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Posted 6:30pm

Silent Hill: Downpour Comes Full Circle On PS3

Silent Hill Downpour for PS3

I’m a sucker for horror games, so I jumped at a recent opportunity to watch a short demo of Konami‘s upcoming PS3 survival-horror epic Silent Hill: Downpour. In a development applauded by series fans, Downpour strongly emphasizes creeping psychological horror over the twitchy action of recent entries like Silent Hill: Homecoming.

You play as Murphy, a maximum-security inmate with a deeply troubled past. You awaken on the fringes of the cursed town of Silent Hill after your prison transport bus crashes. True to Silent Hill form, you’ll spend the rest of the game evading the town’s monstrous denizens while piecing together Murphy’s deepest secrets — including the dark truths that brought him to Silent Hill.

I spoke with Producer Devin Shatsky, who answered some key questions while playing through the first section of the game. If you have questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to get you answers!

Silent Hill Downpour for PS3Silent Hill Downpour for PS3

PlayStation.Blog: From an interface perspective, how is Downpour different from the last game in the series, Homecoming?

Devin Shatsky, Producer, Silent Hill: Downpour: We’ve gone with a more realistic weapon and inventory system. In past Silent Hills, you had this magic pocket where you could carry a full arsenal of weaponry — Uzis, swords, hammers and more. That took away from the player’s suspension of disbelief, but it also empowered the player a bit too much and it impacts the scare factor. In Downpour, you’re limited to carrying what’s in your hands, plus a holstered firearm. You’ll want to use your weapons carefully. Each weapon is breakable, so wooden weapons will break after a couple of hits while metal weapons will last longer. Most weapons are everyday items: rakes, bottles, kitchen knives. There are no katanas or the like in this game.

The health system has also seen quite a few changes. There’s no HUD; all that information is tied directly to the character, so he’ll limp, bleed, his clothing will develop holes…we tried to focus as much on realism as possible.

PSB: In Homefront, your character came from a military background and that reflected itself in the action-centric combat system. How is Downpour changing that?

DS: Yep. In Homecoming, you played a somewhat more badass character. But in Downpour, Murphy is more of an everyman. He’s far from a tough guy. He can fend for himself, but overall he veers much closer to the protagonist of Silent Hill 2. You’ll want to run from enemies more than usual: you may be able to stand toe-to-toe with one enemy, but if you’re outnumbered, the best strategy is to run.

Silent Hill Downpour for PS3

PSB: What lessons did Konami learn from Silent Hill: Homecoming?

DS: It was reviewed fairly well by the critics and it’s definitely a good game. But I think that Silent Hill fans expect a game that veers more psychological horror versus a lot of combat. Homecoming was a fairly combat-heavy game, which turned off certain fans. There’s a dichotomy among survival-horror players: the Resident Evil fans tend to prefer heavy combat, and Silent Hill fans tend to prefer slower, exploration-based horror. There’s still combat in Downpour, but it’s not nearly as frequent as in Homecoming.

PSB: Which Silent Hill game would you say most closely compares to Downpour?

DS: Definitely Silent Hill 2. Downpour has a standalone story that’s not tied to any other Silent Hill game, so it’s taking the broader concept back to its roots. Silent Hill 2 was one of the big fan favorites in the series, so we took elements that were appealing in that game and integrated them here.

PSB: Will classic enemies such as the Puppet Nurses be returning in any form?

DS: No. In Silent Hill games, the monsters are directly tied to the protagonist’s background, so the enemies in this game all have meaning to Murphy. We won’t be shoehorning in Pyramid Head or the nurses just to do it. It wouldn’t make sense. That could be seen as a mistake of Homecoming — the developers paid fan service by introducing monsters from previous games, but it didn’t really make sense. The core fans called us out on that, and rightfully so.

PSB: But the iconic white fog will return, right?

DS: Definitely. Fog is a visual trademark of Silent Hill, but the main visual theme of Downpour is water. We’ve got a cool randomized weather system that impacts the gameplay: when the weather ramps up, so do the amount of monsters. So if the weather goes to hell, you might want to head indoors and find a place to hide…

Silent Hill Downpour for PS3

PSB: I’m seeing some open-world influences in the environment designs here. Is that my imagination?

DS: The town is completely explorable. The previous games was a series of locked doors that tended to discourage players from exploring. Downpour has a lot of side quests that aren’t tied to the core linear storyline. You might stumble across a room that triggers a side quest, and completing it might reveal a new bit of Silent Hill lore.

PSB: Longtime Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka is no longer with the company. Who will be filling in for audio design?

DS: When Akira Yamaoka left the company, we were forced to look elsewhere. The sound design is handled by Nathan McCree, who has worked on Tomb Raider and it an extremely effective audio designer. In terms of the music score, we hired a Dan Licht, who scores the show Dexter. He’s a great fit for the series. We sought him out because we were huge fans of Dexter and thought he’d get Silent Hill. One great detail is that Dan is a highly accomplished mandolin player, and Akira Yamaoka used to incorporate a lot of mandolin as well, so it’s a perfect fit.

On a side note, we also signed up Korn to perform the title song for Silent Hill Downpour. It’s not a heavy metal sound, it’s a very different sound for Korn. They’ve actually sort of changed gears lately in terms of their sound. But they’re only doing the intro song, not the in-game music.

PSB: How is work on the Silent Hill HD Collection coming along?

DS: We’ll be releasing the Silent Hill HD Collection for PS3 in the first quarter of 2012, and it’ll include HD versions of Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. And for PS Vita, we’ll have Silent Hill: Book of Memories for the launch timeframe. For the PS Vita game, forget everything you know about Silent Hill. Book of Memories is a completely new experience, a multiplayer dungeon crawl that brings in a lot of cool elements from the series. It’s not a hack job with Silent Hill slapped on the box — it’s a very cool game in its own right and it explores interesting elements from the series.

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Comments

65 Comments 0 Author replies
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sentry-23 4 January, 2012 @ 6:47 pm   1

Looks promising, but so did Homecoming at one point.
Please don’t mess this up, since it’s your last chance with Silent Hill I think.

(speaking of Homecoming, don’t ever release a game anymore where Y inversion is only partially possible.. I gave up because of that)

Is it a PS3 exclusive or multi-platform?

i think all systems but why care if your on here

iSabreman 4 January, 2012 @ 7:08 pm   4

Curious interview that doesn’t really sell the game.

This game has been delayed to miss the competitive xmas market which makes me feel highly doubtful of the games quality.

Survival Horror has been poor this gen, Resi Evil & Silent Hill both lost what made them successful but fortunately we have the excellent Dead Space games.

I think you need to learn your Homecoming from Homefront too.

it looks bad,konami really lost it this gen like every other japanese developer

SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR 4 January, 2012 @ 7:29 pm   6

Really cannot wait for this game, I’m a big fan of all silent hill games and have played and completed every single one since the first silent hill. Looking at the original trailer, this looks like it really has taken a lot from silent hill 2 in terms of exploring etc. Just hope this game doesn’t disappoint.

Can you please answer these questions.

1) Will there be a collector’s edition?
2) Shame ’bout pyramid head, but will there be a similar recurring enemy?
3) I hope this one has trophy support unlike homecoming, can you confirm?

cheers

RedeyedRonin 4 January, 2012 @ 7:31 pm   7

you can ask him this because you missed the most obvious question

will silent hill be free to roam like silent hill 2 was?

and will we finally see the return of the chainsaw in silent hill 1?
( fyi it was available from a hardware shop window and is not a random weapon placement it made sense to be there the current angle downpour is taking correct?)

iSabreman 4 January, 2012 @ 7:32 pm   8

Silent Hill fans might want to look at this Silent Hill: Downpour – Exclusive 40 Minute Preview http://youtu.be/Ree1-vwI73w

It’s from an unfinished version of the game but it sells it better than this article !

RedeyedRonin 4 January, 2012 @ 7:35 pm   9

Dan Licht awesome!!!
neeehhhh neeeh! meeehhhh neeehh, :)
(^dexters theme tune lol i tried)

RedeyedRonin 4 January, 2012 @ 7:39 pm   10

@SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR
i can confim it because all games as of february 2009 have to have trophy support it was just old games that weren’t included someone asking about if a game will have trophies lol takes me back to the daily we want trophies for metal gear solid 4

SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR 4 January, 2012 @ 7:44 pm   11

@RedeyedRonin

cheers pal,

yeah i remember moaning about the metal gear trophy support too, really wound me up how they never bothered :-(

RedeyedRonin 4 January, 2012 @ 8:00 pm   12

@ SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR
no problem im stuck in blog limbo anyway waiting for replies keep typing in the meen time to long has passed so im off if you like horror games SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR why am i not on your friend list?? i will send you an invite if you like im hardcore mother hubbard of a survival horror games fan hows every resi on every platform sound?obviously if i continue i will bore but i think you get my opener resi 5 never did get released shame really same as the new star wars films never made it to the screens shame… they might have been good.

Wraith_Bringer 4 January, 2012 @ 8:07 pm   13

@2 -

No it’s multiplatform.

I spent forty minutes on this game at EuroGamer and it’s terrible. Really is, camera is horrible, puzzles and progression are poorly explained and the movement is terribly jagged. I died twice because combat is poorly designed also.

It’s terrible.

Chocobo115 4 January, 2012 @ 8:13 pm   14

Two questions I’d like to ask if it isn’t considered a too nosey question:
What measurements has been taken to ensure that the game stays scary? A problem with mordern day survival horror games such as Redident Evil and to some extent to the Dead Space Series seems to be that they’re starting to lean towards action games.

Futher on do they have anything to say bout the puzzles? I haven’t been touching the Silent Hill series after SH3 and I remember there beeing some interesting puzzles in the first games, where some were tricky, will the puzzles in SH Downpour be hard or are they dumbed down to attract the casual audience?

Wraith_Bringer 4 January, 2012 @ 8:17 pm   15

@15 -

The EuroGamer level put us in a mine shaft, where we had to sort out the water levels to progress. The movement system made it difficult to complete the puzzle and items required to complete the puzzle were placed in darkness where you had no light to make your way around before requiring the item to progress.

And it wasn’t scary. I see what they tried to do with the dark caves, but it doesn’t work. The whole popping out of the water with the enemy that kills you because combat it stupid… just not worth it.

AaronSOLDIER 4 January, 2012 @ 8:17 pm   16

meh, Team Silent forever. SCEJ need to make another Siren.

guitardevil6 4 January, 2012 @ 8:26 pm   17

I am looking forward to the collection (and to hopefully see Shattered Memories ported to PS3). This game does look promising tho, will check out the reviews closer to the release date.

ALhammadi51 4 January, 2012 @ 8:32 pm   18

Nice

SuGaR_rAy_RiDeR 4 January, 2012 @ 8:52 pm   19

@RedeyedRonin

No what you mean pal, i still own every resi game except for the dead aim :-), lets just hope they release project zero series in HD!!!!

Erorrless 4 January, 2012 @ 9:10 pm   20

looks great. im love exploring and atmosphere. this game looks like it has both!

andrewsqual 5 January, 2012 @ 12:26 am   21

Game was dead on announcement. Not even Akira Yamaoka involved? Just call the damn game something else. Can’t wait to see Phelous’ review of this abortion.

Anthropomancer 5 January, 2012 @ 3:21 am   22

@sentry-23

Exactly what I was going to say. How the hell does a developer “half” implement inverted Y axis? I mean, if it was forgotten altogether then it would be somewhat more… understandable (I use that word hesitantly), but to have it for shooting and not for the camera? Unbelievable. And the excuse, “None of the testers mentioned it.” Right.
It could have been fixed in a matter of days with a simple patch, but no. Whether through inability or unwillingness it has really turned me off Konami (moreso when they were willing to go ahead with the cash-in, sorry, “SH2 HD” with different voice actors).

I gave up on SH after Team Silent got shunted. 0rigins was a decent portable effort but carrying 20 TV sets was just a step too far. SH5 was just a checklist of previous elements to appeal to fanboys as opposed to fans. And now we reach the series’ lowest ebb; the last remaining original member of TS – Akira Yamaoka – leaving is bad enough, but Korn? Take away its Aglaophotis and let it die, please.

Offf topic @6 if you want to watch youtube on ps3 in 1080p and downloading video there for free try this: http://www.ps3youtube.com/ on topic now: how po(u)or is this Silent Hill, like the others?

sephiroth180 5 January, 2012 @ 8:57 am   24

I have a mixed opinion on this game, to be honest. It does have moments that looks good, but it also has moments that doesn’t belong in Silent Hill. I’m glad you learned something from Homecoming (I hate that game with a passion), but it does sometimes seem like your repeating the same mistake. That minecart part (which I saw in one of the early trailers) was in paticular worrying to me.

Still, I’m glad you learned from your mistakes, and I’m glad you actually care more about the characters and monsters than Double Helix Games did in Homecoming. I’ll be buying the game when it comes out, and I hope you guys did a great job.

PS: Can we have a demo, please? :)

Immortal-Wolf- 5 January, 2012 @ 9:25 am   25

Another Silent Hill this time its called Silent Hill: Downpour.

This isn’t funny people getting bored of Silent Hill games best Silent Hill game was Silent Hill on PS1 ever played Silent Hill The Room dam that frustrated the hell outa me with the insanity puzzles that will drive anyone nuts to the exstream bored RE is fast as action is motivate are excitement Slow games like Silent Hill: Downpour. often will drive u to sleep mode as you can’t carry on trying to wait for the action but Silent Hill film was kool wish they made a Silent Hill 2 film

ZOMBIE-PAPA 5 January, 2012 @ 10:07 am   26

Silent Hill 3 for ps2 is still my all time favorite horror game! hope this one will live up to that one

Tilestone 5 January, 2012 @ 10:40 am   27

@tifos

From Software did a awsome game for the current gen. Demons souls if you havnt allready played it. Suggest you test it out so that you can change that statement ;D If you like games that take the old school way of gaming that is.(Basicly you need skills to be able to complete it >_<) Hard game, with a captial H tho ;D

But as a fan to the series of SH i have to say that this game seems to go back to its roots in the way of gameplay. And thats a huge + in my book.

VictorAnalogy 5 January, 2012 @ 11:40 am   28

“PSB: In *Homefront*, your character came from a military background and that reflected itself in the action-centric combat system. How is Downpour changing that?”

Good of the interviewee to overlook you calling “Silent Hill: Homecoming” “Homefront”. :P

Very excited for the Vita game. I love me some SH.

Basket21 5 January, 2012 @ 2:14 pm   29

PEOPLE WTH IS HAPPENING WITH THIS BLOG?

WHY IS NO ONE REPLYING TO COMMENTS IN THE PS STORE UPDATE POST AND IN THE PLUS SECTION POST ???

LOTSA PROBLEMS ARE MENTIONED IN THOSE THREADS (CODES NOT SENT OUT, MISSIN CONTENT ON THE STORE, BUG IN DOWNLOAD LIST ETC)

SONY PLZ REPLY !!!!

Catkiller1 5 January, 2012 @ 3:28 pm   30

@ CoolRichy008UK

I’m glad to hear it :)

You have my best wishes!

Skookie30 5 January, 2012 @ 4:27 pm   31

you have rise a serious question, about the banhammer you said ppl pay on 360 & get banned.

no one have ever mention ppl being banned & can’t access bought contents = THIEF.

it true i hear vile language on youtube trashtalking it called on online games this reeks of double standards why 1st off,

minors shouldn’t be on a 18+ game to get swear at.

what the different being swear at online or hear openly out in public vile language.

then there spur at the moment outbust, what i’m saying is you can’t rant online or we banned your sorry butt.

how they gonna police in public banned them too.

because ppl do swear as a part of a joke, abusive & on a SCEA blog encourage ppl to trash talk when mag was announce.

i’m no legal expect if my mum says to me to Drop dead & or wish i wasn’t been born spur at the moment stuff.

can i have her arrested no, she did also said just once she will disown me.

Looks good, i’ve never played a silent hill game though, am thinking about giving this a go so can anyone fill me in on any lore? Like who’s pyramid head for example :)

@Catkiller1

i doubt it´s the father it´s most likely just him trolling again. 5 sec later he´ll just be annoying you again like he did so many times on this blog. 2ndly either his dad is an idiot his so called son send message´s about beating ppl up and verbal abuse. no wonder he get´s reported so many times.

Dante_Zero 5 January, 2012 @ 5:01 pm   34

Soooooo now that the coolrichy things cleared up (lolz) back to Silent Hill. i played downpoor at Eurogamer, didn’t grip me as much as SH2 though. Is it possible to request some info on when the Silent Hill HD collection will arrive as when downpour was delayed Konami stated they would delay the launch of the HD collection as they wanted to launch it nearer to the release of Downpour. personally seems like a strange discision to me, i rather play the HD collection in the 6 months before hand to get me excited about douwnpour rather than a week before.

Catkiller1 5 January, 2012 @ 5:08 pm   35

@ dgnfly & CassyChan

I was skeptical at first, but the response was a dignified one, without abuse back to myself….for once ;)

Enough of this anyway!

I have only played the first silent Hill, so i’m looking forward to the HD Collection, for the continuation of the story!

Can anyone recommend any of the other titles? I still own a PS2 if that helps?

Kind regards

VictorAnalogy 5 January, 2012 @ 5:10 pm   36

@Catkiller1: Ah, at last it is safe to return. Silent Hill 2 is imho the pinnacle of the series. I’d pre-order the HD remake now were I you. :D

ukcrazyguy 5 January, 2012 @ 5:16 pm   37

I love the silent hill games, got them all on pc and 1 on ps1. Hope we see a project zero hd collection, I have them on ps2 (1,2 and 3) and 1 and 2 on Xbox. Would love trophy support and updated graphics. Also back to silent hill, why oh why is there no sh 4 the room on the collection? I know it’s the worst of the orig 4 but still a good game

Soz for repost, my comment was a bit drowned out by coolrichy008 ramblings! (@catkiller1, good luck with him! ;P) so yeah back on point, i’ve never played a silent hill game before but was thinking about getting this one, so can someone be kind enough to explain some of the lore? For example, who is this pyramid head? Thanks :D

Bumblebee 5 January, 2012 @ 5:23 pm   39

Ah, I always welcome more Silent Hill… if it’s done well.

Silent Hill 1 was amazing at the time.

Silent Hill 2 is one of my favourite gaming experiences ever. One of the only games that caused me to jump out of my seat in fright… and that was only at the whispering of a name, not anything particularly dreadful… amazing.

Silent Hill 3 was good, very polished, but wasn’t quite up to SH2. But still amazing.

I got bored of The Room, it was a strange entry in the series.

Silent Hill: Homecoming might have been good but I agree with the first post… the lack of proper control options (Y-axis inversion was not configurable) KILLED the game for me. I played about five-ten minutes, got frustrated with the controls then left it sat on my shelf ever since hoping someone on the team who ACTUALLY PLAYS GAMES would patch it so that you can actually control the character. VERY short-sighted development.

Please don’t make the same mistake. I long for a game that will chill me, yet grip me, like SH2 did.

Skookie30 5 January, 2012 @ 5:44 pm   40

Anyway i love silent hill series i like silent hill 4 the room too i feel traped in a house room slow horror games suppose to, to give you uncertain & jumps.

it called psychological horror, not a full blown gore-blood feast.

CassyChan 5 January, 2012 @ 6:05 pm   41

I agree with VictorAnalogy, SH2 is the pinnacle of the series, I enjoyed 3′s gameplay more but everything in 2 was perfect for what it was, the atmosphere, the level design, the huge amount of symbolic depth in a lot of the design (like the monsters), the music and sound effects, brilliant and kind of oddly real voice acting, the visual style, the grainy filter and some of the jarring camera angles, and for me mostly the story and characters, they were all great, the vibe was perfect and there’s a weird, dream-like unnerving feel to it. It’s a really well made game in every respect.

That said, the developer, Team silent, started making another horror game that was meh and they ended up changing it into a Silent Hill game (4) halfway through, then they were no more and Konami started outsourcing the series to Western developers who produced a load of crap by comparison full of fanservice and extra fog. After the last few crappy games I really can’t say I’m hyped for anything else from the series, but some of the responses in this interview make it look like these guys are making much more of an effort to produce a proper Silent Hill experience. Anyhow, it certainly looks like a good game on its own merits :)

Chr15toff3e 5 January, 2012 @ 6:24 pm   42

Puzzles don’t belong in this type of game. Why do they feel the need to include them as much as they do? It must be to slow the game down, so it takes a lot longer to complete. They should look closely at Dead Space 2 and take a few tips off them, because that game was gripping from beginning to end.

And it might just be me, but I’ve always thought Silent Hill games to be really dark. That doesn’t make you scared, it just stops you from seeing anything.

Silent Hill 2 was good. The rest of them? Nah.

CassyChan 5 January, 2012 @ 6:29 pm   43

@48, DANJOEL

Pyramid Head is a monster in Silent Hill 2. People who end up in Silent Hill see monsters that represent some aspect of their psyche so they’re different for all characters, for example Laura is a young and innocent girl, as such she doesn’t see any monsters, on the other hand to explain what some of the screwed up mosters James sees represent to him would be huge spoilers, you’ll come to realise as you learn more about him. I imagine the wikia has plenty more info if you don’t mind spoilers though.

Beyond that talking about the lore of the series you’re better off learning from playing the games to not spoil it tbh. It’s better taking it in the way the game gives it to you than reading someone put it their own way, not that it’s all down to interpretation but it’s supposed to be kinda mysterious and you learn more at the pace the games set :)

chrisandsheva 5 January, 2012 @ 8:32 pm   44

@ CassyChan
Very good reply to the guys question, i understood it and have never (strangely) finished a silent hill game.. I did attempt homecoming shortly after getting a ps3, bit over 2 years ago, and thought it was so-so, But alas i was then under the impression that unless i was Also earning trophies, then i was wasting gaming time… so never finished it.. I also liked the advice regarding to playing it spoiler free.. it is very nice to see people take the time to try and help/answer a question for a fellow gamer… Anyway as survival-horror is my favourite genre i will be picking the hd remakes up, trophies or not, but the comments about this latest entry are telling me to steer clear, But hopefully come launch day it may be improved enough for consideration.

@ CassyChan

Thanks! :D this really helped!

silent hill hasen´t been the same since it´s ps3 versions i actually liked the old camera work and difficult controls made it feel like you where fighting for your life nowadays games in the horror genre suck. resident evil destroyed,devil may cry destroyed,silent hill destroyed, and the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Catkiller1 5 January, 2012 @ 9:58 pm   47

Thanks to all who shed some light into the Silent Hill franchise. It was good to get some insight.

I will do some more research on them without spoilers. I have the HD collection on pre-order, but probably won’t get the time to play them straight away. I’ll try my best ;)

Also, Spiderling you hit the nail on the head my friend :)

CassyChan 5 January, 2012 @ 10:08 pm   48

@DANJOEL no problemo dude!
@chrisandsheva thanks! I hope you enjoy the remakes, I’m a big survival horror fan myself and love Silent Hill 2 and 3, hopefully they’ll have trophies for getting all the endings and all that stuff, it’ll be fun doing everything all over again :)

loved resident evil but never really gave silent hill a shot at all dont know why.

might rent the hd collection and see if i like it, im prob in the minority here but i did like the film :)

Catkiller1 6 January, 2012 @ 10:41 am   50

It would be nice to find a voucher within the HD Collection, to redeem the original PS1 title ;)

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