Sequel falls short of expectations

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By Laith Salama / Staff Writer

No escape (Games Press)

By Laith Salama / Staff Writer

“Silent Hill” is one of the more popular and possibly the only real horror video game.

The franchise has provided a variety of creep-fests and scares to last a lifetime.

Most of the scares come from a lack of power over a situation; guns don’t shoot straight and when they do bullets don’t hurt anyone, and the player can’t run very fast or hit very hard.

Essentially “Silent Hill” likes its heroes to feel a little less than adequate.

The reason it’s arguably the only real horror game is that most games put action or plot before the scares.

However, “Silent Hill” has been going through rough times lately.

The series hasn’t had any real success since its early years and it hasn’t yet made its name out for a new generation.

“Silent Hill” needs a revival, a reinvention, and a step forward.

Unfortunately “Silent Hill Downpour” is not that step forward.

This one has gamers leading Murphy, a prisoner who is escorting a bus that takes a turn for the worst, through the dreary town of “Silent Hill.”

Like all the “Silent Hill’s,” Murphy is searching for something physical, and finds something supernatural and discovers his origins.

One has to wonder after so many sequels why the place still exists, or at least gets any attention from the living.

Half the weird stuff that went down there had to make it out to the public somehow, why would anyone go back?

Not that that’s important, but a question worth asking.

This one makes no effort to convince us that any of it has to take place.

The game emphasized an action aspect of the game play that doesn’t really work and most of the time feels misplaced.

It’s clunky, pointless, and makes no sense.

There are parts of the story that ask players to make moral choices for no reason. Their choice doesn’t really affect the outcome of the game or even the dilemma that created the choice in the first place.

The game itself doesn’t really work as well as it should.

There are glitches and errors in the movement, graphics, and transitions, and the game is prone to freezing.

“Silent Hill,” whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, has never tried to broaden its audience.

It’s stayed relatively true to fans of the genre but has never taken any steps at refreshing the franchise.

“Silent Hill” fans will hate this comparison, but if you take “Resident Evil” for instance, pushed their games forward with the fourth installment that revamped the entire series.

“Silent Hill” could use a “Resident Evil 4,” so to speak.

Of course “Resident Evil” has it’s own problems too, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that “Silent Hill Downpour” did not help “Silent Hill” do anything.

It’s not a step forward nor does it mark the downfall of the series, it’s just another “Silent Hill.”

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