I enjoyed Downpour. It is not without it's issues but I felt it was a solid entry in the series. Play the game however you want, but for me I felt like it was better to avoid the "sidequests" especially if they had nothing to do with Murphy's story.
Enjoy getting lost in the streets of Silent Hill for ages! For me the game doesn't deserve a lot of the hate thrown at it. Especially as these people haven't played it. But give it a go, it'll no doubt get under the skin in no time.
Yeah the side quests felt really uninspiring...without spoiling anything, the only side quest i enjoyed was the movie theater. All of the other side quests, had you traveling all over the map picking up items and not having a clue as to what you needed to do with them. You could easily start on one sidequest while end up doing another.
The game had potential tho, and when you was exploring those dark abandoned buildings and basements was where i thought this game shined the most...atmosphere was solid in those segments.
I personally really loved it. Though, it's somehow my least played Silent Hill game. Not sure why.
I loved the story, characters, atmosphere, radio songs, a lot of the sidequests etc.
But the combat was terrible for the most part and some of the expectations for side quests were pretty ridiculous. Some of the quests require the entire town to be open and by that point makes getting the items completely pointless.
Within the series Downpour certainly isn’t one I’d consider to be a masterwork or a "must play" entry. It has some weaknesses with creature designs, battle mechanics, level usages, and some meandering side quests. In my case there were several jarring technical issues with the way the game ran (PS3). But yeah, to be fair it is generally a good game with numerous things to appreciate for those who do take the time to play it. In several ways It felt like a step in the right direction following Homecoming.
Haven't played the game, or any video game for that matter, in ages, but I remember the characters being pretty well written and memorable for the most part. A couple hiccups here and there, but it's something to appreciate I suppose.