The newest game in the Silent Hill series, developed by the Czech studio Vatra Games for the PS3, 360, and PC.
Downpour, being a Silent Hill game, is a survival-horror adventure in which the player explores detailed and abandoned environments, solving puzzles, fighting away monsters and facing psychological themes along the way. Players control Murphy Pendleton in a third-person perspective. As a horror title, Downpour will also feature several tense and scary moments, such as windows rattling by themselves or a flock of crows appearing out of nowhere.
Combat has returned to the series, which was purposely kept absent in the last installment to make the player feel less empowered. However, Murphy can only carry one firearm weapon and one melee weapon with him, which is more similar to that of a real-life situation. In addition to combat, Murphy's weapons will also gradually deteriorate and break, which was seen in Silent Hill 4's golf clubs and Origin's weapon system. Murphy's clothing will become bloodier, and he will limp to indicate his health. Downpour features a "decision making" system, in which the player has to make certain decisions which may deal with their morals. It can be assumed that the player's decisions will have an impact on how the game unfolds, and eventually, the ending the player receives. The decisions can be obvious, such as whether or not to save someone dangling off a cliff, or they can be very subtle. There are also optional side quests that the player can do to avoid linearity and to flesh out the plot.
The game also features a real time "weather" system, a first in the series. Every so often, Silent Hill will rain and this will alert the player that danger is approaching; the player can attempt to fight away the danger, or run away and hide in a nearby building. As well as the weather, the time of day will also change from day to night.
It is notable that the game has more of an emphasis on Silent Hill's natural world. For example, whereas Silent Hill 3 is set in heavy industrial settings such as shopping malls, subways, hospitals and amusement parks, Downpour explores Silent Hill's mountainous area, forests, and streams. Even the town itself is seen displaying more plants and vegetation, such as weeds sprouting out of sidewalks and shrubs hanging along fences in Silent Hill's suburban alleyways. However, this isn't to say that Silent Hill won't feature an industrial hell, which Murphy will explore from time to time.
The protagonist of the game is a convict, Murphy Pendleton. Murphy has been incarcerated for several years at Ryall State Corrections Facility for stealing a police cruiser. Seeking revenge for an unspecified incident, Murphy strikes a deal with George Sewell, a corrections officer at Ryall. Sewell secretly grants Murphy access to a sequestered inmate, Patrick Napier, in the shower room. After reminding Napier that they used to be neighbors, Murphy savagely beats and kills him. Sometime later, following a riot at Ryall, Murphy and a few other inmates are scheduled for transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Prison. They are accompanied on the transport bus by Anne Cunningham, a Wayside corrections officer who seems to hold particular disdain towards Murphy. The bus route passes just outside of eastern Silent Hill. Here, the road suddenly drops off into nothingness, and the driver pulls on the wheel. The bus breaks through the road barriers and rolls down a hill.
Murphy wakes up in the forest, sees the wrecked bus, and makes a run for it. Anne goes after him, but slips above a deep ravine, barely managing to hold on. Here, Murphy can choose to either leave her or try to save her. Either way, she falls into the chasm.
Murphy moves on to the outskirts of Silent Hill, and meets Howard Blackwood, a eerily calm mailman. During their brief cryptic conversation, Howard tells Murphy that the roads are all out and that the best way to leave this area is the nearby sky-tram. Murphy also glimpses a mysterious, wheelchair-bound creature in the window of a nearby house. Apparently not seeing the figure, Howard leaves to deliver his mail.
Somewhat confused, Murphy makes his way to the abandoned Devil's Pitstop diner. In the kitchen, Murphy finds a gas leak and tries to turn it off, but accidentally starts a fire. He activates the sprinklers and puts out the fire, but the diner transforms into a demonic, water-filled hell. Exploring this new environment, Murphy encounters the Void, which rapidly sucks in everything around it. Realizing he can't fight the entity, Murphy flees and eventually finds himself back in the normal diner.
Murphy comes into some houses and finds a fellow prisoner, Sanchez, attacking what seems to be a helpless woman. Murphy intervenes, but the "woman" turns out to be a Screamer, and kills Sanchez. Realizing he caused the man's death, Murphy attacks the monster and explores further, eventually finding a change of clothes and a police badge. The badge is decorated with a black mourning band, indicating that its owner is dead. After changing out of his prison attire, Murphy plays the arcade-puzzle Jail Break and gets a ticket for the sky-tram, which takes him to the Devil's Pit gorge in southeastern Silent Hill.
Murphy meets JP Sater, a depressed former tour guide for this area. JP tells Murphy of an old railcar train in the mines that can take him to the main town. In the caverns, Murphy finds a newspaper article and learns that JP accidentally killed eight children when his on-the-job drinking derailed the Devil's Pit train. Murphy soon finds a suicidal JP hanging over a lookout rail, and can choose to either console him or taunt him. Either way, JP jumps to his death. Murphy finds and powers up the railcar, but his ride through the mines turns into a hellish tour with monsters trying to kill him.
Murphy awakens near an exit, but runs into a bloodied Anne. While making the arrest, Anne finds the mourning badge and becomes shocked, apparently knowing who it belonged to. Enraged, she nearly shoots Murphy, but breaks down in tears and tells him to leave her alone.
Murphy wanders the town's main streets and encounters more monsters. When the rain picks up, he takes refuge in an abandoned building, where the radio picks up broadcasts from DJ Bobby Ricks. Some of these broadcasts are song requests specifically made out to Murphy; others are quiet pleas for help from anyone who's listening. When the rain dies down, Murphy begins searching for Ricks and runs into Howard, who somehow made it here before Murphy. Howard tells Murphy that the radio station is located at the Centennial Building, and walks off again into the fog.
At the Centennial Building, Murphy has a vision of Ryall Prison, where Sewell goes over the plan to kill Napier and ominously tells Murphy, "You owe me one."
Murphy finds Ricks, who initially behaves very casually but soon starts speaking in hushed tones, as if somebody or something is listening in. Ricks reveals that he's been operating this radio station for a very long time, waiting for help. Now that Murphy's here, they can try to escape the town via a boat that Ricks has docked at the marina, but they must first find the boat's keys, which were apparently stolen by an intruder. When Murphy suggests hot-wiring the boat, Ricks says it won't work, as this town has "rules" that must be followed. Before they can leave, Anne walks in, once again determined to arrest Murphy. However, as an apparent punishment for Ricks' breaking the "rules," Screamers attack the studio. Murphy is left all alone, and the building shifts to a prison-like Otherworld. Murphy flees the Void, sees the Wheelman again, and ends up falling down the exterior of the building's clock tower.
Waking up on a bench back in the "normal" world, Murphy again meets Howard, who gives him a letter requesting his presence at St. Maria's Monastery. Confused and frustrated, Murphy goes through the stormy town and arrives at the broken-down monastery, where a nun tells him, "You were the only family we were able to locate." She asks Murphy to look around the place, and to come to the building's morgue whenever he's ready.
Murphy enters the monastery and finds it in a very dilapidated state, and must take an alternate route to the morgue. On the way he encounters a small boy on the other side of a locked door. The boy refuses to unlock the door because he believes that Murphy is the Bogeyman, as he's been told by an unnamed crying woman behind a door (possibly Carol, Murphy's ex-wife). The only way Murphy can prove he isn't the Bogeyman is if he can recite a poem that the children of the monastery's orphanage recite in order to make the Bogeyman disappear. As he treks through the entire monastery gathering the pieces of the poem, flashbacks show that Murphy's son Charlie had drowned in a lake years before. In the present, Murphy returns to the door and tries to recite the poem but cannot remember it. As he struggles, the real Bogeyman shows up and attacks the boy, either choking him or snapping his neck (only the shadow of the event is shown on screen). He then drops the boy and puts his finger to the mouth of his mask, as if to tell Murphy "Shh."
The door unlocks and Murphy approaches the boy, now in the form of his son Charlie. He mourns, but is then interrupted by a young girl who accuses Murphy of killing the boy/Charlie. She runs and Murphy, scared that the Bogeyman will kill her too, runs after her. The monastery transforms into the Otherworld during the chase, forcing Murphy to dodge The Void and at one point even the Bogeyman himself. Eventually Murphy winds up in the morgue with the nun from earlier standing near a covered gurney. Murphy tells her that there has been a mistake, that he buried his son years before. The nun responds by telling him everyone grieves in their own way and removes the sheet covering the body, revealing the Bogeyman underneath. Angered, Murphy cries that that isn't his son, it's a murderer. As the nun comments about the trait running in the family, Murphy notices a key with a silver keychain around the Bogeyman's neck, matching the description of Ricks' missing boat keys. He grabs the keys and the Bogeyman awakens, grabbing Murphy's arm. They are then transported to a wooded area just outside a lakeshore. They attack each other, and eventually Murphy wins. He finds himself back in the morgue with the nun, the Bogeyman dead on the gurney with his mask removed; his face repeatedly switches between that of Napier and Sewell.
Now that Murphy has the boat keys, he makes his way through the sewers and up to the town, heading for the marina. Once he reaches it, he starts the boat and heads away from Silent Hill. Anne comes up behind him while the boat is in the middle of the lake, a gun to his back, and orders him to turn the boat back around and return to Silent Hill. She tells him that the town showed her things, that it knows her, and that they can't leave until they complete their unfinished business. Murphy refuses to return, and tells her "You may as well shoot me." Anne obliges.
A flashback shows a meeting between Sewell and Murphy. Sewell reminds Murphy that he set up the meeting between him and Napier, the man who killed Charlie, and looked the other way; the least Murphy could do is return the favor. Sewell tells Murphy that his job is to kill an unnamed person who "deserves it." He then explains that there will be a riot at the prison that evening, allowing Murphy to slip away to the showers, where the person will be.
Murphy wakes up in a prison cell in Overlook Penitentiary, with The Wheelman sitting right outside the bars watching him. After a few seconds he wheels off and the doors open, letting Murphy explore the prison. He finds a note addressed to him, telling him to meet someone in the showers. Going through the prison and fighting enemies, Murphy eventually makes his way to the showers. Inside are four crime scene markers, indicating a pool of blood, a prison shank, a mourning police badge, and a bag of crime scene evidence. After examining all four, a voice calls out behind him followed by the glow of a flashlight. Murphy approaches the light which shuts off as soon as he nears it, and blood begins to seep underneath the doors. Opening them, Murphy finds another shower section with a bagged body laying in the center of the floor.
As Murphy approaches the body, the world around him transitions to the Otherworld. Murphy runs through it, avoiding enemies and the Void yet again, and eventually comes to two large doors with the Scales of Justice bordering it. Murphy places the prison shank, the bag of crime scene evidence, and the mourning badge on one side and the doors open. Inside, surrounded by platforms and prison cells, is a larger version of the Wheelman who had been haunting Murphy throughout the game. Murphy must run around the room and pull out the monster's life support, eventually killing it.
After the Wheelman is dead, Murphy finds himself back in the showers with the smaller version of the monster's body laying dead at his feet. Anne enters, horrified at what Murphy has done. Confused, Murphy looks down and finds in place of the Wheelman's body the body of Frank Coleridge, a friendly police officer from Ryall who had continuously warned Murphy about socializing with Sewell. Through a few flashbacks, it is revealed that when Murphy made his way to the showers that night of the prison riot, a prison shank hidden behind his back, Coleridge was waiting for him. Coleridge tells Murphy that Sewell was supposed to meet him there, then notices that Murphy is hiding something behind his back. Sewell comes in and eggs Murphy on, trying to convince him to finish the job and uphold his end of the bargain, while Coleridge attempts to talk Murphy into dropping the weapon. Eventually it is shown that Murphy refuses to kill Coleridge. Instead, Sewell savagely beats Coleridge and stabs him in the shoulder with the knife. He calls over the radio for backup, and points out that Murphy's prints were on the knife, not his own (as Sewell wears gloves). He has framed Murphy for the crime.
In the present, Anne reveals that Coleridge was her father. She tells Murphy that he was a good man and she idolized him, even becoming a cop like he had. But then after he was beaten so badly he was put in a vegetative state, in a wheelchair and on life support until the day he died. She tells Murphy that every time she looked at her father in that state, she only saw a monster: Murphy. Murphy then transforms into the Bogeyman, from Anne's perspective, as she describes that she had strings pulled in order to get Murphy transferred to the prison where she worked, likely as a way to be close to him and kill him as revenge. Anne begins to shoot Murphy, who chases after her in his Bogeyman state. Depending on whether the player survives this encounter or not, along with the moral choices they had to make throughout the game, the ending will vary.The game has 6 possible endings, but only 5 are available in the first playtrough. The ending obtained depends on 3 factors. One is the "moral score", increased or decreased depending on the moral choices made during gameplay, and how many monsters the player has killed. The second factor is the decision regarding Anne's fate at the game's finale. The third one consist of the player surviving the finale, since dying only rewards with the "Reversal" ending. After the game's completion, a new sidequest is added, and finishing it rewards the player with the secret ending.