Siren TGS 2003 Impressions

Sony shows off some more of its new horror-themed survival game.

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First shown about a month ago at ECTS in London, Siren is an SCEI-developed survival horror game that will star about ten different playable characters. Though the version we previously saw put us in control of an elderly man, the version on display at the Tokyo Game Show puts players in the role of a 16-year-old high school student.

Perhaps the most striking part about Siren is its nice use of realistic-looking fog. You'll see the fog swirl around and blow about in the wind as you move, and it's good at making the game look a little spooky. The fog and darkness also provide you with some cover--in the version shown, your high-school student is on the run from a trigger-happy law enforcement officer, who is after you because you accidentally stumbled onto some sort of dark ritual taking place in a dark forest. You both have flashlights, and you can shut yours off to make yourself a harder target to hit. Getting some distance from your pursuer causes him to become confused, giving you a chance at survival.

The game uses one button for interacting with items in the world. Hitting the triangle button stops the action and opens up a menu. Hitting this menu when standing near a set of keys will give you the option to grab the keys. Moving over to the door of a nearby truck and hitting action will give you the opportunity to use the keys with the truck.

The game's sound is very crisp, and the gunshots crack out in the night with a clarity that makes them quite startling. When it comes to games that try to scare you, the audio/visual presentation is key to making that possible. From the looks and sounds we've taken in from Siren so far, the game seems like it could definitely achieve a pretty high fear factor. And you won't even have to eat any live worms to get it. Siren is currently scheduled to be released in Japan on November 6. No North American release details have been made available at this time, but it's expected that the game will make the jump to both North America and Europe sometime in 2004.

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