Siren PlayStation 2

Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
Buy On
  1. Siren is a game that tries to do too many things, while not doing many of them well.
  2. The implementation of sightjacking works well in achieving contemplative gameplay, as well as heightening suspense; on the contrary, the complexity of the game’s organization and the Scenario Link Navigator may turn some away.
  3. If you can deal with several gameplay mishaps, you’ll enjoy the game since Siren does a great job at telling its story in a new and involved way.
  4. Siren's grand ideas are to be applauded, but savouring them takes effort. If you can invest the time, and look away in all the right places - such as the genre's trademarks of outrageously bad combat and dogsbody objectives - then there's a uniquely suffocating horror experience waiting to be survived. [Mar 2004, p.99]
  5. For newcomers to the scene, getting into the designer's desired mindset will arguably prove too daunting, but veteran adventurers will admire the new ground that Siren breaks and its chilling atmosphere, and be able to forgive some of its basic flaws long enough to follow through with what is, at times, an immensely challenging and absorbing experience.
  6. games(TM)
    70
    In a game so clearly reliant on tension, ambience and atmosphere, it's almost unthinkable that somebody at one of the largest entertainment companies in the world would not choose dubbing rather than subtitling in such an Eastern title but, worse still, green-light the appalling finished dub which may well have permanently damaged our ears. [Mar 2004, p.94]
  7. Siren's dreamy, unsettling experience is ultimately marred by tedious trial-and-error-based design that makes it best suited to survival horror fans with a good store of patience.
  8. Its innovative concepts and creepy atmosphere are hampered by slow and tedious trial and error gameplay.
  9. The variety of innovating aspects are balanced by multiple flaws, making this one strictly for the horror-obsessed.
  10. It relies far too heavily on trial and error design, meaning it will likely only appeal to the 'hard core' crowd.
  11. Sadly this is another title that suffers from a lack of replay value.
  12. I really, really wanted to like Siren, but in the end, I just didn't have much fun or feel like the innovative parts of the game were used to their advantage. [May 2004, p.97]
  13. PSM Magazine
    60
    For those with a lot of patience and perseverence, Siren has its share of chilly moments. For most folks, though, the game is hellish in ways that simply aren't fun. [June 2004, p.26]
  14. Despite its unique approach though, the game is also very frustrating, and at times, feels more like work than like fun. The stealth gameplay is much too basic, and though the ability to see through the eyes of your attackers is creative (and spooky), it doesn’t help the player as well as it was intended.
  15. Difficult navigation and slow play require Zen-like patience, but riches await the persistent. You’ll revel in a bowel-loosening atmosphere, brain-twisting puzzles, and voice acting surpassed in horror only by "My Slutty Wife XIX."
  16. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    60
    The story is so fragmented, the missions so pointless, and the action so sparse that there's no drive to progress. [June 2004, p.90]
  17. Siren is an experiment gone awry -- a confusing fog-sacked combination of stealth and survival-horror that'll drive you batty with frustration before it can creep you out.
  18. Forbidden Siren’s greatest strength is that it hints at depth, even giving brief unnerving glimpses, but it still fails to express itself well enough for many of us to understand, and for the rest of us to bother.

Awards & Rankings

#55 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#7 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Jun 27, 2015
    10
    That is like it should be. It was better then Metal Gear Solid 2. The control have clear interaction with environment, considered many-sidedThat is like it should be. It was better then Metal Gear Solid 2. The control have clear interaction with environment, considered many-sided plot. Of itself using clairvoyance was very innovative. Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2014
    9
    Probably my favourite horror game. I love its difficult And complexity. Its a real challenge. Only for real japanese horror gamers lovers. ItsProbably my favourite horror game. I love its difficult And complexity. Its a real challenge. Only for real japanese horror gamers lovers. Its atmosphere is supera. Not for all publics. Only for real gamers. Full Review »
  3. Dec 26, 2013
    8
    The Forbidden Siren series has taken its rightful place as my favorite horror games of all time. They are refreshingly difficult and oftenThe Forbidden Siren series has taken its rightful place as my favorite horror games of all time. They are refreshingly difficult and often exercise your mind instead of being a no-brainer shoot-em-up. Silent Hill used to have its spot as my favorite, but because of the treatment it has been getting in recent times, it has been growing more and more stale.

    This review is on the first of the Siren series, one which I found particularly favorable, although not as good as Siren 2. Even if this is true, the game does shine in certain aspects. Once again, the Siren series can be pretty difficult, and the first of the series is no joke, and possibly the hardest in the series: There is no difficult settings whatsoever, there are a plethora of inconveniences concerning clunky maneuvering, and puzzles are very subtle.

    Beating this game 100% REQUIRES a guide. I cannot stress this enough. Cast away all shame and embarrassment in this act. No one will look down on you for this. Siren is VERY subtle with its tasks and demands patience and exploration. The game is laid out in a very unique fashion in which you are given a timeline chart and choose missions of various characters. Most if not all these missions have a "secondary" phase. It's basically the same level, but enemies are scattered differently and you have to acquire different items and/or objectives. This chart you have access to is known as the Link Navigator, and is one of the most unique functions I've ever seen in a game aside from Sightjacking.

    Sightjacking itself is very interesting and a very effective mechanic in this survival horror romp. What Sightjacking is is just that...jacking into someone's sight to gain an advantage in stealth. This function is your SAVIOR, and you will be using it very often. The game's length itself is carried out by how much you will be trying to analyze your situation and the positions of enemies. If you decide not to be stealthy and try to just rush through everything, you are in for a rude awakening. This game does not hold your hand; even the MAP does not show your relative position and can cause great confusion. Enemies are also very powerful, and can off you with just two to three consecutive hits.

    Despite all these gameplay difficulties, this is where the strength of Siren begins to show. The game is IMMENSELY rewarding in just the completion of a level. You will feel STRONGER almost, being able to make progress of any degree. Completing a mission usually gives you a "Movie" which progresses the story and reveals some shocking new discoveries. The story of the game is very complex, and each and every character is memorable, despite the subpar voice acting, which isn't so daunting the more you play. There are a lot of different things to uncover, and that is mostly what kept me going.

    Now a question that is usually asked when confronted with a horror title: "Is it scary?" Yes, Siren is scary, but not in the OOGA-BOOGA closet scare we are so unfortunately familiar with in this generation. Siren puts genuine fear in the player's heart. The many characters you play are usually fragile and sometimes weaponless. You even get to play as a little girl in a few stages, and those ones are particularly stressful. If you do get a character that is fortunate enough to have a firearm, the game is still hard, as it compensates by laying out gun-wielding foes everywhere and giving you a meager amount of ammunition.

    In closing, the Siren series is a hugely overlooked gem that I regret not having played for years now. This is the true face of survival horror, and maybe even the closest we'll ever get to something genuinely frightening and tense. If I have interested you in this series, I would highly recommend playing the rest of the games as well. It is really difficult to get your hands on Siren 2 these days considering it's a DVD-9 PAL format, but it improves on the first game in every way and is far more superior. Still, Forbidden Siren has surely left its mark in proper survival horror. Only those that are very patient, appreciate real horror, and have not been pampered constantly by more casual games will find great satisfaction in this excellent horror title.
    Full Review »