Halloween is the perfect time to relive classic scary games or movies to get that feeling of nostalgia we all love so much. Locking yourself in a dark room to play Silent Hill or Resident Evil is something many gamers love to do, but there are tons of other great survival horror series out there many people have never played before. Siren: Blood Curse has to be at the top of the list for these games because the number of people who have actually played this classic is so low it is ridiculous. If you are one of the few people who have already played this classic then congratulations, but for everyone else out there let me tell you a little bit about Siren: Blood Curse.
The Siren series originally started on the PS2 in 2003 and was developed by a small team from Sony's Japan Studio. These developers were called Project Siren, this key three people working on Siren were Keiichiro Toyama (Game director), Isao Takahashi (Art director), Naoko Sato (Video Game writer). Toyama is best know for actually creating the Silent Hill series for Konami and left after he developed the first game to work at Sony. Together Project Siren made Siren and Siren 2 (never released in North America) for the PS2, but while both games never hit the critical or financial success of Silent Hill Sony never stopped supporting the team. Their next project and last entry in the Siren series would be their most ambitious title in the series.
Siren: Blood Curse was released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and was a re-imagining of first Siren game. Blood Curse was also split up into 12 episodes featuring many different characters and subplots that all tied together in different ways. This was still something very new in video games at the time and not something we have gotten use to after games like Back to the Future and The Walking Dead. Even though it is an episodic game all 12 episodes released at once. While Japan got a disc version (with a PAl disc version coming at a later date), North American and other countries had to download the full game off of PSN. Back in mid-2008 buying a $39.99 full game off of PSN was unheard of and even with the game being sold in three smaller bundles this lead to the game having very poor sales. Even as a fan of the original Siren, I waited till the game was on sale Halloween of 2008 to pick up the copy.
Being sold primarily throughout the world digitally only on PSN was Siren: Blood Curses major problem that kept it from reaching the well deserved success. Blood Curse had a somewhat conventional idea for it's story, but the way it was written and acted was far and above horror games you see today. Without getting into any spoilers a paranormal TV show is filming in a rural part of Japan and ends up getting into more than they expected with a crazy village. Besides playing as different members of the TV crew, you also get to play as a villager, student from the city, and even the young daughter of the TV show host. The story has you confused at first like many games in this genre, but takes you on such a crazy and memorable ride you won't forget anytime soon.
Obviously a big turn off that makes most horror games lose all their appeal is the gameplay and Blood Curse doesn't disappoint. Back in the day people would always complain about tank controls being bad, while the developers said that it made the player feel as vulnerable as the player. That feeling of award controls at first are very present in Blood Curse. Although once you stick with it and learn that combat sucks in this game for a reason. While you can pick up various weapons these people aren't army veterans and nails the clumsy of an anxious person in combat. You will spend most of your time sneaking around to finish most levels.
Since stealth is such a major part of the game you learn very quickly that the AI doesn't mess around in this game and will relentless hunt you down. To make up for this Siren lets you do something very interesting where you can peer into the eyes of any enemy near you. This splits the screen in two and lets you know just where your pursuers are looking. It doesn't take any of the scares away with you knowing where the crazy cult members are looking since in later levels there are more enemies than you be able to see. These moments of leering into another persons sight and hiding while being caught are some of Siren's best moments of Horror.
Add a fantastic soundtrack, voice actors that nail their roles, and the fact that no other horror game is like it on the market and Siren Blood Curse should have been a total hit when it released. Sadly this was not the case and the game never really caught on, you can't say they did not try thought. The team even made a level on PLAYSTION HOME to promote the game and they even made that the best part of playing Home (which is not saying a lot). No matter where you live, as long as you call yourself of survival horror like Silent Hill and own a PS3 Blood Curse is a must buy that deserves more attention than it got. Project Siren has now moved on from the beloved cult classic series, but has been working on an already more popular game on the Vita called Gravity Rush. Yes, the makers of Silent Hill and Siren are responsible for Gravity Rush and it's sequel. At least the team has been able to continue to work on creative projects so Sony should be applauded for that.
After writing this as long as I can get one person to purchase a copy of Siren: Blood Curse I will be extremely happy. If you end up picking up a copy or have played it before in the past be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.
Siren: Blood Curse is also currently on sale for only $9.99 for PlayStation Plus members for the rest of this Halloween sales week. So now is the perfect time to pick it up if you haven't already.