Sightjack the Shibito in Siren, Coming to PSN
The PS2 classic Japanese horror game Siren will be coming to the PlayStation Network next Tuesday, January 15th. I’m very excited for Siren to come to PSN because this was the very first game I ever worked on while working at Sony Computer Entertainment America.
It put me completely out of my comfort zone at the time, being a Japanese game and in the survival horror genre. I was used to playing shooters and platformers. But Siren was a rare form of survival horror game with its puzzle-like levels and a really interesting mechanic giving you the upper hand on the shibito (zombies if you will) that were scattered across the small Japanese village.
Sightjacking is a gift the surviving characters of Siren have that enabled them to jack the vision of the shibito nearby. Using the analog stick to tune into their location as if you were tuning the knob of an analog radio, you could learn about where they were located in the dark and even through walls. You could find out how many there were and determine the best route to take your character along in order to stay out of their sight.
The thing about the shibito in Siren is they can’t be killed. Throughout the game you control several different characters and at different times of day. While the story overall is linear, the fact that you figure out this story in scattered bits is what makes the story of Siren unique. You learn much about each character, where they came from, why they ended up in this strange village, and ultimately who will die.
If you ever played the Japanese version of Siren, you might have noticed a difference in the character bios. While it was acceptable to have a young girl be killed in Japan, these aspects just didn’t work for the North American version. A couple characters had their ages changed and few other smallish things were censored, but its still one of the toughest games to 100%.
If you’re looking for a challenge that isn’t just asking you to play a game for hundreds of hours, but is instead about managing your movements in a dark enemy infested environment looking for every collectible trinket before making your way to the exit, then Siren is your game. The puzzles are epic, the story is good, and the horror is very Japanese. If you liked Ringu (The Ring) or Fatal Frame 3, you’ll like Siren.