Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Silent Hill Downpour -- Anne's Story (2014)

Author: Tom Waltz | Artist: Tristan Jones | Page Count: 80

"I'm just sayin', if you don't change the record you gonna hear the same damn songs over and over again... change takes guts, though."

In Silent Hill Downpour, fans were presented with an NPC who was seemingly up to bat in the town at the exact same time as the game’s playable protagonist, Murphy Pendleton. While all of the games have had notable and plot-relevant ancillary characters none of them appeared to have experienced things in exactly the same manner as those directly under your control. They showed up where they needed to but it didn't feel like they were on a continuous journey of truth and discovery, akin to your own.

Anne Cunningham, however, very much was. In a perfect world, she would have gotten her own complete scenario in the game itself. In this one, she gets a four-issue mini-series penned by one of its original writers, Tom Waltz. Things could be much worse, and I am pleased with the outcome.

Admittedly, revelatory isn't a word that can be used to describe this endeavor. There’s literally nothing here about Anne that a thoughtful player hasn't already inferred from what’s presented in the game proper. Further, the artwork is inconsistent when it comes to her appearance. In some “panels,” it’s spot on. In others, it’s too soft and vague to resemble her in-game model. I suppose one could argue it’s done to mirror internal turmoil, and I do appreciate the way other characters’ faces are purposefully changed in certain situations. There’s also a few series references casually peppered into the art for attentive readers to find.

In a vacuum, it would be strange (and damning) to say that the things revealed about and said by the side-characters are the most interesting nuggets found herein. In context, however, it’s the highest praise I can give because they are the means by which we’re shown how this exact version of the town exists for Murphy AND Anne.

On top of that, this taught me something I wouldn't have known otherwise and officially canonized my preferred ending. If you’re only a casual fan of the series or haven’t played the game, please, save your time and money. There are (appropriately) recreated scenes, but Murphy’s narrative is not rehashed in anything close to full. I can only truly recommend this to those who explicitly mention Downpour when reciting their series favorites.

3 Weeping Bats Living in Reseda out of 5

Nutted by NEG (last seen re-entering the hardware store).

Note: You can find spoiler-free, mini-reviews of some of the Silent Hill games, including Downpour, at our sister site, Nut Load.

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