Siren sounds good, but is a bit 'one-note'

User Rating: 7.2 | Forbidden Siren PS2
Essentially a horror version of Loony Toons PSone game 'Sheep, Dog & Wolf' - you play ten characters over three days as each endeavours to find their way out of towns, schools, valleys, graveyards etc.. generally in pitch darkness, generally weaponless, hindered by the undead who are frequently in your path, and who frequently spell 'Game Over' if they so much as touch you. A very hard game, that gives you very little information - and as such requires much ground retreading to enable you to continue (eg: I did the first three missions easily by running past the zombies to my exit point, only to discover later in the game that I had failed to turn over a particular rock, or read an idle newspaper that would unlock further chapters....!) The graphics are quirky, rather than being realistic - the photorealistic faces/features of the characters look flat and amateur, but the areas are large and backdrops are good. The AI of the undead is good, but according to the instructions, you should be able to sneak past unnoticed if you crawl. This is not the case, except in parts of the game the makers need you to be able to do this. The ability to see through the eyes of the undead to time your movements round them is a good one, and creates good atmosphere as you see through their bloodied eyes and hear the madness going on in their excuse for brains, but it really only replaces having them pinpointed on a map. When you eventually get weapons it seems to take far to long to implement an attack, and as mentioned previously, a simple touch from a zombie will end the game. Guns are better, but not varied - but then this isn't a shooting game. The story is incredibly intricate and there are many parts to play before being able to piece together what is essentially another Japanese Myth/Curse storyline - but still interestingly put-together. The voice overs aren't as irritating as many reviews would have you believe, but why the makers thought that they would be better than the original dialogue with subtitles, is anyone's guess. This game has infuriated and delighted me in turn, hence it's mediocre score. What may have seemed fine for local release should have been ironed out before world release - do they not playtest these games abroad before releasing them? This game will suit anyone keen to see a Metal Gear Solid/Silent Hill crossover.
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