe things in detail without giving away too many spoilers. Why five hours? Cause I can usually tell if I love or hate a game by hour five…usually by hour 1 actually. Also it helps to keep it more spoiler free!…though not entirely, so be forewarned!
Also, keep in mind, I am not the best gamer ever…in fact I’m hesitant to say I’m good. So if one post is like “I’m…lost…again. Help.” bear with me.
SO onward! Let’s get back to that good ole town we know and love, Silent Hill!
Hour 1 – 3:30
After updating my system with the latest software update and figuring out how to get my Nail Gun and Double Axe (pre-order was worth it!!!) I finally got started. I’m just going to say this game took forever to load all the stuff, which is more a fault of how big the game is, and how freaking old my PS3 is.
So I set the game on Easy for game, and Normal for Puzzles…yeah, don’t you judge me! And so the first thing I notice is how dark the game is so not only did I have to adjust the game settings but my own TV settings…but it’s worth is cause the game looks fantastic and it’s worth seeing all the details!
The opening tutorial is fantastic, and the background music is very reminiscent of the original games, save for KORN…freaking KORN ruins everything. The opening scenes are fantastic and a little surprising, which makes me hopeful. The combat system…tricky to maneuver as is the camera system, but at least walking around feels normal.
Once you get to Silent Hill, and pick up this game’s version of the radio, man is it unsettling, People have told me the lack of music ruins it, but more than anything, it freaks me out. Music makes everything seem okay, lack of it makes me feel like something is going to pop out and kill me!
Two other notable features are the moral choices, which we’ve seen forever but are still fun, and you get vertigo crossing on narrow stuff, which is really good! It makes you very uneasy…No enemies yet though…feeling very on edge.
Hour 2 – 4:30
So being the slow ass gamer I am, I finally made it to the diner…and I know I am fucked. Two reason – cause this was in the trailer, and two, its raining. The way the game is designed is the harder it rains, the more enemies there are. And I am freaking out right now.
Oh and I met the mailman. I’m almost sure he’s going to kill me too. Man this game is unsettling, but I’m doing my best to get through the levels and not die…though there appears to be no real threat. Lots of rustling, cracking, and banging, but no monsters to speak of yet…
At least, that’s what I was thinking when the giant red ball of light came and sucked me into the other world. Then I spent twenty minutes screaming at the TV to run away from it, hitting dead ends, going down some waters…things…and I think I’m still in other world, but where exactly that is I’m not sure…dude, who said this game wasn’t exciting???
Hour 3 – 5:30
…and I’m stuck. Oh goody gumdrops. Okay, so, after another exciting chase scene, and running around screaming, I got stuck. Here’s how:
The otherworld thing kept chasing me until I climbed up these stairs for five minutes and then, finally, it stopped chasing me. I kept going but nothing…so I headed down the stair for 30 seconds and wound up at a door back to the diner kitchen. So now, I’m like “Okay, I’m tripping.” So I go back to the diner…except now I’m in a house…HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Now I have to find … something? I am not sure…
Also….BOOORRRNNN FRRRREEEEE! WHY ARE YOU PLAYING ON A PHONOGRAPH? WHY IS THAT CHAIR MOVING EVEN THOUGH ITS EMPTY? BOOOORRRRNNN FFRRREEEEE. WHATS WITH ALL THESE RANDOM ROOMS? WHY DID THEY POP UP IN THE MIDDLE OF A SCARY WATER-FACTORY THING? ….if you play this game, you’ll see what I mean.
Ergo, I am now stuck. And according to the game’s stats, I am 5% through the game. 5…percent…and it’s been three hours. Man I suck.
Also…I haven’t even seen an enemy still, which makes it all the worse cause melee weapons are everywhere, but there’s no monsters…and then everything makes a scary noise and I get all nervous. But onward I go!…despite that I have no clue that’s happening…
Hour 4 – 6:30
Annnnnnnnnd I’m still stuck, though I’ve done some more exploring. I knew it was going to happen at some point or another, but kudos to me! I actually got decently far on my own! Found a walkthrough. Is it cheating? Yes, probably, but do you want all of this entry to be “OMG I AM SO LOST”? No, I know you don’t cause that would be boring as Hell. Thankfully, I found the key I needed.
Something I noticed – after you go through the Otherworld, Murphy gets injured from the scary, horrifying ball that wants to eat you for whatever. It leaves burn marks on your clothes and arms, but it heals over. Also, sometimes, someone talks to you…and it doesn’t sound like Murphy taking to himself…who are you mystery man????
I wish you could read more of the signs…there’s not much environment interaction. And if you move around a lot, the screen freezes up and takes a little to catch up. Some glitches are to be expected, I guess, and this one is only minimally annoying.
Hour 5 – 7:30
OMG MY FIRST REAL ENEMY! YYYYEEESSS! And an asshole from the opening gets murdered, so A, yay sweet karma, and B, we know quite a very people survived the bus crash…which is weird since we haven’t seen anyone else … Also, why aren’t there more enemies in this hotel/diner/house of melee weapons? I still feel like they are hiding in every corner.
Also, I GOTS ME A GUN. Something tells me these things are going to be rare as all Hell since I had to solve a really weird, backwards puzzle to find it, and even then there was no ammo save for seven bullets.
Well, with some finagling and a little help from my walkthrough, I MADE IT OUT ALIVE! HALLEJUAH!! …BUT ITS STILL RAINING SO I’M GOING TO DIE NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!
Hour 5 ½ – 8:00
Found some clothes, and apparently you can use champagne bottles and beer as weapons. Maybe someone was an alcoholic, mmmm Mr. Pendleton? Still, getting weary, and my stomach is in knots so I’m going to call it quits a little early.
…also why do all the clothes look wet? And why was there only some blood in some places, but all the rooms looked occupied? What happened here? What was the “accident”? WHY AREN’T THERE MORE MONSTERS BUT SO MANY MELEE WEAPONS?? WWWWHHHYYYYYY? I have so many more questions now…
Conclusion: THIS GAME IS AWESOME!!!!! It’s unsettling, the soundtrack is pretty good overall, and the silences and noises are used to excellent effect. I can’t say much on the monster designs but the one I faced was cool enough. The graphics are pretty good, fluid motion, I like the melee system better than shooting cause I can’t aim. The glitches are forgivable, and the layout design is well thought out, and intricate, so it’s easy to miss important stuff which makes it a challenge.
Overall, I am not disappointed at all. I ALWAYS get lost and frustrated with games, but the fact that I didn’t throw my controller in defeat means I was into it, and man I can’t wait to finish it!
….now I’ll never go to a diner again….I mean, this is Starshine, saying Happy Gaming y’all!