Konami announced today that the upcoming eighth entry in the “Silent Hill” series will now be called “Silent Hill: Downpour”. “Downpour” is the first original Silent Hill game since “Homecoming” in 2008.
“Downpour” will focus on the story of Murphy Pendleton who, in typical Silent Hill fashion, gets stuck in the haunted town after a mysterious bus crash in the woods nearby. Based on the name and the screens, (which you can see after the jump) rain seems to be a theme for the game, but there’s no word on any gameplay mechanics revolving around it.
Konami DID emphasize that this version of Silent Hill will be “expansive, yet claustrophobic.” In an interview with IGN, producer Devin Shatsky elaborated, explaining that the gameplay will focus more on open-ended exploration than previous games: “We have this huge city at our disposal, yet in the past, it was comprised primarily of locked doors,” he said “We wanted to give players a bit more incentive to search around and check those doors without facing a constant barrage of discouraging locks.” To incentivize said exploration, “Downpour” will feature optional side-quests – a fairly substantial departure from the series’ story-intensive play-style. Shatsky said that the game’s side-quests will be tied into the story, but won’t be required to complete the game.
Silent Hill is a longstanding series that has stood the test of time despite a generally middling critical reception for its most recent entries. “Downpour’s” new direction has the potential to give the horror powerhouse new life. “Silent Hill: Downpour” will be released on Xbox 360 and PS3 some time this fall.