Forgotten Treasures – Forbidden SIREN (PS2)
For those of you who haven’t heard of Forbidden SIREN, it’s a Japanese survival horror game for the PS2 that became well known for its unique facial animation technology, multi-character story-line, and sight-jacking game mechanic.
If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve seen or played SIREN: Blood Curse on the PSN. SIREN: Blood Curse was a re-imagining of the original game with characters and story that catered towards a North American audience. It’s a great game for what it was aiming to achieve, however, for the authentic Japanese characters, scares, and scenarios, you’ll have to play the original that was recently released as a PS2 Classic on the PlayStation Network.
Learn more about Forbidden SIREN for the PSN after the break.
The original Forbidden SIREN for the PS2 was a criminally underrated classic. Critics praised the game for the incredible facial animation (for its time) as well as a deep storyline, terrifying atmosphere, and intriguing characters. It also featured a sightjack feature that allowed players to see the situation through the eyes of the hunters, the Shibito. It was also one of the few uniquely-Japanese horror games that achieved moderate success upon it’s release in North America.
Like Silent Hill before it, Forbidden SIREN encouraged players to run or avoid the Shibito instead of facing them in combat. These guys were hard to kill, and some even kept coming back regardless of how much damage they’ve taken. It was then key to make use of the sightjack mechanic to observe each Shibito’s route, habits, and locations. Some of the most tension-filled and scariest moments in the game have you hiding in cabinets and cupboards while packs of Shibito scour the room, intent on eviscerating you on sight.
Also interesting is the deep backstory of each character, the island of Hanuda, and many of the supporting characters that players will meet throughout the game. Through the “Link Navigator,” the game’s mission/level selector, you’ll go backwards and forwards through time through different viewpoints to understand the events that unfold. As well, through the “Archives” feature, you’ll learn about each unique item discovered and collected as well as stories from each character in the game.
Be warned though, Forbidden SIREN is also a game infamous for its unforgiving difficulty and oftentimes confusing (Japanese-style) story-telling. It’s mission structure and difficulty lead to trial and error, however, if you’re looking for a uniquely Japanese horror title then Forbidden SIREN is your best bet. It’s terrific combination of tension, atmosphere, pacing, and creepy facial animations make it a must-buy for horror aficionados worldwide.
If you’re still not sure if Forbidden SIREN or SIREN: Blood Curse for PS3 are your type of survival horror games, then this trailer might change your mind:
(I originally wrote and published this for Sonyrumors.Net)