I found myself in silent hill proper. The scenery was typical; darkened, abandoned streets, sidewalks lined with chain link fence, and old houses with boarded up windows and chipped paint. The rain was constant and soaking. Creatures stalked the streets, only interested in carving me up. And as the rain grew heavier, they became more violent. I roamed with no direction, only looking for a way out of a town that i had no use for. yet it seemed the town itself was giving me clues that it had a use for me. I stumbled upon an open window that lead into the basement of a house. I climbed in to take shelter from the storm, the creatures, and the oppressive, haunting curtain silent hill had (successfully) draped over my shoulders.
The floor was littered with various paper debris. From the looks of it, it had seemed that no one had lived here for years. I flicked on my lighter to get a better idea of my surroundings. I walked a few steps forward to find a tray of half-eaten food, simply abandoned yet strangely fresh. Someone must be in this house. Next to the forgotten lunch was a milk carton. I held my lighter up to it to get a better look. On the face was a missing persons ad. Lisa Jacobs had been missing for sometime now; i managed to jot down the phone number in the event that i saw her, but there was a problem; the face on the box had been violently scratched out. Whether it was done out of mourning or out of anger was anyone's guess, but whoever was eating here has issues. I turn around and investigate the other side of the basement, lighter still in front of my face. It hardly helped, but even the tiny, dim light was comforting in the swallowing darkness that engulfed the place. That was when i heard crying.
I'm not talking about a child's wimper; These were the heavy sobs of a grieving mother. I moved at a snail's pace. In a town that was populated by ghosts and ghouls alike, the sound of another person is about 1 part relieving to 4 parts confusing/terrifying. The crying grew louder the closer i got to the back wall. I found its source, but it was beyond a locked gate. I tried to shine my light through the bars to get at least a glimpse of who should've been on the other side, yet i saw no one. This bothered me worse than it should've, but the door was locked; i wasn't going to get through it. I turned around and found the stairs that led to first floor.
Light shone through dirty windows, illuminating nothing of interest. I found an old tv; you know, the kind with dials instead of buttons. I decided to flick it on, maybe there was a news program on, or anything that suggested a sign of actual life in the town. With one turn, a fuse blew, sending sparks to flicker and die along with my hopes of a clue to where i need to be. I grabbed a medkit from the ground and decided it was time to make it back to the outside world that so badly wanted me dead. I flicked my lighter back on to see my way down the stairs, but there was a glaring absence of sound. The woman had stopped crying. Something in me decided to check it out; maybe something had happened.
I walked up to the gate that had been locked before i checked the first floor. I twisted the door knob and it gave way. I pushed open the door with hesitation and peeked around the corners; I wasn't prepared for something to jump at me from my blindspot. The coast was clear, so i pushed on through. the room went back further than my lighter had showed. I walked back through a hallway to find a solitary plush chair. A pistol was sitting rather out of place on the arm rest. "this woman must've killed herself out of grief for her missing child" i thought to myself. For a moment i was taken out of the game and let myself think. I wondered why this game had received such average reviews, when there was such a classic "silent hill moment" like this. It didn't feel forced, and it didn't feel terribly cliche either. A cliche moment wouldn't have successfully filled the player (me) with that feeling of dread and utter confusion. I took my moment to soak in the atmosphere and appreciate the design, but the moment ran up, and it was time to move on.
I plucked the gun from the scene, and before i could even turn around and move toward the door, i heard an evil, divisive laughter. I felt my stomach drop. Here i was, in this pitchblack, cluttered basement, hearing someone...something laughing, laughing at me. i jogged to the door but was slashed at by a shadow. I panicked. I picked up a brick and began swinging it like mad. I was hitting something, but it was hitting me way more often. I flicked on my lighter to try to get my bearings, the orange light was casting dirty shadows everywhere, but none looked like my assailant. I got swiped across the face again, and in my flailing movements, i saw a manikin. "Was it there before?" i thought to myself, as i got hit again, pushing my health to 40%. I swung like a maniac back in the direction i was hit from, but it seemed like i was doing no kind of damage. From the corner of my eye, i noticed the Manakin move ever slightly. I turned around to face it, but was hit from the back and pushed in its direction. In a fury, i beat the manakin senseless. It was wailing and moaning, and then it dropped. I bludgeoned a manakin to death with an old brick in a panicked fit. It must've been controlling the shadow that was attacking me, because i wasn't getting the flesh raked off my face anymore. I took a quick second to heal up, and then crawled out of the window, back into the wet world of Silent Hill: Downpour.
In other words, if you're a silent hill fan, and all the reviews discouraged you from trying this game for yourself, take my word for it; you're going to enjoy it.
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