E3: Silent Hill: Downpour 3D Demo

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ComingSoon.net just hit the floor of E3 in Los Angeles today where we got a chance to check out the newest offering in the Silent Hill series, Silent Hill: Downpour. We were able to check out a short demo on the floor and we’ll let you know all about the horror…and the 3D.

The game features a brand new protagonist named Murphy. He’s a prisoner on a bus full on inmates that crashes in a storm. (Nice moodiness in this game, as always.) Murphy survives and makes his way to the town of Silent Hill. In the demo, we got to explore a bit of the environment, including a gas station, a tram stop and the Pit Stop diner. We fought in a kitchen, moved paintings and put out a fire with a torrent of water, only to enter Otherworld where the walls are gooey, the light changes and demons descend from above.

Basically, it’s all the fantastic scariness and dark, brooding creepy ambience you’d expect from the series. The difference this time? We got to play the 3D version. In case you didn’t know, it’s not a separate version of the game. We put on the glasses, and…

It both helps and hinders the game. The same argument can be made for 3D films, but that’s an argument for another time. Playing this next to someone playing the 2D version made the difference in graphics stand out dramatically. The 2D version looked pretty darn stunning with crisp, well rendered images. Dare we say, almost cinematic? Next to that, the 3D version looked messy. Slightly fuzzy, without the sharp contrast and the images didn’t really gel. Remember using those old blue and red 3D glasses? You could never get the images to blend properly? It was a little nauseating. And, of course, you have to play with glasses on, so extended game play might depend on your tolerance.

What it did really, really well was add to the ambiance. When the hallway starts to stretch and red lights come at you, it was incredibly immersive and totally terrifying. I think the thing that might really sell 3D to gamers are the horror titles. It just sucks you in and I will admit to jumping a few times. Don’t tell anyone. The game doesn’t come out until October, and they gave a firm maybe on that, so there is still time to tighten up the graphics. Also, the E3 floor isn’t exactly free of other lighting issues, so we’ll reserve judgment until release. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage!