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Siren - PlayStation 2

by Sony
Platform : PlayStation2
Rated: Mature
86 customer reviews
Metascore: 72 / 100
72

Price: $49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 3 left in stock.
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  • Choose to play one of 10 characters -- all with their own equipment, abilities & storylines
  • Use your wits, senses & ability to move fast -- stay out of sight or the zombies will come after you in force
  • Some characters have companions -- you'll have to defend them while you play
  • Stealth action combines with strategic gameplay, as you avoid the zombies and prepare to fight through them when you must
  • Eerily realistic characters with motion-captured movements, combined with cinematic camera angles, bring this creepy game world to life
9 new from $41.35 15 used from $6.71 6 collectible from $15.97
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Siren - PlayStation 2 + Clock Tower 3 - PlayStation 2 + Fatal Frame III: The Tormented - PlayStation 2
Price for all three: $135.49

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Product Description

Product Description

First, an earthquake! Then the emergency siren! Then, the world as you knew it quickly evaporates into mayhem and evil. Find yourself in a fictional Japanese village in 1942 as villagers turn into zombies at alarming rates and the sea around the village turns to blood and begins to engulf the town. You play as one of 10 different characters in your personal fight for survival. Play in areas like the school and an abandoned mine as you fight to stay alive and find the true cause of the evil forces around you. Horrifying sounds and visuals will get your heart pounding and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

Review

The creepy tale of a possessed Japanese village (Hanuda) told through the eyes of ten playable characters in combination with some impressively innovative gameplay features should totally make my day – but playing Siren turns out to be sadly different than I was expecting.

The game's two big features: sightjacking (where you see through the eyes of other characters) and the Link Navigator (which manages the plot's order of events) sadly don't add to the player's experience enough to justify their problematic existence.

Sightjacking is more fun to mess around with than it is helpful to the player. Watching the paths of roaming enemies can offer useful information, but the stealth mechanic is so simplistic that the data is rarely necessary. In many situations, being seen by enemies is something that you can't avoid or recover from – they will find you, and they will kill you. This is fine by me, but when the only stealth-orientated skill that is offered is a painfully slow crawl (and a distracting yell, which had little to no effect that I could perceive), it doesn't make me want to be all that sneaky. There isn't a sound meter, no real way to know if enemies can see you or not (like a vision cone or shadow meter), and very little chance of distracting them with diversions. It is more fun and more efficient to just run through levels and see what happens than to use the sightjacking feature to suss out a plan of attack.

Which leads to discussion of the game's other big feature, the Link Navigator. Siren's storytelling plan sounds like a survival horror Real World season: Pick 10 characters to escape the apocalypse and find out what happens over 3 days through 78 missions – you could call it Siren: Hanuda. The complication is that the order of events is jumbled and the Link Navigator is supposed to help you keep track. What this means, from a player's point of view, is that the game's story doesn't really get its hook into you – not even in the first few hours. The tales are too disjointed, the characters too many, and the plot too slow in getting going.

The more conventional aspects of this game like sound design and graphics are also something that people will have mixed feelings about. The creatures' insane, maniacal laughs are honestly unnerving, and therefore good for this game. The graphics look to be actual pictures of the characters' faces and lend a realistic, but still skewed version of each person – they're detailed, but strangely flat. I think that this is a nice subtle touch, but others may disagree.

I really, really wanted to like Siren, but in the end, I just didn't have much fun or feel like the innovative parts of the game were used to their advantage. It has good ideas, and I'm glad to see experimentation in survival horror, but this should be chalked up as a failed test in the genre.

Concept:
Navigate a horrific village as ten different characters

Graphics:
Muddy and jerky – but it fits with the disjointed feel of the gameplay

Sound:
The best part of this game, the sound effects are creepy and (for lack of a better word) icky

Playability:
The context-sensitive menu system is counter-intuitive and the stealth mechanics are pretty archaic and basic

Entertainment:
I really need a reason to care in a game this cerebral and slow-paced, and Siren doesn't give it to me

Replay:
Moderate

Rated: 6.25 out of 10
Editor: Lisa Mason
Issue: May 2004

2nd Opinion:
From a conceptual standpoint, Siren is chock-full of ingenuity, and is a soaring success when it comes to the delivery of unusual ideas. Forming a mental bond with your attackers so that you see the surroundings from their perspective is a great idea that leads to some unnerving situations. This gimmick only goes so far, however. I found its functionality, and the entire gameplay package for that matter, to be clunky, and above all, frustrating. I grew so disenchanted with trying to pick up enemy sight that I avoided using this technique whenever I could. I love the episodic approach to storytelling – but the execution of gameplay bothered me to no end.

Rated: 5.75 out of 10
Editor: Andrew Reiner


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Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0001NBNGG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches ; 5.4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,454 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A. Griffiths on April 23, 2004
I'm not a wimp or a gaming novice, so its not often I think that a game is too difficult...but this is exactly how I feel about Siren. I was very excited about playing it after seeing advance demos and previews of it, but I was unprepared for the challenge that was ahead of me.
The game plays like a cross-breed of Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid, in that your adventure takes place in a nightmare world of derelict locations populated by sub-human zombie type monsters, but, with little or no means of attacking them, your success is largely down to using stealth tactics to sneak your way through the game, or to surprise and attack the enemy from strategic hiding places. Unlike the radar map in MSG, here your characters have the ability to see through the eyes of other people, which helps you plan your safest route, or warns you of attack when you suddenly "tune in" to the sight of yourself being run towards from behind! The game's setting is spot on. The many locations are on the small side, but all fully detailed and explorable. The enemies are horrifically realistic, mostly made up of zombified townsfolk who are all bleeding from the eyes and lurching around armed with various weapons and torches to seek you out with. It has been said that survival in this game is tough, and it's true. Be prepared to spend a lot of time watching your characters die as you try to work out the various strategies to passing each stage. The try-die-try again gameplay echoes that of the PS game "Fear Effect", so if that drove you crazy, expect more of the same. The playable characters are exceptionally vunerable to attack, and two swipes with a knife or one well-placed bullet will be then end of you, and the zombie enemies are relentless in their pursuit.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aramis Gutierrez on June 4, 2005
I took a risk and bought Siren even though I had read many conflicting reviews. I really enjoyed playing this game. However, baring the assumption that you can foresee the future, I wouldn't even dream of recommending this game without a guide. The puzzles and items that you are some how magically supposed to solve are absurd. If you don't heed this warning you will waste hours of backtracking through unforgivably hard levels to get them (after you magically figure out that you forget to grab them in the first place). In fact, completely ignore the fact that there are puzzles (use a guide) because it is hard enough to survive getting from point A to point B. Also, the voice acting isn't that bad the first time you hear it (as bad as using American accent to translate, instead of leaving in Japanese with subtitles), it is that it becomes grating because you will die and have to hear it again and again. Oh yeah, you will get killed by snipers repeatedly, so a great deal of patience is needed to get through this game.

I liked everything else about Siren. It is the first survival horror game since the original Silent Hill (original designer of Silent Hill worked on this title) that really felt sprawling and immersing. The Shibito and incarnations of fallen characters are creepy as hell. The visuals are superbly minimal which makes them far more effective and ethereal. The false "heavy metal" ending was really funny. So if you have enjoyed any of the Silent Hill series and always wished they were a little longer, a little more threatening and more challenging give this title a chance.

Again, don't bother with attempting to figure out the puzzles on your own.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Ackley on September 2, 2004
Fans of the survival horror gaming genre were no doubt excited by unraveling the mystery of Sirens errie Japanese town with the terrifying past. Sadly, the premise is about as exciting as the game gets.

The Pros

This game is a really gorgeous visual treat. The chracters are rendered with a new technolgy that actually wraps realistic images onto 3d computerized planes.

The setting has been developed well. The village of Hanuda is a scary place cast in eternal darkness surrounded by a sea of blood and of course the Siren going off in the background.

The Cons (and there are many)

The game developers dubbed the game with a British voice over crew which in the beginning is comical but after awhile just feels ridiculous. For some people this may not be an issue at all but for me it just seemed distracting playing a Japanese guy and to hear him shout "Oi Mate! wait up!"

Secondly, the gameplay is terribly limited and re-do's abound. More skilled gamers may not have to replay missions as much but I found it hard not to be killed as 80% of the time your only defense is to run and hide. The game employs a drop down menu to issue command to your character. The menu is easy to use but truly annoying. A good example occurs on the first mission. Your goal is to escape a bad guy via car. The drop down menu asks you 1) Would you like to pick up the car key? 2) Would you like get in the car? 3) Put key in ignition? 4) Turn key to start car?- truly gets to be cumbersome to game play.

Lastly, the game uses a event system/ time table for you to keep track of events as they happen to all 10 playable chracters. While that sounds convoluted in itself it only gets worse that you have to play all ten characters and not one at a time.
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