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Silent Hill: Downpour producer admits Homecoming missteps

The last Silent Hill game, Homecoming, was met with a mixed reception from fans due to its heavy emphasis on action and some misguided tweaks. A Konami producer has admitted to making a few "mistakes."

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The Silent Hill franchise has been undergoing a few growing pains ever since Konami disbanded Team Silent, the developer of the first four games in the long-running horror franchise. The last game, Homecoming, was met with a mixed reception from fans due to its heavy emphasis on action and some misguided tweaks.

"Homecoming was a fairly combat-heavy game, which turned off certain fans," Konami producer Devin Shatsyky noted. "Silent Hill fans tend to prefer slower, exploration-based horror"--something developer Vatra Games is attempting to return to with the upcoming Downpour.

As with most of the previous Silent Hill games, there will be combat. However, it is definitely not the emphasis in Downpour. "You’ll want to run from enemies more than usual," Shatsky told the PlayStation.Blog. "You may be able to stand toe-to-toe with one enemy, but if you’re outnumbered, the best strategy is to run."

Another misstep of Homecoming was the reuse of iconic enemies from past games. While this kind of fanservice may be encouraged in other franchises, the psychological nature of the franchise made devoted Silent Hill players disappointed. "In Silent Hill games, the monsters are directly tied to the protagonist’s background, so the enemies in this game all have meaning to Murphy," Shatsky explained. "We won’t be shoehorning in Pyramid Head or the nurses just to do it. It wouldn’t make sense. That could be seen as a mistake of Homecoming — the developers paid fan service by introducing monsters from previous games, but it didn’t really make sense. The core fans called us out on that, and rightfully so."

Clearly, the developers have the best intentions with Downpour--and at the very least, the developers are far more aware of the core tenants that have made the franchise successful. However, the question still remains: can an unproven developer whose only shipped product has been Rush'n Attack: Ex Patriot really deliver a game that lives up to fan expectations? Given the game's lengthy delay and development shake-up, Downpour has a lot to prove.

Downpour is currently scheduled for a Q1 release.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    January 4, 2012 4:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Silent Hill: Downpour producer admits Homecoming missteps.

    The last Silent Hill game, Homecoming, was met with a mixed reception from fans due to its heavy emphasis on action and some misguided tweaks. A Konami producer has admitted to making a few "mistakes."

    • reply
      January 4, 2012 6:21 PM

      So, they think by reducing the content and having you run from enemies is the answer. The answer is having the people who created the Good ones work on this one.

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        January 4, 2012 6:27 PM

        What's the best SH, 2?

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          January 4, 2012 8:26 PM

          Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 4 are, for me, the best ones.. once you get past 4's mechanics its got a brilliant story to tell.

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      January 4, 2012 8:29 PM

      The Eurogamer demo was interesting to play. It had more of an emphasis on getting up close and using melee weapons, good choice on Unreal tech to use too.

      Maybe they could put it on Steam too! Us PC gamers would like to play it too and Steam would be a good platform for it!

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      January 4, 2012 10:38 PM

      The title "Silent Hill: Homecoming" induces a gag reflex in me; I bought it on Steam (at full price). The game should be the poster child for "bad ports".

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      January 4, 2012 11:08 PM

      Silent Hill 2 was quite an experience. I had no idea horror and suspense could be done so well in video games. A rare gem that one was.

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      January 5, 2012 4:43 AM

      The last game released was actually Shattered Memories, from 2009, not Downpour :)

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        January 5, 2012 8:51 AM

        Do we really need to go into how bad Shattered Memories was? It made Homecoming look like a masterpiece. Shattered Memories was a very bad re-imagining of the original Silent Hill. After doing a pretty good job on Silent Hill: Origins it was an embarrassment for Konami and Climax Studios.

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          January 5, 2012 8:59 AM

          I don't give a flying fuck about the rest of the SH mythology or whatever. but Shattered memories was really cool

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            January 5, 2012 10:42 AM

            If you can get past that it really has nothing to do with Silent Hill, it's a very nice game.

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              January 5, 2012 12:59 PM

              True, if Shattered Memories wasn't called a Silent Hill game it would have gone over much better but it still had problems all it own. It was an average game with some nice ideas that didn't get implemented well.