Silent Hill: Downpour Developers Talk About Returning To Series’ Psychological-Horror Roots
Silent Hill: Downpour is already one of our most anticipated games of this year, and hearing this just makes us want it even more.
Speaking with the US PS blog, the game’s producer, Devin Shatsky, said that the upcoming Downpour differs from Homecoming in that the latter was “a fairly combat-heavy game” in which the lead protagonist was pretty bad-ass.
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However, Downpour will focus on an everyday man whose weapons will break down realistically, which will sometimes make running from enemies the safer option. There will definitely be combat in Downpour, but it will focus more on slower paced, exploration-based psychological horror.
“We’ve gone with a more realistic weapon and inventory system,” he said. “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 that impacted 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 won’t be visible on any HUD, and instead the game will mirror Murphy’s physical state, as in he’ll limp, bleed, look beat and his clothes will wear and tear.
When it comes to enemies, you shouldn’t be expecting the series’ staples like creepy nurses, as Shatsky revealed that monsters in the game will be “directly tied to the protagonist’s background”, implying that they’ll be meaningful to Murphy.
“We won’t be shoehorning in Pyramid Head or the nurses just to do it. It wouldn’t make sense,” he said, and this is something that series producer, Tomm Hulett, agreed with.
“Pyramid Head is really cool, and he’s become sort of the iconic creature, but in Silent Hill 2, if you follow the story – he doesn’t really belong outside of Silent Hill 2,” Hulett told GameFront. “He’s really personal for James. You can take that so far. You can say ‘Oh, he’s cool, so use him anyway’, or ‘Stick to the canon and don’t use him’.
“We really wanted to establish our own game. Homecoming used Pyramid Head, not very effectively, I don’t think. We’re not making you nostalgic for Pyramid Head.”
Hulett stated that in addition to the various enemies in the game, the atmosphere itself will reflect the various fears of the main character. When it comes to Murphy, water is important in his psychological makeup, and the game’s randomized weather system will have an impact on gameplay.
“I wouldn’t say [Murphy] is afraid of water – he would go swimming – but somewhere in his past there’s something that has to do with water, and that’s manifested in the game,” Hulett said. “For example, when it rains in the game, the harder it rains, the more creatures there will be. He’ll need to seek shelter.”
Silent Hill: Downpour will be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox360 in Q1 of 2012, with its release date looking to be around March. Are you as excited as us after reading this?