The Xbox 360 version is available as a digital download while the PlayStation 3 version is not. The Xbox 360 version is compatible with the Xbox One. In this case, the game is not run directly from the disc. A ported form of the game is downloaded automatically when the disc is inserted (if the game is installed using physical media, the disc is still required for validation purposes). This version of the game can also be installed digitally.
Downpour is the first Silent Hill game to be in 3D with a 3D compatible television.
Downpour has a stand-alone story set in a previously unexplored south-eastern region of Silent Hill.
The comic Anne's Story features another perspective of the plot. It is recommended to read it after playing Downpour.
- Note: Downpour is not set before 2004.
Murphy Pendleton, a convicted prisoner, has been incarcerated at Ryall State Prison after stealing a police cruiser. Seeking revenge for the murder of his son, Murphy strikes a deal with George Sewell, a corrections officer at Ryall, to secretly grant him access to a sequestered inmate, Patrick Napier, in the prison shower room. After reminding a confused Napier that they used to be neighbors, Murphy savagely beats him. The scene cuts to black before Murphy lands the finishing blow.
Sometime later, following a riot at Ryall, Murphy and a few other inmates are scheduled for transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Penitentiary. Anne Marie Cunningham, a Wayside corrections officer who appears to have a particular interest in Murphy, accompanies them on the transport bus. The bus route passes just outside of eastern Silent Hill. Here, the road suddenly drops off into nothingness, forcing the driver to pull on the wheel, which sends the bus hurtling through the road barriers and down a hill. Murphy regains consciousness in a forest next to the wrecked bus and decides to make a run for it. Anne finds him in the wilderness and attempts to apprehend him, but slips into a deep ravine, barely managing to hold on. Here, Murphy can choose to either leave her or assist her. Despite the player's choice, she falls into the chasm.
Murphy continues on, winding up on the outskirts of Silent Hill, where he meets Howard Blackwood, an eerily calm but kind mailman. During their brief, cryptic conversation, Howard tells Murphy that the roads are all out and that the best way to leave town is via the nearby sky-tram. Suddenly, Murphy glimpses a mysterious, wheelchair-bound creature in the window of a nearby house. Apparently not seeing the figure, Howard excuses himself to deliver the rest of his mail.
Somewhat confused, Murphy makes his way to the abandoned Devil's Pitstop diner. In the kitchen, Murphy discovers a gas leak and tries to turn it off, but accidentally starts a fire in the process. He activates the sprinklers to put out the fire, but as the sprinklers fill the room with water, the diner transforms into a 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 version of the diner.
Murphy surveys the area surrounding the diner and enters an abandoned house, finding another escaped prisoner, Sanchez, attacking what seems to be a helpless woman. Murphy intervenes, but the "woman" turns out to be a Screamer, which immediately kills Sanchez by slashing his throat. Murphy attacks the monster and defeats it. Although a little shaken, he cautiously 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.
There, Murphy meets John P. "JP" Sater, a depressed former tour guide for the Devil's Pit's various attractions and tours. JP tells Murphy of an old railcar train in the mines that can take him into the main town. In the caverns, Murphy discovers a newspaper article detailing a train accident in the Devil's Pit that resulted in the deaths of eight children, implicating JP's on-the-job drinking as the cause. Soon after, Murphy finds a suicidal JP hanging over a lookout rail, and the player is given the choice to either console him or taunt him. Again, despite the player's decision, JP jumps to his death. Murphy finds and powers up the railcar, but his ride through the mines turns into a hellish tour populated by monsters that try to kill him. The train derails, and Murphy loses consciousness.
Murphy awakens near an exit and runs into a bloodied Anne, whose only concern appears to be apprehending him. Despite Murphy's pleas to cooperate, Anne remains resolute. While making the arrest, Anne inspects his person and finds the mourning band with its attached police badge. She quickly becomes distraught, apparently having known its previous owner. In a fit of rage, she nearly shoots Murphy, claiming that people like him do not deserve to live, but cannot bring herself to do it and collapses into tears instead. Anne tells him to leave her alone, to which Murphy reluctantly agrees.
Murphy wanders Silent Hill's main streets and encounters more of the town's creatures. When it begins raining, he takes refuge in the abandoned Hillside apartment building, where a nearby radio picks up broadcasts from DJ Bobby Ricks. Some of the 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 Blackwood. He tells Murphy that the radio station is located in the Centennial Building, before walking off again into the fog.
Murphy locates the building and finds his parole papers attached to the entrance, which causes a flashback of Ryall Prison. Murphy and Sewell appear to be having a private conversation regarding their deal to murder Patrick Napier, the sequestered inmate from the opening scene. Officer Frank Coleridge, spots the two talking and calls Murphy over to hand him his files. Coleridge asks Murphy about the nature of his conversation with Sewell, but he dodges the question. Coleridge warns Murphy to use caution when dealing with Officer Sewell, as his deals tend to not work out so well for the other participants. It becomes clear that Coleridge has made a substantial effort to help Murphy receive an early release from Ryall because he believes that Murphy is a genuinely good person. Coleridge also says that he is confused as to why a smart man like Murphy would do something as reckless as stealing a police car for no reason. The flashback ends, and Murphy continues his search for DJ Ricks inside the building.
While ascending the floors of the Centennial Building, Murphy has another vision of Ryall Prison. In this vision, Murphy appears to be having a conversation with Officer Sewell in his office, having decided to go through with the plan to kill Patrick Napier. During their exchange, Sewell reviews the details of their agreement and ominously tells Murphy, "You owe me one." Sewell also implies that Murphy stole the police cruiser and got himself arrested on purpose in order to confront Patrick Napier in prison, but his reason why isn't divulged. Murphy leaves the room, and the vision dissipates.
Murphy finds Ricks, who initially behaves in an unusually casual manner, but soon begins speaking in hushed tones, as if somebody or something is listening in. Ricks reveals that he has been operating the radio station for a very long time, waiting for help. He tells Murphy of a boat docked at the marina, that they can both use to escape the town, but goes on to say that they must first find the boat's keys, which were apparently stolen by an intruder. When Murphy suggests hot-wiring the boat, Ricks says that it won't work, as the town has "rules" that must be adhered to. Before they can leave, Anne shows up, once again determined to arrest Murphy. However, as an apparent punishment for Ricks breaking the "rules," Screamers ambush the studio and kidnap both him and Anne. Murphy is left all alone, as the building shifts to a prison-like Otherworld. Murphy flees the Void, encounters the Wheelman again, and ends up falling off the exterior of the building's clock tower.
Waking up on a bench back in the "fog" world, Murphy once again meets Howard, who hands him a letter requesting his presence at St. Maria's Monastery. Confused and frustrated, Murphy refuses to accept the letter, but Howard explains that it isn't about what he wants (suggesting that Howard knows more about the mysterious town than he initially let on). Given no other choice, Murphy accepts the letter and continues on. He passes through the stormy town and arrives at the broken-down monastery, where a nun cryptically 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 finds the monastery in a dilapidated state and must take an alternate route to the morgue. On the way, he encounters a small boy through the window 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 girl. The only way Murphy can prove he isn't the Bogeyman is by memorizing a poem that the children of the monastery's orphanage recite to make the Bogeyman disappear. As he treks through the monastery to gather the pieces of the poem, flashbacks reveal that Murphy's son Charlie was drowned in a lake a few years prior, which explains the recurrent motif of water in Murphy's Otherworld. At this point, it has also become clear that Patrick Napier was the one responsible for his son's death -- which ultimately spawned Murphy's strong feelings of disdain for child molesters and murderers. In the present, Murphy returns to the locked door where he originally met the young boy. The real Bogeyman appears in the room and slowly approaches the boy. Murphy desperately struggles to recite the poem, but the Bogeyman kills the boy before he can complete it. The Bogeyman then drops the boy and places a finger to the mouth of his mask, shushing Murphy, as he concludes the poem. The door unlocks and Murphy approaches the child's body, now in the form of his son Charlie. He mourns his death but is interrupted by a young girl who accuses him of killing the boy/Charlie. She runs, and Murphy gives chase, scared that the Bogeyman will get her too. 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 the entrance standing next to a covered gurney. Murphy tells her that there has been a mistake and that he buried his son years before. The nun replies that everyone grieves in their own way, and removes the sheet from the gurney, revealing a "dead" Bogeyman underneath. Angered, Murphy cries that the monster isn't his son; it's a murderer. But the nun insists that Murphy accept him as his own, calmly informing him of the perils of revenge and the path that Murphy has set himself upon by pursuing it. Murphy admits that what he did to Patrick Napier did not solve anything, but still attempts to rationalize his behavior. She simply says that the answers are right in front of him if he chooses to look. Murphy notices a key with a silver keychain labeled "freedom" around the Bogeyman's neck, matching the description of Ricks' missing boat keys. The nun tells him that they are his if he wants them, but only if he accepts the Bogeyman as his own. Murphy takes the keys, but the Bogeyman springs to life and attacks Murphy.
They are both transported to a forest area by a lakeshore, where they engage in battle. Murphy gains the upper hand and defeats the Bogeyman with its own hammer. He then finds himself back in the morgue with the Bogeyman dead and unmasked on the gurney, its face alternating between that of Murphy's and Napier's. Charlie appears and congratulates his father on defeating the Bogeyman. Having accepted that his past actions did nothing to assuage his guilt, Murphy tells his son that it doesn't matter and that it won't bring him back, to which Charlie comforts him by saying that it isn't his fault. In a moment of clarity, Murphy apologizes to Napier (now in the form of the Bogeyman) and closes his eyelids. This causes the image to dissolve, leaving only the keys behind. Murphy runs his hand over the engraved word "freedom," before leaving the morgue.
Now with the boat keys, Murphy makes his way out of the monastery through the sewers and arrives at the marina. He starts Ricks' boat and departs from Silent Hill, but Anne soon appears behind him holding a gun to his head, ordering him to turn the boat around and return to Silent Hill. She tells him that the town showed her things, that it knows her, and that the town won't release either of them until they settle their unfinished business. Murphy refuses to return, and tells her, "You may as well shoot me." Anne complies and pulls the trigger.
A flashback shows a meeting between Officer Sewell and Murphy back at the prison, sometime after Murphy's confrontation with Napier. Sewell reminds Murphy that he set up the meeting between him and Napier and looked the other way; and that it is now time for Murphy to return the favor. Sewell tells Murphy that his job is to kill an unnamed individual, assumed to be an inmate, who Sewell claims "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 he will find this person.
Murphy wakes up inside 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, allowing Murphy to explore the prison. He finds a note addressed to him, telling him to meet someone in the showers. Progressing 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, the mourning police badge, and a bag of crime scene evidence. After examining all four, a voice calls out from 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 seeping underneath the doors. Opening them, Murphy finds another shower section with a bagged body lying in the center of the floor.
As Murphy approaches the body, the world around him transitions to the Otherworld. Murphy races through it while avoiding enemies and the Void yet again. He eventually reaches a large door with two giant Scales of Justice hanging before it. Murphy places the prison shank, the bag of crime scene evidence, and the mourning badge on one scale and the doors open. Inside, surrounded by platforms and prison cells, is a much larger version of the Wheelman who has been haunting Murphy throughout the game. The monster quickly becomes hostile and Murphy must run around the room, pulling out the monster's giant life support tubes to defeat it.
After the Wheelman is defeated, Murphy finds himself back in the showers with the feeble version of the monster's body lying dead at his feet. Anne enters and is horrified at what Murphy has done. Confused, Murphy looks down and finds in place of the Wheelman's body, the body of Frank Coleridge, the friendly police officer from Ryall who had persistently warned Murphy about socializing with Sewell. A flashback reveals that when Murphy made his way into the showers the night of the prison riot, armed with a prison shank hidden behind his back, Frank Coleridge was the one waiting for him. Coleridge tells a visibly distraught Murphy that Sewell was supposed to meet him there, before noticing that Murphy is concealing something behind his back. Unknown to Murphy at this time, Officer Coleridge had agreed to submit testimony for an internal investigation of Officer Sewell, bearing witness to the illegal activities and transgressions Sewell had been conducting at Ryall, which would undoubtedly result in his arrest and subsequent incarceration. At this point, Sewell enters the room and tries to convince Murphy to kill Coleridge and uphold his end of the bargain, while Coleridge attempts to talk Murphy into dropping his weapon.
In the present, Anne reveals that Coleridge was her father. She tells Murphy that he was a good man and that she idolized him, even following in his footsteps to become a cop. After Frank Coleridge was attacked the night of the riot, he fell into a vegetative state; having to rely on a wheelchair and life support until the day he died. Anne is unaware of Sewell's involvement in her father's beating, so she tells Murphy that every time she looked at her father in his deteriorating physical state, she saw a monster: Murphy. Murphy then transforms into the Bogeyman before her as she describes how she had to pull strings, call in favors, and do "sick things" in order to have Murphy transferred to the prison where she worked, presumably so that she could kill him herself. After finishing her speech, Anne shoots Murphy, who then pursues her in his Bogeyman state.
Depending on whether the player survives this encounter or not, along with the moral choices they have made throughout the game and whether or not they decide to kill Anne or spare her, the conclusion of the battle and Murphy's fate varies.
The game has 6 possible endings, but only 5 are available on the first playthrough. The ending obtained depends on 3 factors.
- The first factor is the "moral score", increased or decreased depending on the moral choices made during gameplay (did Murphy attempt to save Anne on the cliff, and did he pressure JP to suicide or try to talk him out of it?), and how many monsters the player has killed. A positive score can be obtained when Murphy makes positive moral choices, and by sparing the lives of monsters. A negative score is accumulated when Murphy makes poor moral choices, and when he kills monsters, rather than incapacitating or ignoring them.
- The second factor is the decision regarding Anne's fate in the game's finale.
- The third consists of the player surviving the finale, since dying only rewards the player with the Reversal ending.
After the game's completion, a new sidequest is added, "Digging Up the Past", and completing this sidequest rewards the player with the Surprise ending. Though this ending serves the same purpose being a "joke ending", Downpour does not have a UFO Ending.
- Forgiveness (Ending A): Bogeyman Murphy disarms Anne and raises his hammer above her head in an attack stance. After the player decides to spare her, Bogeyman Murphy drops the hammer at her feet and walks away. A flashback to the night of the riot at Ryall Penitentiary reveals that Murphy refused to kill Officer Frank Coleridge. Sewell responds by incapacitating Murphy and severely beating Coleridge while taunting Murphy for his inability to finish off Patrick Napier, explaining how he was forced to murder Napier for him. Sewell then stabs Frank Coleridge with the prison shank and radios for backup, with the intent of framing Murphy for the crime. In the present, Murphy reverts back to his human form and Anne approaches him. Murphy apologizes, claiming that it was his fault that Frank was murdered and, after realizing that Murphy is innocent, Anne forgives him. The two embrace, and reappear at a serene lakeshore, back in the real world. The police contact Anne via radio and ask her for her location and whether or not she knows the whereabouts of Murphy Pendleton. Anne lies for Murphy and tells them that he died in the accident. Murphy asks if she is going to be okay, but Anne tells Murphy that he'd "better go" before the police arrive. Murphy departs, and the scene ends with Anne looking out over the lake at the clear skies after the storm. This is achieved by sparing Anne with a positive score.
- Truth and Justice (Ending B): Bogeyman Murphy disarms Anne and raises his hammer above her head in an attack stance. After the player decides to spare her, Bogeyman Murphy drops the hammer at her feet and walks away. A flashback to the night of the riot at Ryall Penitentiary reveals that Murphy refused to kill Officer Frank Coleridge. Sewell responds by incapacitating Murphy and severely beating Coleridge while taunting Murphy for his inability to finish off Patrick Napier, explaining how he was forced to murder Napier for him. Sewell then stabs Frank Coleridge with the prison shank and radios for backup, with the intent of framing Murphy for the crime. In the present, Murphy reverts back to his human form and Anne approaches him. Murphy apologizes, claiming that it was his fault that Frank was murdered and, after realizing that Murphy is innocent, Anne forgives him. The two embrace and reappear next to the crashed bus, back in the real world. The sky is still cloudy and raining. Murphy tells Anne that he should leave before the police arrive on the scene, stating that he has somewhere to be. Anne thanks Murphy for telling the truth before he departs, wading into the waters of Toluca Lake. Later on, back at Ryall Penitentiary, Anne, having figured out that Sewell was the individual truly responsible for her father's death, confronts him in his office so that the two can "talk". She appears to be holding a loaded gun behind her back, as the scene fades out. This is achieved by sparing Anne with a negative score.
- The epilogue of Anne's Story confirmed that this is the canon ending.
- According to Tomm Hulett, Sewell stating that Murphy couldn't kill Napier was a script error, and that in this ending, Murphy was supposed to have followed through with the murder of Napier. However, this is contradicted in the fourth issue of Anne's Story, which was written by Tom Waltz. This is likely an artistic change done in order to prevent Murphy from being a canonical murderer.
- Full Circle (Ending C): Bogeyman Murphy disarms Anne and raises his hammer above her head in an attack stance. After the player decides to execute her, he crushes her head with his hammer, instantaneously killing her. A flashback to the night of the riot at Ryall Penitentiary reveals that Murphy accepted Officer Sewell's deal and murdered Frank Coleridge after all. In the present, Murphy, with a prison shank in hand, looks down at a now dead Anne Cunningham lying next to her deceased father on the floor of the washroom. Murphy repeatedly screams "No!" and grabs Anne's gun from beside her body, places it to his head and pulls the trigger. Murphy wakes up inside the prison cell in Overlook Penitentiary, with the Wheelman sitting right outside the bars watching him, just like before. The voices of the people Murphy has met in Silent Hill ring in his head. Once again, the Wheelman wheels off, but this time Murphy begs it to stop. The cell doors open just like the last time. Murphy stands before the open gate, having accepted that he now shares his fate with the others he has encountered in Silent Hill, stuck in limbo within the town's boundaries (see Full Circle). This is achieved by killing Anne with a positive score.
- Execution (Ending D): Bogeyman Murphy disarms Anne and raises his hammer above her head in an attack stance. After the player decides to execute her, he crushes her head with his hammer, instantaneously killing her. The scene cuts to the day of Murphy's execution in prison for the murder of his son, Charlie, in retaliation for Murphy's wife seeking sole custody of him following their divorce. After being convicted of murdering Officer Frank Coleridge, his execution sentence was expedited. Sewell appears, handling Murphy's paperwork and supervising the execution. Sewell asks Murphy if he has any last words, to which he responds "I'll see you in hell... Cupcake." Murphy is given a lethal injection, and his heart-rate flatlines as he loses consciousness on the table. This is achieved by killing Anne with a negative score.
- Reversal: Anne shoots and kills Bogeyman Murphy. She then wakes up in a cell within Ryall State Penitentiary. This ending appears to be a recreation of the intro scene, but this time, Anne takes the place of Murphy (prison attire included), and Murphy takes the place of Sewell. Anne seems disoriented and confused, and Murphy, as Sewell, tells her that he is sorry to see her go, before authorizing her transfer. This is achieved by dying in the final confrontation with Anne.
- Surprise! (Ending E): No matter how the final confrontation between Murphy and Anne ends, the scene cuts to Murphy digging a tunnel out of prison with a spoon. He tunnels his way into a dimly-lit room. After a moment, the lights flicker on and the cast from Silent Hill: Downpour, as well as a few major characters (and two monster nurses) from previous Silent Hill entries, yell "Surprise!" and confetti falls from the ceiling. Murphy laughs and affectionately says, "Aww, you guys...!". Pyramid Head then slowly approaches a table in front of Murphy with a large birthday cake on it in, and slices it (and the table) with his Great Knife. Murphy smiles heartily. This is achieved by completing the Digging Up the Past sidequest and finishing the game on a second play-through.
As a Silent Hill installment, Downpour 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.
Combat has returned to the series, which was purposely kept absent in the previous installment, Shattered Memories, to make the player feel less empowered. However, Murphy can carry one firearm and melee or two firearms and no melee 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 the golf clubs in Silent Hill 4: The Room and the weapon system in Silent Hill: Origins. If injured, Murphy's clothing will become bloodier and he will limp to indicate his health. Health can also be checked with the status screen, where it will be displayed as a percentage.
Similar to Homecoming, Downpour features a "decision-making" system during certain cutscenes, in which the player has to make certain decisions which deal with their morals. The player's decisions affect Murphy's morality and ultimately the ending, although these decisions can be counterbalanced by choosing to leave or execute downed enemies. There are also 14 optional sidequests that the player can do to avoid linearity and obtain rewards.
The game also features a rain system, a first in the series. Silent Hill will occasionally 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.
Separate puzzle difficulties, which were absent in Origins, Homecoming and Shattered Memories, have returned.
- Main article: Silent Hill: Downpour Original Soundtrack
Due to Akira Yamaoka's departure from Konami, Daniel Licht composed the soundtrack for the game instead. The theme song, titled simply "Silent Hill", is performed by American nu metal band Korn. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn provided backing vocals for two songs: Bus to Nowhere and Intro Perp Walk.
Downpour also has some licensed music (3 play consecutively in the credits, 1 plays in the Surprise ending, 11 play on the radio):
- Jonathan Davis (Korn) - Silent Hill (Credits 1)
- Jonathan Singleton & The Grove - I'm Afraid of Storms (Credits 2)
- Louis Armstrong - Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (Credits 3)
- Ed Harcourt - Here Be Monsters (Surprise ending)
- Ed Harcourt - From Every Sphere (Radio)
- Daniel Licht - Heaven Won't Hold It Against You (Radio)
- The Coals - I Wanted A Lover, I Needed A Friend (Radio)
- James Vincent McMorrow - If I Had A Boat (Radio)
- Louis Armstrong - Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (Radio)
- Anna Ternheim - Off the Road (Radio)
- Highwaymen - Silver Stallion (Radio)
- Stephen Yerkey - Where Cash Is King (Radio)
- Kris Kristofferson - Why Me Lord (Radio)
- Doves - Willow's Song (Bury Version) (Radio)
- Anna Ternheim - Words of Love (Radio)
Reviews from critics have been mixed. Metacritic gave a rating of 68 and 64 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions respectively. It has been the least-well received game in the series from a critic's standpoint. However, much of the criticism in reviews of the game were done pre-patch - the patch fixed many technical issues.
The 360 has been given slightly higher scores than the PS3 version because it has a slightly better framerate, less stuttering, more vibrant colors, and 5.1 sound (the PS3 version only has stereo).
Destructoid gave it an 8/10 for both versions. GameSpot gave it a 7.5/10, saying, "From side quests to sound design, Silent Hill: Downpour isn't afraid of change. The result is a captivating game more expansive than the series has ever seen."
IGN immediately gave it a 4.5/10, citing poor graphics, technical issues, and dull gameplay and exploration. However, IGN seemed to review the PlayStation 3 version, not the Xbox 360 version, and the review was done pre-patch. Their YouTube video review of the game received 75% dislikes.
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation, known for his dislike of western Silent Hill titles, called Downpour his "favorite western-developed Silent Hill thus far", though only in comparison with previous ones. He noted improvements in the combat, praising its avoidability, and the exploration as a step in the right direction, but criticized the generic and lackluster monster designs, lack of horror and the fact that Murphy's crimes change depending on the ending.
Downpour was also criticized for lacking a New Game Plus mode. While previous installments had "Next Fear" and "Extra New Game", side quest data does not carry over, meaning if the player has beaten the game and wants to do side quests, they must start the game from the very beginning.
After Downpour was released, Vatra Games went bankrupt and closed.
A patch for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions was released a few months after release to help increase stability. The patch was reported to:
- Improve the frame rate
- Fix the save game system (which struggled to auto save)
- Fix bugs in the Homeless side quest
- Implement several other performance enhancements and bug fixes
Overall the patch addressed many issues that people had with the game and made it much more playable on both consoles.
- During development, Vatra Games held a contest where three statues created by fans would be modeled into the game's Monroe Cemetery.
- Water and wetness are a common theme throughout Downpour because of several events relating to Murphy's past. While outside, it rains at random, spawning more and more enemies with increasing aggression, encouraging players to hide indoors. There are many obstructed areas flooded in water, water-based puzzles, and water based Otherworld settings.
- Oddly, every single door in Downpour is double-hinged.
- Devin Shatsky cited many influences and inspirations for the game including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jacob's Ladder, Suspiria, The Walking Dead, Rubber Johnny, The Shawshank Redemption, The Fugitive and The Call of Cthulhu. 
- Downpour is the first game in the series in which every weapon is throwable (except for guns). They (aside from firearms) are also degradable, as in Silent Hill: Origins.
- Puzzle difficulty modes return alongside combat difficulty. Puzzle difficulty also affects the vagueness of the objectives in Murphy's Diary and the locations of many items.
- The player can change their clothing at several points throughout the game. There are 4 total outfits. Two are prison jumpsuits, one which the player starts the game with and one during the last act in Overlook Penitentiary. The standard outfit (found at Devil's Pitstop) is mandatory to progress through the story; however, there is a hidden Thief outfit available after completing the optional Stolen Goods sidequest.
- Weapon-specific paths return from Silent Hill: Homecoming. For example, wrenches and crowbars are used to break locks, and fire axes and hatchets are used to hack through boarded-up doors.
- The map is larger than that in any Silent Hill game to date. Exploring all of it is said to take up to eight hours, however, Silent Hill’s subway can be used to travel around town via the service tunnels upon completing the Homeless sidequest.
- Unlike previous Silent Hill games, all of the Otherworld environment's layouts in Downpour are completely independent of their locations, rather than being warped rehashes of areas prior explored. However, they retain the overall themes of the areas, such as clocks and moving hands in the Centennial Building Otherworld.
- The one-weapon rule is similar to the Silent Hill 4: The Room one-weapon mode.
- Gameplay of a boss fight with Monocle Man was shown in a Downpour trailer unintended for release. He only appears briefly in the finished game in the Devil's Pit rail car ride. So far, this fight's reasons for removal have remained unknown.
- According to Tomm Hulett, Downpour was originally intended to be a co-op game with Anne being the second player; however, this idea was scrapped due to time constraints.
- Downpour is the first Silent Hill game where another language apart from English (or Japanese) is spoken. Sanchez and other Hispanic inmates speak Spanish in cutscenes. However, there has been writing in other languages in previous titles.
- Downpour is the only Silent Hill in which there is no hospital; however, the layout of the St. Maria's Monastery resembles one of the hospitals from a previous game.
- There are some rocking chairs scattered through Downpour, and their meaning is yet to be confirmed by the developers. It's possible that they share the same meaning as an empty rocking chair in a dream, which is of grief and estrangement. Murphy shares these feelings as he's still grieving his son's death, and purposely gets himself arrested, distancing himself from society and his wife in the process. These same feelings are shown by Carol, who is feeling grief as well, and feels the weight of the separation from her husband (as shown in one of the endings).
- Downpour contains numerous "Easter eggs" from previous Silent Hill titles.
- Travis Grady's truck from the Origins intro appears on Ketchum Street.
- A house on Lansdale Avenue bears a striking resemblance to Room 302 from Silent Hill 4: The Room (one must use a fire escape ladder to access it).
- A jukebox at the Devil's Pitstop diner will play the original Silent Hill theme song when money is deposited into it. DJ Ricks also plays this song when he and Murphy meet.
- A radio in front of the Interstate Gas Station plays Magdalene on a loop.
- A painting inside of the Centennial Building depicts the Shepherd House.
- Another painting inside of the Centennial Building depicts Incubus, calling him "Samael".
- Seven Trinkets from previous Silent Hill games appear in the Digging Up the Past Sidequest such as Heather's Radio, Aglaophotis, the Seal of Metatron, and the Laser Pistol to name a few.
- A boat stationed at the docks near DJ Ricks's boat is named "Angela's Fire," a probable reference to Angela Orosco from Silent Hill 2 who was last seen in a fiery staircase.
- Murphy's dream at the beginning of the game, much like those of Alex Shepherd and Heather Mason, acts as a tutorial on gameplay mechanics.
|Silent Hill games|
|Main series||Silent Hill · 2 · 3 · 4 · Origins · Homecoming · Shattered Memories · Downpour|
|Ports / Adaptations||Play Novel · Mobile · HD Collection · Slot machine|
|Spin-offs||The Arcade · Orphan · 2 · 3 · The Escape · Book of Memories|
|Cancelled||Silent Hills (P.T.)|
|Production||Konami · Team Silent · Climax Studios · Double Helix · Vatra Games · WayForward Technologies · TAKASAGO|
|Extras||Inspirations · Features|