In this second vlog I talk about my exciting trip to Konami HQ from September 21-23, 2011! Thanks again to Tomm Hulett and Devin Shatsky for making this trip happen
In this second vlog I talk about my exciting trip to Konami HQ from September 21-23, 2011! Thanks again to Tomm Hulett and Devin Shatsky for making this trip happen
Still catching up on all the Silent Hill news I missed reporting on last week while I was away in the UK (btw I’m finally back home today ) I was able to get a couple of E3 related news posts up during my last few days in Scotland since we had internet access where we were staying but now think I’m almost done playing catch up! *phew*
Last week Downpour Senior Associate Producer, Tomm Hulett answered some recent hot button Silent Hill topics to Joystiq such as the reasoning behind the inclusion of Korn in Downpour and the HD Collection’s current PS3 exclustivity.
On Korn Tomm says:
I mentioned that fans seem to be upset about the song, with some even going so far as to sign a petition for its removal. “I’m a big Silent Hill fan. I can pretty much guess how [fans] are going to react to everything we do,” said Hulett, “I wasn’t wrong on this one, in how they’d react, but I think they should hopefully calm down a little bit.” To further assuage fears, he noted that the song isn’t “an integral part of the gameplay” and won’t be forced on players. “You know, Murphy won’t be listening to Korn, or Korn won’t be playing over a cutscene. It’s nothing like that.”
So there you go! Korn in Downpour isn’t going to be the end of the world, it’s easily skipable and won’t potentially to ruin hours of enjoyment in game. I know when I first heard the news it made me raise an eyebrow but I’m willing to see what they come up with before I make any final decisions on how I feel. This is mainly because I remember thinking “WTF” when Marylin Manson was chosen years ago to score the first RE movie and in the end I was pleasantly surprised and really dug the main title theme!
It’s also nice to also have a firm confirmation that Mary Elizabeth McGlynn will also create music for Downpour. I can’t wait to hear what she does!!!
Yay! I hope they also bring it to Xbox 360, it’s a shame it’s a PS3 exclusive at the moment but hey I had to buy a PS3 at some point lol!
During e3 2011 Downpour Producer, Devin Shatsky and Design Director, Brian Gomez, hosted a panel and took questions from the audience related to Downpour and the Silent Hill franchise. If you are wondering about my title the pair made quite an impression last year with the combination of a lousy camera angle telepromter placement that made it seems like Devin Shatsky was glaring intently at the back of Brian Gomez’s head!
I didn’t see a Death Stare this time around but I did learn some cool new tidbits which I’ve highlighted below!
- Murphy suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder some from what landed him him prison and some others unrelated. Seems like water is his trigger, so it’s no surprise that it triggers the Otherworld too!
- A story driven Silent Hill not action driven like Homecoming
- Murphy gets scared and terrified and it will be reflected in his fighting!
- More time working on story and characters then on the combat. Inspirations were movies like The Usual Suspects and Memento where after you watched you wanted to immediately rewatch to see what you missed the first time around. I looooooooooved The Usual Suspects and the potential of replay value due to wanting to see what you missed the first time around has me terribly excited.
- Enemies in Downpour They have a “design bible” that details how each one ties back to Murphy and the story. This alone has me excited since it’s a good indication that if they spent this much time on the meanings behind the creatures there’s a chance we just won’t get rehashes from Silent Hill 2 Also now I can’t wait to see the debates on the forums about their meanings after the game’s release
Like many of you I was unable to attend E3 2011 and try out the Downpour demo. Lucky for us sites like Gametrailers.com have put up a full walkthrough of the entire demo and not just choice bits! Looks like producers Tomm Hulett, Devin Shatsky and design director Brian Gomez were there during the run through as they all made comments during the video. Here’s some of my thoughts on what I saw and heard
During E3 2011 Downpour’s Senior Associate Producer, Tomm Hulett, sat down with Gamespot to give some commentary on the game’s new trailer and answered fan questions. If you haven’t already sat down to watch it make sure to watch the embedded video above as it contains some nice juicy details on some of the extras we can expect for the game.
First Tomm is quick to assure everyone that unlike Homecoming, Downpour will be more focused on story and less on action stating that the game is comprised of 70% atmosphere/slow burn horror/exploration and only 30% action. This ofcourse isn’t the first time we’ve heard this reassurance from the developers but it’s nice that this game detail is being reiterated again and again!
Tomm also goes into a little more detail on just how open this “open world” Silent Hill title will be. The main story with Murphy is linear with key places and points but once you’ve entered Silent Hill town proper you will have the option to go and explore at your own pace. Doing so is not necessary to beat the game but the more you go off the obvious path the more the world as a whole will flesh out. For me this is a major improvement on all the Silent Hill games past Silent Hill 2. I was always sad I couldn’t go and get lost in the town and was usually forced to stay on the linear story path due to the number of locked doors or blocked paths that force me back to the main storyline. I can definitely see this more open world playing a factor in padding out my own game play time which is a major plus for me.
Speaking of playtime, according to Tomm if you just stick to the main story expect between 8-10 hours of gameplay, which is average for any Silent Hill title. However, if you do take the time to explore and complete the sidequests your playtime can double and on average take anywhere between 15-20 hours to finish your first time through. So it looks like Downpour could potentially be the longest Silent Hill game to date!
Even with a longer game Tomm assures us that their will be plenty of replay value and not just because of Downpour’s multiple endings. You are unlikely to find all the sidequests your first time through and will want to replay to unlock all the game secrets. The sidequests as I’ve mentioned earlier will provide more insight about the world but will also be a way to unlock front end goodies such as developer interviews and behind the scenes footage. I don’t know about you guys but I love this sort of stuff. Sure more powerful weapons and whatnot are fun, fun, fun but I think I prefer in game rewards like this! Compared to a sandbox game like one of my favorites Grand Theft Auto 4 the replay value might not seem as big but it’s more than enough for a horror game. With all the potential Silent Hill goodies: behind the scenes, interviews, better weapons, sidequests and multiple endings I can see myself playing this game many times over just to unlock all the game secrets!
The interview also gives some more a little insight into one of the monster designs. You guys remember the ape-like/gremlin creature I referenced in the first e3 2010 trailer and again with this latest one? Well Tomm revealed that this creature is actually called a “Weeping Bat” and its crouched and constrained movements are supposed to represent solitary confinment. With Murphy being a convict and Silent Hill creatures reflecting the protagonists inner demons/situations/mindstates this connection to a form of prison punishment is not surprising and may be something Murphy himself experienced during his own prison sentence.
Additionally we learned that there will be major bosses encounters in-game but Tomm was hesitant to divulge much more as this creatures closely tie with the overall plot. I have to say this is a smart move on Konami’s part as years ago Homecoming made the mistake of showing off all the bosses way before the game was even out. I’m not sure we’ve even seen a boss from Downpour as of yet (unless hammer guy is one) which I think is awesome since it will save the surprises for when we finally get our hands on the game.
So I don’t know about you guys but watching this interview sure has me more pumped for the Downpour. I’m loving the extras we can expect from the game as well as the length/replay value, Fall/Winter certainly can’t come fast enough!
According to the latest Konami press release we now have confirmation (in writing) that Silent Hill Book of Memories will be the first ever co-op multiplayer Silent Hill title!
If you are worried that the gameplay will be like the multiplayer mode in lets say Call of Duty there’s no reason to worry. From the description given in the press release it sounds like this will still be an intimate gaming experience with just you and a friend working together to survive and escape Silent Hill. It’s probably going to be similar to the Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen partnership in Resident Evil Zero just with two players instead of switching between the two in a single player mode.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories is the first KONAMI title to be confirmed for the forthcoming PlayStation Vita portable device, and is also the first ever multi-player Silent Hill title. The game will feature an all-new scenario and soundtrack, and links past and present events in the series in one game. Working with a friend, players are left stranded in Silent Hill, where they must work together in order to escape the town and its inhuman denizens.
Aditionally Joystiq broke the news that WayForward, an American studio based in Valencia, California, is working on Book of Memories.
Velasco didn’t divulge much, only describing Book of Memories as a “left-field” part of the prolific developer’s upcoming lineup. A “left-field” multiplayer Silent Hill game? Scariest licensed baseball game ever.
“Left-field” sure is right! I took a look at their game history and the developers have a lot of experience in the handheld game market but nothing in their repertoire seems to be within the survival horror genre. Needless to say I’m really interested in seeing what sort of Silent Hill game they will come up with, I hope will get some video or screens in the next couple months!
Source (Hell Descent)
As a treat for fans who could not make it to E3 The Official Silent Hill Facebook page uploaded a roughly 8 minute 30 second walkthrough of select scenes from their Downpour with commentary from game producer, Devin Shatsky, and Senior Associate Producer, Tomm Hulett.
This video is really the first real taste of gameplay footage we’ve seen since the first trailer debuted at E3 2010. For me it was really nice see some of the scenes only mentioned in various game blogs/magazines in the flesh and it really highlights Downpour’s new and interesting gameplay and the imense details Vatra has put into making the various the settings unique.
I’m really liking the somewhat realistic approach this game is taking with the whole surving the horror. Murphy can only use what he’s carrying and boy does he make use of what he’s got. Rusty locked gate? Hey no problem he can just smash it open with a crowbar (or a rock apparently according to some other demo reports). This may seem like something small but it always bugged me somewhat that the Silent Hill protagonists wouldn’t always let you use handy weapons to progress through so called block paths due to level/gameplay limitations…I’m looking at you James “I can’t step over caution tape or use a long rusty pipe to knock a key out of reach closer” Sunderland.
Seriously, I think it’s just so cool that we can use weapons/items we find in ways we would use them in real life. Another cool little bit shows how Murphy can interact with things not necessarily needed to advance the plot and are “optional” events in the game. In the walkthrough we see Murphy steals change from a cash register in a diner and uses it to play a song on the jukebox…which is the opening theme from the original Silent Hill. Stuff like this will really extend the gameplay in my opinion. I know I will end up trying to interact with everything I see hoping for other cool Silent Hill Easter eggs.
The walkthrough also showcased one of the game’s Otherworld transitions. Murphy attempts to turn off a pipe leaking gas but unfortunately causes a spark and sets the place on fire. With quick thinking Murphy sets off the fire alarm to activate the sprinkler system but as the water snuffs out the fire it also acts a trigger for a trip into the Otherworld. As the water pures from the ceiling the walls and floors around Murphy disintegrates and the sounds from the real world are muffled if encased by water. It’s a nice change from the peeling transition used in the first movie and in Homecoming.
Tomm also memtions how the Otherworld trigger aren’t easy to spot and you will never truely know when you are “safe.” This was a major gripe with fans with the nightmare sequences in Shattered Memories and it’s nice to know that they are listening to what sort of scare fator we like in \Silent Hill.
Speaking of Shattered Memories we also see that like Harry there’s times when he can only run and has chase sequences are very similar (knocking things over and looking behind). So it looks like fans of no combat and high combat will both get a bit of what they liked in Downpour.
At the end of the video we see Murphy in a fight with a Screamer. Unlike previous games Murphy does not have an unlimited inventory so you won’t have gobs of weapons to choose from for fight to fight. Instead, Murphy can pick up items around him to hurt and hinder creatures. I really like the bit of him throwing large rocks at the Screamer’s head! I also can’t wait to go WWE and break chairs on some monsters
So I saw a lot of good here in the walkthrough but there are still some things I’m iffy about. One is the on screen prompts, Devin mentioned how important imersion was in the game and I’m wondering if these prompts with fade away as you progress. I know they are useful to new players but really if players can’t remember how to open a door after an hour of gameplay they are doing something wrong. Also I’m not a fan of the screen going red when attacked but really I’m nitpicking at this point.
So what did you guys think?
Source (Silent Hill Facebook)
At the special VIP even Konami revealed that the upcoming Silent Hill: Book of Memories for Sony’s upcoming Vita will be the series’ multiplayer debut. Brandon Cox actually hinted this to me on Thursday at the pre E3 event (but I couldn’t post about it until this morning ) and I think it is pretty awesome I’m excited to see how this series will translate into a multiplayer experience.
Source (Rely on Horror)
UPDATE! I just received word from a silent hill producer Tomm Hulett that Mary will be directing the new Voiceovers for the HD collection!
What a way to start the morning Konami has uploaded their Downpour Assets from E3 which includes 10 new screenshots and a handy game information sheet with some interesting tidbits:
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
Developer: Vatra Studios
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: October 2011
Genre: Survival Horror
ESRB: RP (Mature expected)
Players: 1 player
Full Game Description:
Murphy Pendleton has been incarcerated for several years, having had his sentence extended once already. Due to his history at Ryall State Prison, he is being transferred to nearby Wayside Maximum Security Penitentiary—but a freak accident cuts the journey short. Waking up in a forest next to the wrecked bus, Murphy has a clear shot at freedom. He makes his way into the sleepy town of Silent Hill where mysterious locals welcome him into a slowly developing personal hell.
Silent Hill Downpour is the latest Silent Hill game offering the familiar Survival Horror gameplay delivered in the most defined visual quality to date. The game also expands on the exploration theme of the franchise both design-wise and through psychological torture, ambient story, horrific enemies and self-evaluative questions of despair.
Theme song by Korn? Well that’s unexpected… I’m interested to hear what they come up with! But, I think the biggest news here however is that not only will the game have an October release (yay!) is that the game will be in 3D! (Hey, just like the movie…) Makes me wish I had a 3D television but even still it’s cool that Silent Hill will be one of the first games to attempt to use this new technology.
We sit down and discuss the cornucopia of Silent Hill goodness revealed in Konami’s 1st Annual E3 Preshow! Exciting time to be a Silent Hill fan!