Review by Arschrammen
Messy controls ruin what would otherwise be an eerie and artistic gaming experience
Forbidden Siren 2 was recommended to me by a friend who shared a love of survival horror gaming with me. He thought that if I had enjoyed Silent Hill and Project Zero that I should at least give Forbidden Siren 2 a shot, especially since it was apparently the product of one of the masterminds behind the original Silent Hill.
Forbidden Siren 2 follows the story of a multitude of characters, all strangers to each other, and each survivors of a supernatural storm - a violent tsunami that turns the seas and skies red, and seems to invoke a horde of monsters and other strange beings. One of the unique aspects of this game is that the story is not told in a linear fashion, but jumps from one character to another, and not necessarily in a chronological order of events. Unfortunately, each "chapter" is fairly short, and constantly jumping from one point in time to another and from character to character really disrupts the flow of the story.
The graphics are good, with probably the best facial animations in a game I've seen to date, even compared to the new generation of consoles. The light effects are great, and most of the game is played with a weird filter on the lens, giving an artistic and eerie feel. Unfortunately, the detail that went into the characters is not given to the monsters, which is a bit of a let down, but overall, this is a stylish game that is pleasant to the eye.
In horror games, the use of sound is one of the most important factors. While not on par with Silent Hill or Project Zero, the ambient music is excellent and the sound effects reasonable. The overdubbed Brittish voice acting is weird, but in a creepy way that actually enhances the experience and makes it a bit surreal.
Where the game totally falls apart, however, is the gameplay and controls. While a lot of games use the left analog stick to control the movement of the character, and the right stick to control sight/direction, Forbidden Siren 2 attempts to do both actions with the left analog stick only. Essentially what this means is that if you're moving, you can only move forward and about 10-15 degrees left or right. If you want to turn more than that, your character stops, which isn't helpful if you're trying to run away, and makes dodging an enemy impossible. This also makes engaging with an enemy for combat extremely difficult as well.
So overall, although this game has much potential to be a truly horrifying and unique survival horror game, the truly horrifying controls make it impossible to enjoy.
Product Release: Forbidden Siren 2 (EU, 08/04/06)
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