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Siren Review

Developer: SCEA Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: April 20, 2004 Also On: None

What do Ratchet and Clank have in common with Siren? Aside from both being published by Sony Computer Entertainment of America, I can’t think of much else. They’re two completely different games on two different sides of the video game spectrum. One game is intended for youth, while at the same time is vastly pleasing for adults, and the other is exclusive to the older crowd.

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Siren takes place in a fictional Japanese village, surrounded by mountains. An earthquake occurs and a red sea of deep red blood begins the game, which will eventually lead to horror, death, and mystery for its many characters. The citizens in this town become the “living dead�, known as the shibito. The game itself takes place over a three day period and allows you to take control of different playable characters.

Here’s a quick control description. The right analog stick is used to move your flash light, while the left analog stick moves your character, whoever that might be. Gameplay takes place in a close-up 3rd person view. Crouch with circle to move slower and duck from view. Turning on/off the flashlight is done with square. Flashlights increase the chance of being found and weapons accuracy. Triangle brings up the command menu, which allows you to open doors and things such as that. Weapons are aimed with R1 and fired with X.

Sight-jacking is done with L2 and shibito can be assigned with triangle, square, circle, and X. Sight-jacking gives you a 1st person view of other characters. This is the only “map� that you have. It gives you a rough feel of where you and your enemies are located.

Some levels will force you to work co-operatively with a computer-controlled player. Computer players are given orders through the command system. This will slow down level speeds, since you will need to be more discreet. Be sure not to go too far ahead, because some will need help climbing walls.

Siren gives you the role of several characters throughout the 72 hour period that everyone is in the town. As players take on roles of different characters, the story is woven together. The scenario link system provides an overview of the game and pieces the puzzle of the story through each character.

Many stages will consist of finding objects, such as keys or tools. Clearing others will consist of nothing but reaching the exit. Stages will sometimes be run over by different characters, so get used to them now. A few have the exact same objective, just with different people, which makes it quite pointless.

For some reason, the characters have British accents, when the game takes place in Japan. I am assuming that Sony didn’t have good enough Japanese voice talent, which could be understood by the American median.

The lips themselves, on character models, don’t match the voice actors. The atmosphere itself is dark and chilling. Rain will drench your characters throughout the game and fog will cloud your view. Enemy character models don’t vary all that much, but each character that you control has a unique look of their own.

Is Siren a revolutionary game? Hardly. The sight-jacking system was a new concept, but the creeping concept has been around for quite some time, so nothing new there. The game never left me feeling disturbed, other than by the British accents. Hitting people over the head with a weapon is always a stress reliever, so my suggestion is to give this one a weekend rental.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 6.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide