There Be Spoilers Ahead!
Silent Hill Downpour has been out since March 2012, and I intended to do a review around that time. There were some lag issues and Vatra promised to patch that. And because I love the Silent Hill franchise that much, and because I strive to be a fair person, I decided to wait on the patch. I didn't think that it would arrive only a few weeks ago, about eight months later. Last night I got all the achievements for the game, which is huge for me. I usually don't bother. I did it for Alice: Madness Returns on the old account that I once used, and that's it. Until now.
The patch was designed to fix the framerate issues, save issues, and bugs concerning the "Homeless" mission and the subway system. I've only had a save issue happen once, and since the patch, it has not happened again. I didn't do the Homeless mission or use the subways before. However, I did post-patch and I noticed that passages that were supposed to be open in the subway were not. If I found locked doors and I had to leave the area and come back on the reload and the door would be opened. That was annoying.
The above issues are minor annoyances, considering the frequency of occurrence. My concern is the framerate issues. The patch didn't eliminate them all, no. But it lessened the degree of lag. There still is lag. It's not the end of the world though. I didn't consider the pre-patch game unplayable, and less lag is still better. Although, I might have to remind the world about why I hate the way the gaming industry relies on patches instead of making a functioning game to begin with.
I do have to say that I did enjoy the game. Downpour gets a lot of unnecessary hate, especially from old fans. And I am an old fan (from about 2001) and I enjoyed it enough to play through it multiple times for the achievements, and I am not an achievement whore.
I am a cult enthusiast. Cults fascinate me. Especially magic cults. If someone invited me to a cult that claimed they could do magic, I'd totally hop right into the sketchy van. Yet, I do like how Downpour did a story set in Silent Hill, a town basically run by old gods and the cult that follows it, without the cult element. Yes, DJ Ricks alludes to it when he says that they are always listening. Though he could be alluding to the monsters in general, or the old gods. But no where in the story does anyone stop Murphy and say, The Order is behind this. Mostly because, I think, they aren't. Yes, the old gods have deemed it necessary for Murphy and Anne to figure out their issues. The Order is busy doing other stupid shit. I like to think that they aren't concerned with Murphy and his troubles.
After playing through this game over and over, a few things have become apparent to me. And as a disclaimer, you can disagree with me. The great thing about the SH universe is that most of it is unexplained spookiness. I tried to watch the first Silent Hill film with my friend and with all his questions about how the universe works, I had to give up. It's magic, ok? The normal laws of our world don't always apply. It has its own rules. And he was totally fine with that answer. Or at least he stopped asking questions.
Anyway, I've been thinking about the meat of the story. It is about revenge.
Anne: "My father was a good man. He didn't believe in revenge. But I do."
Murphy also wants revenge. It's what got him in prison. His deal and development is super easy to see. What I've been thinking of is whose story this actually is. Today I am feeling that it is really Anne's story and Murphy is tangled up in it, in his own way. That the gods of Silent Hill wanted to give the darkness festering in her heart the opportunity to get revenge, or forgive. She mentions the "sick" things she had to do to get Murphy under her watch. Murphy already got his revenge and he was probably going to rot in prison. Anne had yet to get hers, but she had to pay for it before she even got the opportunity. Yet he was already technically "paying" for his crimes, but it wasn't enough for her. As with the sequence of final scenes when Anne shoots Murphy in the showers, he is her Boogeyman. She is fighting her monsters. Murphy is fighting himself, running away from himself.
What would be really awesome is if Anne could get her own game, or at least some DLC for her story. It's alluded to that she hasn't just been frolicking in the streets until she runs into Murphy or DJ Ricks. Too bad this will probably never happen. This definitely sucks because the series needs more strong female leads.
Old E3 Trailer
Does anyone else remember the old official E3 trailer from 2011? It's interesting to see the changes that they made. I remember first playing it and waiting for the kids to push me and run past me. I guess they were supposed to be the kids you keep seeing in the paintings? I thought it was dumb that they were never really given a mention, they just appear in the art all the time. They were probably supposed to be part of something and they were cut completely. I'd love to play a version of the game before the changes.