A while back, we broke the news to you that there will be a new Siren game coming for the Playstation 3, however, what was more interesting was the fact that Japanese Game Magazine Famitsu stated that the game could be released as soon as this summer with a demo planned for the end of April. Well, the demo certainly did arrive, and I had the pleasure to downloading it to give it a quick test drive.
Siren New Translation is a remake of the original game from back in 2003 for the Playstation 2. Now with the added power of the Playstation 3, Sony's Japan Studio can make the game they originally wanted to do back in 2003.
The first thing you will notice is that while the subtitles and tips that pops up on the screen are in Japanese, the voice acting is all in English, which makes understanding the game a whole lot easier for those of us who are not fluent in Japanese. You start as a character known as Sam Monroe. All you have on you is a flashlight, and by god, you need that flashlight.
The start of the demo is very, very dark. The only thing you can see is what your flashlight is glazing over. This sets the mood as very tense and creepy, and the excellent music playing really adds to the already creepy atmosphere. I then set off to look for the rest of the crew, and as I walked up the steps, it cut to a cut scene. Here you see the zombies that plague this land. After two zombies batter each other, the game is playable, and after much trial and error, as I couldn't read Japanese which left the on screen tips unusable, I finally made it around the zombie without been detected.
This is one of many features the game brings: stealth. The object was to get around the zombie undetected, as you start off with nothing but you bear hands. As you move on to the next section, you see that there is a metal pole sticking out of the wall, which you are able to pick up using the "X" button on PS controller.
The combat is easy, as with just a push of "R1" or "square," you swing the weapon. The zombies are way to powerful for you to be able to just use your fists, so it is wise to look for a weapon. Otherwise you will be dying rather often. The SIXAXIS has been implemented within the game. If you ever get knocked down while fighting off a zombie, you have to rapidly shake the controller to scramble away and pick yourself up before they finish the job. Further on in the demo, you come across another zombie but this time you have a weapon, which makes it a lot easier to dispose of this evil creature.
Still, the game as a whole is very dark and moody. You have to investigate this area just outside of what seems to be work mines. After investigating, I noticed I could do something to this door I was standing in front of. After hitting the pad lock three times with my metal pole, the door opened, and it went to another cut scene.
Here is where you meet another member of your crew, but not before she knocks you out by hitting you across the head out of fear. The woman's name is Melissa Gale. After a cut scene with her, you follow her up towards the mines, and this is where you get hold of a gun. Shooting is simple, as you just press and hold down the "L1" button for aim and either "square" or "R1" to shooting. Locking onto a target is automatic, but this can be confusing and frustrating if you there are multiple zombies on the screen.
The game has a horror tone to it with the grainy effects adding to the settings. The graphics are good but there is definitely room for improvement. Character models are strong, but the scenery, seems to need a bit of work. Other than that, it could be a very impressive looking game when the final product hits this summer.
Overall, the demo is promising. With the extra time available before release, Japan Studio can polish and do some graphical tweaks that should make this horror title stand out and be noticed. With the demo being more action packed than scary, I am unable to tell you to play the game in the dark or the light; however, once you play the demo, you can get the feel that there will be some scary times ahead in Siren's Next-Gen debut.
Let's hope that a western version will come out shortly after the Japan release this summer.