By Jeriaska . July 17, 2008 . 12:01pm
At the Sony E3 press booth, SCE producers Tsubasa Yuasa and Kumi Inaba guided players through an introduction to Siren: Blood Curse. Known as Siren: New Translation in Japan, the game is an entirely new take on the Playstation 2 horror titles Siren and Forbidden Siren 2. The haunted town of Hanuda is revisited, this time from the perspective of an American television crew, hence the "new translation" introduced to the survival horror scenario. Heading to the Playstation 3, the title will soon be downloadable via the Playstation Network.
The Americans arrive at the mysterious Japanese village prepared to shoot a documentary, but are immediately immersed into the town's bizarre mysteries. Upon encountering the cursed inhabitants, the central characters are forced into a struggle to defend their lives. There is a degree of variety among the protagonists, and at the same time, they are united by the common backstory of being members of a film crew. In turn, players will take on the role of the reporter, the cameraman, an academic researcher, and other members of the staff. The enemies they face are called the shibito, or living dead.
The degree to which the player will need to choose combat versus stealth in Siren: Blood Curse depends on their character. Sometimes the player will be required to go head to head with the shibito and knock them unconscious using whatever objects are at hand (there are fifty different weapons in total). However, when playing as the researcher’s ten year-old daughter, fighting is not an option, and stealth is the only viable strategy for progressing through the story. In total, seven protagonists are playable throughout the twelve chapters, allowing alternate perspectives on some of the same events to be experienced. Most of the dialog is in English, as the film crew is composed of Americans, though there is a playable Japanese character whose voice acting is subtitled.
Director Keiichiro Toyama and designer Naoko Sato of 2003's Siren game for the Playstation 2 have returned for the title. Both were involved in the making of the original Silent Hill for the Playstation as well. Their game is inspired by the previous generation of Japanese horror novels and movies, and they have steadfastly stuck to the genre. The addition of American characters in this game promises a more accessible tale than previously was possible for English region players.
Siren: Blood Curse will arrive in the form of three downloadable packs on the Playstation Store. Four chapters are included in each pack, and each will retail for $14.99. The whole game can be purchased for $39.99, and roughly twenty hours of play rounds out the whole. There is no need for concern when it comes to the possibility of the episodic structure leading to players being left hanging only halfway through solving the mysteries of the shibito. On July 24 the entire game will be available from start to finish.
Images courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment