Siren: Blood Curse

PSN: Siren, Gangs of London PSP

Plus echochrome demo, GH3 pack.

Sony has updated the PlayStation Network store with Siren: Blood Curse (albeit with slightly rejigged pricing, Gangs of London for PSP and an echochrome demo.

Siren PS3 last-minute price change

Chapter bundles slightly higher.

Sony has released Siren: Blood Curse on PlayStation Network but the price of the individual three-episode bundles has gone up by two quid.

Siren: Blood Curse

Siren: Blood Curse

Some like it clot.

The first two Siren games may have been inspired and joyously original, but fun wasn't the right word for them. The brutality meted out by the 2003 PS2 original, which took the survival-horror template to ferocious extremes, was something to behold, even for hardened veterans of the genre. The result was the most hardcore survival-horror around - not necessarily something to charge your glasses about.

However, if you poked around in there long enough - adapting to the unique gameplay demands of high-jacking your enemies' eyesight, and one of the most complex and interwoven narratives in games - you eventually hit the bones of something very special. It might not have been fun, most of the time, but it was certainly progressive, challenging and engaging. All the elements were there for Siren to take the next step forward for horror gaming. It just needed a sharper focus to make the pieces fit.

The question is whether Siren: Blood Curse - a 12-episode series reboot sold on PSN - can deliver. As Rob Fahey noted when he reviewed the first three episodes (the game is available in three-episode lumps for GBP 6.99 or as a single 12-episode game for GBP 19.99), many of the things that crippled playability in the past have been fixed - or at least tweaked sufficiently to make the game more approachable and enjoyable.

Read more

Siren: Blood Curse - Chapters 1-3

Siren: Blood Curse - Chapters 1-3

Horribly good value.

Americanised remakes of Japanese horror. Depending on your perspective, that phrase may or may not induce absolute revulsion - but even those who insist on the originals would have to acknowledge that Americanised remakes tend to work best when the Japanese creative team is deeply involved (The Grudge), and worst when the films are so heavily Americanised that their origins are entirely erased (the execrable Pulse).

So when I tell you that Siren: Blood Curse is, in essence, an Americanised remake of the original Siren, bear with me for a moment more - because it needs to be emphasised that this is a remake by the original creative team, working out of Japan. They have chosen for their own reasons to replace several key characters with Americans and record much of the dialogue in English - a decision that's initially jarring for fans of the first game, but whose impact on the quality of what's on offer is actually negligible.

Besides, Blood Curse is far from being a straight, frame-for-frame remake of its progenitor. Few game series have ever evolved quite as quickly as Siren has - from the launch of the first game, intriguing but desperately flawed, to the arrival of the second, vastly more playable, more enjoyable and more interesting, and now finally to Blood Curse. Here we find the Siren team matured, experienced, and returning to their first game to show that they've become a world-class developer.

Read more

Siren: Blood Curse

Grim fandango.

Bloody Japanese villages: safe havens for murderous occult types, intent on turning their human sacrifices into a shambling posse of frothing undead. There are easier ways to commit mass benefit fraud, but there's no telling them. What's more, after decades of zombie education, a dozen Hideo Nakata movies, The Blair Witch Project, Scooby Doo, and all those spooky survival-horror games, you'd think people would reconsider 'investigating' a village that vanished 30 years previously. That shaky cam footage isn't going to help anyone, really, is it?