Silent Hill: Downpour


18 cert, Konami, PS3 ***

So here it is, countless games into the series, the characters of Silent Hill are still wandering around, lost, terrified and bludgeoning spooky things. The latest in this hugely influential franchise begins with a prison transfer, which leads to a bus crash and accidental emancipation for one of its prisoners, Murphy Pendelton. We soon find that he’s in Silent Hill, a foggy, mysterious part of rural America. He must find his way to safety, despite some very strange goings-on. With brutal violence and some great horror imagery, the makers create a waking nightmare. The gameplay is an involving, but sometimes frustrating mix of action, exploration and puzzle-solving. Some of the controls are a mite crude, and it doesn’t bring anything new to the series, but it’s undeniably atmospheric, with moments of real terror. Play it with the lights on.