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January 30, 2004
Forbidden Siren - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
12/3/2004SonySony Japan1$99.95

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Check out those graphics!!
Another survival horror game. Fortunately Sony's attempt at creating one of the scariest and most atmospheric games in the genre looks to have paid off with some stunning visuals, interesting gameplay and a solid, if somewhat confusing, storyline. Forbidden Siren looks set to keep gamers waiting for Silent Hill 4: The Room something to do until Konami's title hits the shelves in late 2004/early 2005.

Prepare to become ensnared in the nightmare that has overwhelmed Hanyuda, the Japanese village which now finds itself awash with evil and encircled by a sea of blood. There was no warning, no explanation, in the blink of an eye the village became a gruesome hell on earth and almost all of its inhabitants met with a fate that is surely worse than death…

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Close combat.
Almost, but not all. There are few survivors, each now embroiled in their own personal fight for survival. Immersed in a world of fear, mystery and suspense these survivors begin a desperate search for a way out and only through their eyes, as they evade the vile creatures that yesterday were their friends and neighbors, will we begin to understand the macabre recent events.

Forbidden Siren takes place over a three day period, with control switching at key points between the ten survivors. Each character, from the inquisitive high school student Kyoya to the murderous old hunter Akira, is in the village for different reasons and by understanding their past and their reactions to the evil that continues to spread around them, the mystery begins to unravel. Apparently as you switch between players you will also be jumping back and forward in time so enemies that you defeat early in the game may re-appear towards the end as you have changed to a different person, possibly the day before. Much like a Quentin Tarantino movie this will only feed you little pieces of the story as you need it.

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Imagine waking up next to her.
Adding to the imaginative feel of Forbidden Siren is the characters’ ability to ‘sight-jack’ or steal the viewpoints of other characters and enemies in their immediate surroundings. This extraordinary observational power can be both a curse and a blessing as it enables character’s to predict an enemy’s movements and actions, but renders the user momentarily immobile and defenseless. When using this mode several colored crosses appear over people, blue represents yourself, green your friends, and red enemies.

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Taking out an enemy.
Weapons can be categorized mainly into hit-attack weapon, pistol, and rifle. Included in the hit-attack weapons, there are "weapons" such as a wrench, a knife, a crowbar, a hammer, an umbrella, etc. which are various tools that may be found in our everyday life. The rifle is particularly interesting as it changes to a sniper styled scope to take out enemies with more accuracy. Even though weapons are available the developers are emphasising the fact that, as would be in real life, you're more often then not better off avoiding a confrontation where possible.

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Wonderful fogging.
Graphics and sound have both been pushed to the limits in this title. The screenshots would give you some idea of what the game looks like - gruesome and, well, foggy but it's not until you see the game in action that you realise how wonderful this title looks. The lighting from the flashlight in particular is impressive, however it's the detail in the characters that really astounds - just have a look at the top screenshot to see what I mean. Sound is atmospheric, minimal but haunting - and not too dissimilar to Konami's title.

With sales of approximately 130,000 units in Japan Forbidden Siren isn't anywhere near as big as Konami's Silent Hill series in terms of sales. In terms of atmosphere and horror this game may, however, even have Konami's title beat. While the game is going to be released in America on April 20, 2004 PAL gamers will be able to get their hands on this title in March.