The title for Silent Hill 8 has finally been confirmed as Silent Hill: Downpour
in the February issue of Game Informer magazine. As you may gather from the title, water plays an important part in the game. The game will feature plenty of stormy effects, but also more peculiar effects in the alternative nightmare world, such as rivers flowing across the ceiling. The nightmare world levels themselves will play out as standalone levels, rather than rehashes of earlier events.
The Silent Hill town definitely is the main focal point of the game, but some of the storyline does take place in the surrounding area. The town is very large and there will be access to the town’s subway system, enabling players to travel between important focal points. None of the locations that had featured prominently beforehand, such as schools and hospitals, will return for this game.
The south-eastern part of Silent Hill is the area that will be thoroughly explored in Downpour. This is the area that players will have seen on the maps in the older games, but have never been able to access. There will also be optional side quests to complete, indicating that there will be an open-world feel to the game. If gamers choose to explore all of these locations and complete all of the side quests, there will be over ten hours worth of gameplay involved.
Players are recommended to avoid fights when possible – “it’s better to deliver incapacitating blows and run”, but not compulsory. Boss fights are returning; these will be played out using quicktime events. There will not be a weapon inventory either, as weapons can only be carried one at a time. The weapons can be any object from the main protagonist, Murphy Pendleton's surroundings, and these will also weaken with use, eventually leading to the item breaking. As in previous instalments of the series, Murphy will also be able to pull down scenery and objects behind him to slow any pursuers down during chase sequences.
There will be the option to change the difficulty of the puzzles throughout the game, with easy, medium and hard difficulties. As well as the puzzles, the choices that gamers will have to make include the clues you want to follow from gathered evidence, and even the clothes that Murphy will wear at any given time, as even these can affect the way NPCs will react to him.
Finally, the game will feature both a fixed camera, to set up the scarier moments of the game, and a player-controlled camera with a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective.
Just to remind you, here’s the trailer from E3 2010, which shows you the type of things to expect from the game:
Unfortunately, the release date for Silent Hill: Downpour
isn’t any more specific than 2011.