Jump to content
LCVG

Siren


tiac
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok, I fightening parts of surival horror games but, I hate the puzzles they have you do. Seriously, you getting chased by zombies and shit and you are hunting for a knob to turn some machine or something.

 

This game however has a cool little feature, you can look through the eyes of your zombie like enemies (sightjack). It's also mission based, unlike any other survival horror.

 

Any one else play this? I've been playing at work for the past 3 days and like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know I've been meaning to post some impressions about the game but I've been so horribly busy at work I've nary had time to sleep. I will say that I managed to play 9 missions of Siren before my heart sank with utter disappointment. To the point where I returned the game and never looked back.

 

Some thoughts:

 

Initial impressions are fairly good. The opening cinema is well done and shows off the face mapping technology used, giving the characters a very lifelike appearance. This illusion however does not hold up when the characters begin to speak. You'll be treated to very stiff talking animations that seem as though the developers took 2-3 frames of a mouth opening and closing and mapped it onto a photo with moving eyes. Of course most people may consider this nitpicking and to an extent it is. Nonetheless I do find it very jarring and it immediately pulled me right out of the game. Ask anyone that has played a good horror game out there and they will tell you atmosphere is key and this is one of those small things that can really suck the atmosphere right out.

 

The games voice acting serves to also disorient not so much because its bad but because you have a group of Japanese characters all speaking in British accents. For those not in the know Siren has been available in PAL territories for awhile and instead of simply giving us the original language track with subtitles, Sony of America decided to simply use the UK dub for this release. Some characters are better than others and some are downright atrocious. Which is a real shame.

 

Graphically the game has an interesting look. Very washed out textures. Fog ridden environments that resemble those in Silent Hill (not suprising as the director of Siren worked on the original Silent Hill). A similiar grain effect to the one used in Silent Hill is also used here. Unfortunately all of the lovely detail found in recent survival horror titles like Silent Hill 3 or Resident Evil Outbreak is all but lost in Siren. Environments are very basic in thier layout. A house here and there, forested maze like environments which display some very bland texture work. Siren is just very low key and unassuming (not in a good way either). The character models do make up for this a bit as they look quite convincing despite the lip synch problems I mentioned. The variety in both appearance and the ability to play as so many characters (10) is also a great change of pace from other entries in the genre.

 

The game does a good job of introducing you to its mechanics. The first mission has you running from a shibito (what they refer to the games undead as) police officer who is two steps away from planting a bullet in your chest. Right off the bat you'll be using the Siren menu system which is both a blessing and a curse. You have to select an action for everything. When I say everything I mean it. Your first task is to get a set of car keys and unlock a truck that is waiting for you.(remember the Japanese drive on the right hand side ;) ). Now this sounds straightforward but the problem is you have to first unlock the truck by using the key. Afterwards you need to get in, then you need to put the key in the ignition. Moving right along you have to start the engine which will activate an in-game cutscene. Catching my drift yet?

 

On one hand you have this apparently unintuitive way of doing things but during this whole process you have this police officer taking shots at you and the menu system actually adds an incredible amount of tension. Its akin to some of the old adventure games lke Zork where all you had was a black window, a keyboard and your imagination. Time to type every little action out right? Siren feels very similiar, sometimes in a good way and other times in a "toss the damn disc out of the window" way. A more streamlined process would have been desireable for sanity and patience sake but that may have not been the intent of the games designers so I can respect the implementation here. The game does in fact have its somewhat terrifying moments but its not so much fear as it is angst.

 

Once the inital cutscene has ended you'll begin the first "true" mission which will introduce you what is referred to as "sight-jacking". This allows you to see through the viewpoint of both ally and enemy characters. Sight-jacking works very much like dialing in a radio frequency. You hit the L2 button to switch to Sight-Jack mode and you slowly rotate the left analog stick until you've "tuned" into a characters viewpoint. You can then hit any one of the face buttons to hotkey that viewpoint for later use.

 

Its definitely a unique innovation that helps Siren to differentiate itself from other survival horror games and to be honest for the first mission or two you'll no doubt be thinking to yourself why someone hadn't thought of it before. The problem however is that the actual implementation is terribly broken. The game asks the player to view the patterns of enemy movement and try to discern exactly where they are so that you can both avoid the shibito and get access to the items you need to complete your goals. Siren however gives you no tools whatsoever to accomplish this task. The levels I have experienced were all terribly dull in layout and rare is the time that you'll actually be able to spot a key location that happens to stick out. Thankfully when sight-jacking a shibito or ally you can tell your position by a blue cross and this would be very helpful if for only one omission; the in-game map is atrocious! Not only is it devoid of any real detail it also does not show you your own position. Mind you I can understand exactly why they omitted the position of the shibito but it makes no sense IMHO for them to not show you where you are. This is a major problem. First of all you can't help but feel that during the earlier levels you are forced to run around like a chicken with its head cutoff simply trying to find your way around the map. Some of the characters at your disposal will come equipped with a flashlight. Of course being able to acually use that flashlight is another story all together considering the shibito rifleman/snipers are dead on head shot killers. If you turn the flashlight on for a split second in the wrong area you'll find a bullet lodged in your brain. What this amounts too is a maddeningly frustrating experience of cat and mouse where the mouse can't see shit and the cat has all the claws. (I'm all about the animal analogies today folks. :tu: ).

 

Touching on the games puzzles I have to wonder if the designers really actually took some of this serious. Ever wanted to tie a kite string to a generator fan? You'll be doing it in Siren. Trust me I went through almost nine missions before I had to stop and go "Wow! That takes some imagination!". If you thought the puzzles in Resident Evil 3 were strange, get ready. You're in for a major dose of odd here.

 

In case you haven't guessed by the last few hundred words I was and remain horribly disappointed with Siren. If anyone has bothered to read my thoughts on the game prior to release I was heavily anticipating this one which makes it even harder to write what I have. The whole experience left me with a "Why bother?" feeling brought on by broken gameplay mechanics and a frustrating experience that isn't truly challenging like the Ninja Gaiden's or Ikaruga's of the world but just completely unfair and in the end downright stupid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell us how you really felt, Romier ;). I jest, great impressions, thorough and chilling all at the same time. It must have been one hell of a stinker to get you to take a game back :).

 

A more streamlined process would have been desireable for sanity

 

Maybe they're taking the ED sanity system to its next horrifying extreme :green:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by FutureVoid@Apr 29 2004, 05:32 PM

Right off the bat you'll be using the Siren menu system which is both a blessing and a curse. You have to select an action for everything. When I say everything I mean it. Your first task is to get a set of car keys and unlock a truck that is waiting for you.(remember the Japanese drive on the right hand side ;) ). Now this sounds straightforward but the problem is you have to first unlock the truck by using the key. Afterwards you need to get in, then you need to put the key in the ignition.

As I was playing this tonight, I kept thinking of this article, where the Xbox Director of Marketing in Japan stated "The thing that has distinguished Japanese games is intuitive play. You don't need to read the instruction manual, you just pick it up and you play." So is this intuitive? It's a very clumsy, non-intuitive game so far.

 

I'm not completely giving up on it yet, but it has 2 strikes so far...

 

To the point where I returned the game and never looked back.
Man, I wish I had a place where I could return. It'd save me a lot of money over the course of a year.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rented it and could NOT get into it. It was a really ambitious game but it's an absolute nightmare to try to figure out and play. The sightjacking is a helpful feature and it's very innovative... but controlling your own character and trying to figure out what to do while you're getting shot is just way too frustrating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...