PS3/PSN Review: SIREN: Blood Curse, you’ll crap Shibito

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So, for those of you looking for a great horror game, SIREN: Blood Curse literally scared the crap of of us. The games’ eerie sounds and gritty views make this our ‘Horror Game for 2008′.

If you don’t mind downloading 12 separate episodes (9 gb total), and painfully installing each episode while trying to figure out why Sony couldn’t make it an easier process, SIREN:Blood Curse is for you! In all honesty, I feel this is the only con SIREN has, although the idea of having the game installed and ALWAYS ready to go is something I got VERY comfortable with. I mean, getting up to put a game disc in, is soo 2007.

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Really never playing the previous version of SIREN, I was excited to wet-my-pants scared playing this game. Sure, I’ve played horror games before (Resident Evil) but SIREN is different. It leaves you thinking all the time “What the hell was that noise?”. And the constant rumbling of the Dualshock 3 made it even more intense.  The Asian Zombie infused “bad guys” are intimidating and it’s likely you’d rather run away than fight these monsters. The houses are filled with very detailed bloody Asian styled decors. There’s a new visual style called Sight Jack. Sight Jack splits your screen by going into the nearby character’s mind and seeing the world through their eyes so you can take advantage to scout the area . It’s an important part of the game that gives you the feeling that the game around you is breathing and living, and Sight Jack allows you to witness it. For you horror fans out there, continue reading. For everyone else, well, check out my review where I try to give you a detailed “like your there” type of feeling.

Enjoying SIREN’s ‘mini series’ approach was easy. They very briefly Introduced each character before your turn to play them. Here’s also how they did it:

– First off, you know it’s 12 episodes.
– Within each Episode are chapters that allow you to continue from them. Almost like checkpoint chapters.
– Starting with Episode 2, it begins the level with a recap of what happened in your previous Episode.
– End of each chapter shows you a preview of the next Episode. It has a Sopranos feeling, with (amazingly) more blood.
– No children are harmed in this game, they just curl up and cry. Almost like the movie Willy Wonka.
– Several different sub plots

Nevertheless the subplots intertwine nicely with each other and each chapter leaves you wanting more.

Gameplay

Controls – Controlling your character seems to be a bit of a learning curve. When you first control your 3rd person view character, you want to use both L3 and R3 to walk forward and look around. These controls are a bit different. The L3 moves your character and the R3 is strictly for looking. Again, a learning curve but you get used to it.

Items – This is also one of the first games where your flashlight is essential to finding your way around. You’ll also notice that some weapons are only accessible to certain characters. Lastly, your archive shows you all the items you’ve picked up to eventually help your mission and solve this mystery of the game.

Health System – Not a true health system, but similar to Call of Duty 4 and Gears of War’s regenerative style. Your clothes become more red with blood as you’re attacked. 8/10

Audio

The screechy noises whether something is about to happen or not constantly keeps you on your toes. The characters and for that matter, the enemies do a great job of giving the game depth. In this game, where hiding is key, you know when an enemy is near and approaching you. 10/10

Replay Value

With most horror games, replay value is tough when you’ve played the game through. Because it’s almost like, “Hey what’s this.. oh another zombie chasing me”, but SIREN does a good job of hiring the volume which throws off your hand-to-eye coordination. (I know, it’s an excuse) After playing several Episodes a couple of times, I was still startled and noticed the enemies were not always located in the same spots. 7/10

Uniqueness

SIREN nails it with their innovative approach with the split screen camera view of ‘Sight Jack’. The automatic and seamless sight jack system allows players to see exactly what their enemies or nearby friends see. Hiding in strategic spots and moving the camera to see your surroundings has been done, but in this game your so scared to move it actually feels like YOU’RE hiding from a mumbling, drooling Police Zombie. The DualShock 3 is also a must while playing SIREN. When an enemy is near not only do you hear your heartbeat get louder but your controller vibrates with every pump. There’s also a hazing smoke that fills ups the screen when a Shibito see you, and let’s you know you’ve been spotted. 9/10

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Closing Statement

SIREN: Blood Curse is a great game to add to your PS3 collection. Many horror games are made to scare, with most having a terrible story or lack uniqueness. I would recommend this game to any horror action adventure gamer. Twelve scary episodes laid down with an eerie soundtrack makes SIREN: Blood Curse our list of games to download to your PS3. Best of all is the convenience of having the game installed on the PS3 HDD, which allows you to play the game anytime. Better than loaning it to “that guy who doesn’t return games” guy!

Great cut scenes
Gritty camera angles
Nerve racking soundtracks
Digital download through PSN

12 episodes to download, slow installing process
Linear story mode
Dark scenes make for hard viewing

8/10

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