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Siren - PlayStation 2

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

Price: $58.10 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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
12 new from $25.66 30 used from $5.71 10 collectible from $17.95
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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.


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.

Navigate a horrific village as ten different characters

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

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

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

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


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 (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,900 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 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on February 6, 2005
If you want a game that will last as long as GTA then get this. The story is actually quite amazing to say the least but you will be in it for the long haul.

There are several maps and over twelve characters that meet in the story at different times. It is like Silent Hill but slower as you are not given great weapons to defeat the enemy. Instead you have the power of second sight. You do things in the map that are for the characters benefit and to set up something for another character who will arrive there later. The story is sort of like Pulp Fiction in that all the characters finally meet as you take them through the story.

It is very very very difficult and very easy to die but there is a method to the game and once you manage to use the second site to run around the place so that the monsters do not see you it gets a lot easier.

Stick with it, but this is by no means an out-of-box couple of days game play. It is more like twenty minutes a day for the next 12 months.

Addictive but slow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Covino on May 31, 2005
Created by the developers of the original Silent Hill, Siren is a survival horror game that many fans of the genre have been waiting for. With Resident Evil looking more and more like an action game, and with Silent Hill suffering from a new staff that wants to recreate the series entirely--gamers needed a game to bring us back to the roots and the very basic guidelines of survival horror. Siren not only satiates this need, it also introduces some unique features that have rarely been tried before, making it a traditional survival horror with a lot of experimental attributes, or vexations, depending on who you ask.

The story is this game's biggest masterstroke, having many similarities with Silent Hill. Instead of an American New England Town being consumed by iniquity, in Siren it is a remote Japanese village, populated by a country people who adhere to a strange occult. Also much like Silent Hill, the game utilizes the sound of the old fire sirens used in the 'Second Red Scare', except in this game, the siren is not a mechanical devise, but an inhuman call from across a sea of blood, whom the villagers answer, and return anew, in another form cleansed of human stain, after receiving the blessings of their God. Typically a village nestled in the mountains, it is sucked into another dimension where the blood of the King of Gods flows, giving the inhabitants eternal life. Some meet the call willingly, while others resist it, wanting to remain human, and you play as the village renegades, or as the characters who are not true inhabitants of the village.

Gameplay is somewhat lacking.
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