Jay examines the art of one of her current favourites, Silent Hill: Downpour.
Now that I am working in game development, I often don’t have much time to play games, so I tend to pick the most immersive experiences I can find.
My usual game genre is RPG or adventure, but more often than not, I enjoy branching out and trying different things to keep up to date with current gaming, whatever the genre. I have a secret love for survival horror games, although I do admit I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to playing them through until the end! I have only ever completed Silent Hill 1 and 2 and Resident Evil.
I have a very strong passion for the Silent Hill series, mainly because I love the visuals and ambience in the music so much that it terrifies me when I play it.
This is a great example of a survival horror game doing its job well . The series makes use of ’darkness’ that covers the secluded town in a hellish world, making the game more frantic and nightmarish. There is even the occasional 8ft man wearing a traffic cone, dragging a butchers knife about. Whats not to love?
My favourite feature in survival horror games is the fear of the unknown. The way that the visuals are conveyed contributes to this experience. For example, you could be in a room that has blood pouring from the walls and demons clinging to your feet whilst you fire your last bullet, waiting for the game over text; but this isn’t as impactful as a scene lit in a suggestive way to create high tension. Personally, I would be more terrified if I was in a long dark corridor with the occasional distant sound of someone crying. This is what Silent Hill does so well. The game creates fear through the use of visuals, lighting and sound. Downpour continues this tradition.
The game takes some of the best features of previous and more favoured Silent Hill games and mixes in a contemporary style with the use of weather to accentuate the situation you may be enduring. The darkness also changes gameplay in ways unlike any other Silent Hill game.
I will continue my quest to conquer my fears and immerse myself into the world of Silent Hill once more, even if I have to keep telling myself “its just a game!”