Silent Hill: Downpour was the last main game in the series (although there is a hotly anticipated new entry in the series coming soon), and it wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed. Sure, it had its fans, but not many people loved it. Personally, I thought it was fantastic and easily one of the strongest American made versions of the game (Shattered Memories is my personal favorite of them and favorite game in the franchise). Now, the game’s writer, Tom Waltz, is coming back and creating a special mini-series that focuses on one of the game’s characters, Anne, during her time in the city. Let’s see how it turned out. Is it good?
Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story #1 (IDW Publishing)
After a terrible bus accident and falling down a cliff, corrections officer Anne Marie Cunningham finds herself in a terrible place. She’s at the bottom of a cliff and has no idea where to go. All she knows is that she needs to find Murphy Pendleton, one of the escaped inmates from the bus crash. She’ll follow his trail straight into Silent Hill…
Don’t let go!? You are making me want to let go quicker, you creep!
Have you played Silent Hill: Downpour before this? If not, you’re gonna wanna stay clear of this book. This isn’t like Silent Hill: Past Life or Sinner’s Reward where you only need a tiny bit of knowledge about Silent Hill (or even none at all). No, you need to have played the game from beginning to end to understand what is happening. This is Anne’s story, the woman who is constantly hounding you throughout the game. You need to know the full story to fully understand what is happening in here.
On the flip side though, if you have played the game, this is a great addition to Downpour. It adds extra backstory for Anne, the characters that are encountered in the game, and even wraps up a few loose ends and plot holes (mostly minor stuff) that were encountered in the game. Now, how this particular story will end is anyone’s guess (there were at least five endings in the game), but in the meantime, I do believe fans of the game will find this to be very intriguing.
Poor bastard. Never did learn how to properly clip his nails.
But besides the story, how was the writing? Well, this is where it gets a bit tricky. The storytelling and pacing are odd. The story and Anne herself just seem to wander into things, being led along by very loose plot threads and at times, often rushes to plot points (or even completely through them). Now, the storytelling in the Silent Hill games do tend to be like this at times (you just kind of wander into plot points or have a very vague direction for the characters to go towards), so in a way, this kind of writing is very accurate. On the other hand, people may not like that (it got hard for me to follow at points) and want a stronger narrative. Besides those parts, the characterization is pretty strong and the dialogue and narration are good. You have to take the good with the bad here.
The artwork by Tristen Jones really does look great. It’s probably some of the best artwork we’ve had in a Silent Hill comic yet. It does a great job of capturing the mood and tone, depicting eerie fog. It also really makes the monsters look creepy and terrifying. The characters don’t look too bad either and the coloring is excellent. The only weak part of this comic is the layouts, since it can be hard to follow at points. All in all, I’m curious to see what this artist can do next.
Is It Good?
Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story #1 is a great comic for fans of the game who want a little bit more. It does a great job adding to the experience, filling in backstory and having some terrific art. However, if you are not a fan of this game or have not played, you should stay clear. It’s definitely not for you guys and girls.
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