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Silent Hill: Downpour information from Game Informer

Futurevoid

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If anything concerns me about the game and that EGM interview, it was Shatsky's commentary about the story being "more straightforward" in Downpour. He goes on to say that previous Silent Hill games obscured specific plot elements/details and forced players to have to interpret certain things and that they did not want to go that route with Downpour.

Cripes, that's what I liked about the original, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 4! All three games were masterful at forcing the player to pay attention to small details to decipher the narrative and understand the roles of the bit players and the craziness going on in the town. In some cases they used subtle symbolism to convey meaning while in others they sledgehammered you with some fucked up revelation and they were all the better for it. Hell, even Shattered Memories excelled in this particular category.

Listening to other people interpret the events of Silent Hill 2 and the fact that you hear such wildly varied interpretations is one of the primary reasons it's one of my all time favorite games.
 

SolidSnakex

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I'm not sure how they came to the conclusion that a straight forward story was the way to go. The biggest criticism that fans have with SH3 is that the story was way too straight forward. There's very little mystery involved with it which is why you don't see a lot of discussion about its storyline in comparison to something like SH2.
 

Futurevoid

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SolidSnakex said:
I'm not sure how they came to the conclusion that a straight forward story was the way to go. The biggest criticism that fans have with SH3 is that the story was way too straight forward. There's very little mystery involved with it which is why you don't see a lot of discussion about its storyline in comparison to something like SH2.
SH3 was honestly my least favorite in the series prior to the burgled turd that was Origins and the less than stellar (but hardly as terrible as folks claim) Homecoming. There's no denying it's top notch in just about every other category (gameplay, visuals, music, locales, art direction, creep factor etc.) but when I finished it, I was stunned at how overly simplistic the plot was.

I mean you can go on an argue the meaning of Valtiel and ancillary topics until the sun goes down, but the primary narrative surrounding Heather was weak. Silent Hill 4 recovered strongly in that regard. It just dropped the soap on some of the key stuff that Silent Hill 3 got right.
 

brandonh83

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They've all had straightforward narratives, SH2 being a little more obscure than the rest. That comment doesn't really bother me. It's possible to have an interesting straightforward narrative that is surrounded by depth. I wouldn't exactly call SH1's story, for example, anything remotely deep. It's pretty basic.

It's detailed and there's symbolism all over the place but that doesn't make the actual core storyline any deeper.
 

Futurevoid

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brandonh83 said:
They've all had straightforward narratives, SH2 being a little more obscure than the rest.
That's a generality I can't agree with. I think we need to make the distinction between narrative (the means of telling the story) and plot (the story itself).

If you can tell me with a straight face that Silent Hill 3 told it's story using the same narrative devices, flow and context as the original Silent Hill or Silent Hill 2, then I don't know what to say. They are absolutely distinct and offer a varying degree of depth.

(I'd also argue that the original Silent Hill was far more obscure than its sequel, but that's another topic)

brandonh83 said:
I wouldn't exactly call SH1's story, for example, anything remotely deep. It's pretty basic.
Again, you don't seem to understand the difference between narrative and plot.

Silent Hill hasn't always been about the destination for me (i.e.
James killing his wife, or Walter's fixation with an apartment he thinks is his mother
), but more so about how the game peels back its layers and allows you to interpret those layers individually to arrive at that destination. Games like Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 had narrative depth, IMHO. Something sorely lacking in the horror genre today.
 

Futurevoid

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One more response (back to back!)...

brandonh83 said:
It's possible to have an interesting straightforward narrative that is surrounded by depth.
What does that mean though, exactly? You could argue that the Dead Space games offer a straightforward A to B narrative (and they do) and the depth of its story is derived from its expanded universe. Things like the films, book and comics that detail the history of Unitology, Michael Altman and the Markers. All of which I happen to like for totally different reasons than I do Silent Hill by the way.

You could also say that Resident Evil is a clear example of a game series with as straightforward a narrative as they come. A to B with very little meat to dissect, etc.

I would agree with you on both counts, but then ask yourself if that type of storytelling fits Silent Hill?

I guess it helps to say that I find the original two Silent Hill games to be extraordinarily unique in so far as videogames are concerned because of how specifically different their narrative structure is to other titles in the genre. Both when they released and even today. They are classics and very highly regarded for a reason, afterall.
 

mattfabb

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Jun 18, 2007
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slightly off topic, sorry,

this morning I was searching for info on tetsuo, and came across on this interview:

http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/shozin_fukui.shtml

The actors couldn't continue on after going through the intensity of the film?

Most actors quit all their involvement in film after Pinocchio √ 964. Basically, they were the members of my band. Not actors / actresses. The band simply went through a period of filmmaking. For them, making music and performing in the film were basically the same. But after Pinocchio √ 964, they felt that they had completed their performance.

It suddenly reminded me of Yamaoka involvement with SH, the idea that of avant-garde musician involved in horror stories. also, check out this youtube user who seems a fan of Shozin Fukui:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HvnBzuE-zc

it reminds me of SH3 music! maybe there is more to this than I know...