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Siren: Blood Curse Impressions

July 31, 2008

Well, I’ve already posted a hands-on demo review for Siren, but now that I’ve played some of the full game, I’m updating my impressions (not a review yet as I haven’t finished). Let’s start from the point of purchase.
The way Siren is set up is that the game is divided into 12 episodes. The game is available as a complete game download (all 12 episodes for $39.99), or you can download episode packs (3 total packs, 4 episodes in a pack, for $14.99 each). After playing the game, this method works and doesn’t work (I’ll explain in a moment). So, I decided I liked the demo enough to purchase the full version of the game. After purchasing the game, I was prompted to download the 12 episodes, individually. I like this idea and hate it at the same time. I like the whole idea of episodes as you play the game from different character’s viewpoints, but the downloading process is a pain in the ass. Mostly because each episode can range from 500MB to almost 1.5GB. Not only this, but you have to download each episode individually and then install each episode individually. It looks like the total download size for the full game is going to be pushing 10GB. That’s a LOT of data to download and it’s been taking me 2-3 hrs to download an episode. On to the game itself now.

I’m a huge horror fan and let me say, Siren mostly gets it right. I haven’t been this creeped out by a game probably since Silent Hill. It’s dark and you’re armed with just a trusty flashlight with some characters, no light for others. You’ll be on edge for most of the game which is a great thing. The sound is absolutely incredible in the game and really sets up the creepy atmosphere of the game.
The gameplay is pretty good in the game but nothing to rave about. My biggest complaint is that the game is a bit TOO linear. You don’t get too much opportunity to explore, and areas you would like to explore are cutoff.

The camera can be controlled manually but is VERY touchy and has no sensitivity control to decrease it. The characters move well though and I really enjoyed the combat system. I like how you’ll play the game as ordinary Joe Blow as opposed to some ex-marine armed with automatic weapons and rocket launchers. This adds to the horror and suspense of the game because you’re not some unstoppable bad-ass. Throughout the game you’ll find weapons you can use such as pipes, frying pans, beer bottles, and even a handgun. Again, the combat system works great and I like the weapon selection in the game. One thing I did notice that I liked a lot was the character animations. It is very fluid and reminded me a bit of Uncharted.
So far I am really enjoying the full version of Siren. My thoughts right now are that if you’re a horror fan, this is a must-buy game. If you’re not a horror fan, there isn’t much you will like about this game. Once I finish the game I’ll post a review for you all.

-Creepy characters and atmosphere
-Innovative controller usage and gameplay (bracing doors)
-Story told through multiple views
-Felt like survival horror

-Right stick used to look around was very touchy. No option to change sensitivity.
-Game is very linear. Can’t do too much exploring.
-Download process is a pain.

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