microwavedapple's Siren: Blood Curse (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

Siren's atmosphere and unique enemies make it a worthwhile game.

Four years ago Sony released a horror title called Siren, which didn't sell very well outside of Japan. Critics bashed the game for it's bad controls, tedious trial-and-error gameplay, and really, it is the sort of game that only the Japanese could appreciate. But it was praised for it's unique "sight-jacking" ability, which let's the player see through the eyes of the enemies, and an intense and scary atmosphere.

Siren: Blood Curse is a "re-imagining" of, or rather, an attempt to Westernise the original Siren. Siren: Blood Curse treads along the same plot-line, with some areas of the original revisited but overall, Blood Curse is far away from being classed a remake.

Siren: Blood Curse plays out like a TV drama, where there's a short trailer at the start and end of each episode that recaps the story to the players. Blood Curse is composed of twelve episodes and features seven playable characters. While this sounds like a lot to take in for a downloadable title, this episodic style makes Siren an easy to pick up and play title.

You start the game as Howard Wright, a teenage biker who discovers that something is not entirely right with the village of Hanyuda. The village residents are all bleeding from the eyes, mindlessly shambling around muttering to themselves. Even worse, however, is that their trying to murder any intruders that they come across. So the task is for Howard and the whole cast of Siren: Blood Curse to solve the mystery of Hanyuda and escape with their lives. Unfortunately, the story dwindles from there on out, and overlycomplicates itself without explaining the strange goings-on well.

Other characters of Siren: Blood Curse are Bella Monroe, a helpless child who must sneak past all of the Shibito (the cursed residents of Hanyuda) as she can't fight back. Sam and Melissa Monroe, Bella's parents who are too keen on arguing rather than trying to survive. And one of the best characters is Seigo Saga, a mysterious Japanese doctor who carries a kickass rifle.

When walking around the village of Hanyuda, you soon realise that stealth is very important, because confronting a Shibito weaponless is a good way to get yourself killed. Weapons are scattered around the environment and include crowbars, daggers, lead pipes and a special rarity, firearms. But even with a plethora of weapons, combat seems stiff and limited. You end up just mashing the R1 button until everyones dead, and missing more often than you'd like. But this isn't much of a downfall as it provides a more intense and helpless experience.

If you do get seen by a Shibito without carrying a weapon, then there's always the option to run and hide. There are designated hiding spots that you can crawl into and the Shibito won't find you. If you're more careful and don't plan on getting seen (although it will happen eventually), you can use your nifty "sight-jacking" ability, which lets you see through the eyes of any friends or enemies you wish. There's something nerve-racking about a Shibito wandering ever closer and closer to your position through THEIR eyes! Or perhaps seeing yourself in the corner of their eye, sneaking off into the distance.

And all of this look and sounds fantastic. From the highly-detailed characters, the incredible lighting which seeps atmosphere throughout each environment, to the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and the ramblings of each passing Shibito really steps up the scare-factor.

All in all, Siren: Blood Curse provides an intense and scary experience thanks to some incredible audiovisual productions and some clever gameplay, with sight-jacking and places to hide. Unfortunately, the overlycomplicated story really sets back the game, and with it's episodic layout, the story and plot twists could have been alot better. Some of the environments will be repeated as much as three times, which quickly leads to tedium. Siren weighs in at a whopping 9GB and can be purchased from the PlayStation Store either as a full game or by the episode. For those who prefer a hard copy can import the game from Japan which features full English language support. No matter your perforation, download or disc, you will still get an incredible game which, despite it's flaws, will keep you playing until the end...just.
2 Comments
Posted by MetalGearSunny

Nice review!

Posted by microwavedapple

Thanks!

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