• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Apr 20, 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29

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  1. Sep 21, 2014
    Probably 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.
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    The 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.
  3. Nov 9, 2013
    Its a pretty good game, but its rather hard at some points... I was on and off with this game, sometimes I would not play for a year because I got stuck, I did end up finishing it but not 100% with all the archives and mini games... It was one of the hardest survival games iv played! and you need a lot of patients.
    Took over 14 hours all together...felt forever! You die easily, your
    partners don't help you like they do in the other games, you need perfect timing before striking your attack. The art style looks great though and has a interesting story, maybe that's why I wouldn't give up!
    Personally Siren 2 is a lot better and bigger, also fixes all the bugs from the first, there is a easy mode! I beat this game before the first, better controls and is actually fun most the time xD
    Over all, it was hard but its not a bad game, worth a try for sure!! With out Siren 1 there wouldn't be the rest of the series!

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
  1. A mixed bag, pairing a genuinely frightening horror experience with gameplay that's somewhat hit or miss.
  2. If you’re patient and relish a good challenge, hear the call of the Siren, open your mind and prepare to be utterly terrified.
  3. The sight jacking feature is one of the most ingenious inclusions, and something that now it’s here, I wonder just why it hasn’t cropped up in the gaming world somewhere before.