TGS 2005: Tucked away in a dimly lit room of Sony Computer Entertainment's gigantic booth at this year's Tokyo Game Show is a playable demo of Siren 2. The line to get into the room--which is open only to visitors over 15 years of age--was around 90 minutes long just moments after the show opened its doors today, but we're happy to report that the time was well spent, and not only because we got to spend five minutes in a comfy chair when we finally got to the front.
The demo of Siren 2 saw us assuming the role of a young Asian man who looked somewhat disoriented as he explored some kind of dock area. Upon entering a dark run-down building, the man turned on a torch that lit up the area very realistically and that moved around as he walked. We weren't able to move the torch independently of his movements, but when we stood still we could switch to a first-person perspective and move it around to examine areas more closely.
Any time we found an object that we were able to interact with, a small message would flash up on the screen telling us to hit the O button. The only item we came across in the first area was an ID card belong to a young lady.
As we progressed through the dimly lit rooms and stairways, a cutscene kicked in that showed our guy stumbling across a man's body on the ground and then hiding behind a pillar as it got up and walked off. The man's movements suggested that he was some kind of zombie, but otherwise his appearance was basically that of a normal male. After he loped off out of sight, some instructions flashed up on the screen in Japanese that we realized--after several failed attempts to proceed--were telling us to crouch down and turn our torch off so that the aforementioned maybe-zombie wouldn't notice us.
We eventually arrived in a small courtyard area with two locked gates (one had a gun behind it), a locked wooden door, and a stick that we were able to pick up and equip as a weapon. We were able to use the stick to smash the window in the wooden door and let ourselves into a shed, where we found the young lady--whose ID we'd seen earlier--unconscious on the floor. When she came around, we clicked our way through what would undoubtedly have been an interesting conversation if we could have understood a word of it, and we realized that we were now able to give her simple commands such as "follow" and "stay there" via a small pop-up menu.
The second we left the shed, one of the gates swung open, and the maybe-zombie from earlier in the demo came running in. He clearly hadn't come for a conversation, so we equipped our stick and set about beating him around the head with it. When he went down, the demo ended, and we were invited to leave the darkened room so that another TGS visitor could take a seat.
The Siren 2 demo was a little more brief than we were hoping, but it was both entertaining and atmospheric--which is no small achievement given the amount of background noise on the show floor. The game's visuals were also interesting, because although they weren't incredibly detailed, they had an almost paintinglike quality in places. We also noticed that the characters' faces were very expressive, especially where fear was concerned.
Siren 2 is currently scheduled for release in North America later this year. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.