Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Silent End to Gory Days; Bytesize [c]The Latest Game News

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Silent End to Gory Days; Bytesize [c]The Latest Game News

Article excerpt

THE age of the digital gaming download has finally reached a tipping point, following news that digital downloads now represent more than half of all PC games sold in the UK and United States.

This figure is only likely to increase as the focus on digital services continues to build, and highlights the challenges facing high street video game retailers such as GAME, which has teetered on the brink of administration this week.

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Meanwhile, in the charts this week FIFA Street held on to top spot for another seven days, despite a strong sfour, while F1 2011 enjoyed a surge up the grid as the new racing season began, overtaking 10 competitors to climb from 19 to nine.

HAUNTED houses tap into a primal fear - by their very nature a home should be a safe and welcoming environment, but add a few ghosts and ghouls and even the most hardy quickly quiver under a blanket.

And unlike the Resident Evils, Silent Hill has always understood that throwing a relatively helpless everyman into the eponymous town packed with nightmares that exist often in the players own mind is a far more effective scare tactic than trained killers taking on the virus-mutated undead.

Unfortunately, it seems that someone forgot to tell this to Czech developers Vatra Games, whose efforts to introduce more combat in the series latest outing, Downpour, unsettle the traditional "flight over fight" dynamic that just added to the terror.

In fairness to the rookie developer you can kind of see what they were thinking - people like shooters and beating enemies to a bloody pulp and so you give them the option to take up arms against the creatures from beneath your bed.

Alas the combat turns out to be a frustratingly mediocre affair, with weapons degenerating at a ridiculously rapid rate - often breaking in the middle of a fight - and the whole affair feeling rather unwieldy.

Perhaps the hope was by making the fights so little fun it would force people to run away, but that's hardly a logic anyone should endorse.

However that is not to say there aren't some sparks of what fans would be hoping for and indeed when the game sticks more closely to the established formula it does quite well. …

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