PS3 Attitude’s 20 Days of PSN – #20: Siren: Blood Curse
At PS3 Attitude, we’re celebrating the PlayStation Network with our ’20 Days of PSN’ feature. First up – Siren: Blood Curse.
From the very moment we saw the ‘blood lake’ teaser website and worked out that a Siren title was coming to the PS3, we were excited about this game. When it released during the latter part of July 2008 as an episodic PSN download, we weren’t disappointed.
Read on to find out why Siren: Blood Curse is #20 in our Top 20 PSN titles…
Known in Japan as Siren: New Translation, this game was the first decent survival horror title available for download from the PSN. Until then, we had only really enjoyed the occasional horror game on Blu-Ray, such as the accomplished F.E.A.R.; the main franchises, such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil wouldn’t see the welcoming light of day until 2009 at least.
But being first to the PSN doesn’t automatically make a game good, so what is it about Siren: Blood Curse that leads us to start our 20 Days of PSN with it?
Siren: Blood Curse was made available as a series of twelve episodes. Of course, you could also purchase all the episodes at once to save a little time. These episodes tell the grisly tale through a linking set of stories, with different scenarios and various playable characters intertwining as you progress through the game.
The plot focuses on a US television crew that have travelled to the Land of the Rising Sun to investigate and document the legend of Hanuda, a village where – 30 years prior – it is said that human sacrifices had taken place.
The zombie-like characters in the game are called the shibuto. In the original Siren, these characters were originally the residents of Hanuda, now soul-less and subordinate after being forced to take part in a blood-baptism ritual.
Controlled as a third-person survival horror game, with a fixed view just over the shoulder of your current playable character, Siren: Blood Curse’s defining feature is the ability to ‘sightjack’. Sightjacking allows you to see and hear what is going on from the perspective of nearby shibito, humans and other creatures.
The clarity of the images you see when employing the sightjack mechanism depend entirely on your distance and position to your player. Sightjacking can be used to highlight a shibito’s position or to give reconnaissance of locations and items of interest. Key to the strategy within Siren: Blood Curse, however, is the fact that a player is not able to move while sightjacking, making them vulnerable to attack.
In addition, Siren: Blood Curse features an environment that can help, and hinder, your progress. Many of the objects you see are able to be moved. Which means they are also able to be disturbed, attracting nearby shibito to your whereabouts.
Much of the time in Siren: Blood Curse, you are rewarded for avoidance of the shibito. Stealth is definitely a better strategy in the game than trying to fight your way out of problems. Because of this, you often find yourself on the edge of your seat as you attempt to pass silently within a few feet of the dangerous and scary characters you’ll discover along the way. Much like a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, shibito that have been alerted to your presence will shout to draw others to your position, making it even more important for you to avoid conflict.
Siren: Blood Curse was well received by the media in general, and we will forever raise our blood-soaked shovels to the first real, and some would say still one of the best, survival horror games to grace the pages of the PlayStation 3’s digital distribution platform.
#20 in our 20 Days of PSN goes to Siren: Curse.