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...
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 neighbours, 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.
There are 78 episodes in total, but these are not played through in chronological order - a scenario link navigator in the form of a time table helps the player understand how each episode falls into place. The lack of order adds to the suspense and twisting nature of the plot - ghosts literally come back to haunt as characters may re-encounter humans or monsters that they know from a previous episode are soon to perish.
The claustrophobic, knife edge atmosphere of Hanyuda is generated through an astonishing blend of unnerving sound effects, lifelike graphics and Japanese culture. As you creep through deserted streets, or down an abandoned mineshaft, the night air is thick with rain, fog and dew, while subtle references to indigenous customs and the digitally recreated locations combine to provide an overwhelming sense of authenticity. The characters too are beautifully formed and move with unerring realism thanks to the use of actors and models for motion capture.
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 defenceless.
Forbidden Siren is inspired by the gothic novels of HP Lovecraft and also pays subtle homage to the dynamism of '80s horror films. Brace yourself for a claustrophobic experience in a world of tension and despair where survival will only be attained by those with patience, intelligence and nerves of steel.