Rising from the Grave: Siren

Fingers crossed for Siren on PS4!

Fingers crossed for Siren on PS4!

No matter what we may say, we like being scared. The thrill of the unknown, never knowing what is going to happen next. That’s why horror games have seen such a rise in popularity recently. The success of a single game have revitalised an entire genre. I talk of Slender of course, a game that set YouTube on fire and has spawn endless imitators. However, even with this increase on popularity, we’re still only really treated to small survival horror experiences. Where’s all the big hitters? Resident Evil is being put back on the drawing board, Silent Hill struggles to resonate with its fans and Project Zero/ Fatal Frame is currently stuck on the 3DS. This had me thinking of a game series that I use to love, yet never really struck gold with horror fans as sales were never spectacular. That series is the Siren series, developed by Project Siren, a small team working within the SCE Japan Studio.

With only 3 entries into the series, and the last one being somewhat of a retelling of the first game, I feel this is a series that died before it was ever given a chance. Siren is about a Japanese village with strong religious beliefs important in the area. The locals like to keep to themselves and have sought to keep their village isolated from the outside world. The story usually focuses on the leader of a local religion, a his attempt to resurrect or re-awaken a god through a ceremony. During the ceremony, residents immerse themselves in the surrounding water that is now red, thus creating an army of subordinates called Shibito. The Shibito then go about building a nest to house the god’s corporeal form once it is summoned, as well as killing and converting any remaining humans left, that usually includes you. With the popularity of horror games on the rise, does that mean Sony have Project Siren hard at work on a new game in the series for the PS4? This is ‘Rising from the Grave: Siren’.

It gets worse...

It gets worse…

Why? When Sony tried to reboot the series with Siren: Blo0d Curse on PS3 in 2008, they did something that was simply ahead of its time. They released the game in episodes, a format that The Walking Dead game from Telltale Games proved to be highly successful and a great way to distribute a game. They also released the game on disk too, for those of use that weren’t exactly in tune with downloading games yet. This is a strategy I’d love to see revisited for a new Siren game, with each episode ending on a cliff-hanger and a teaser for the next episode. When you think about it too, horror games fit the episodic nature extremely well, with deaths, reveals and intensity around each corner. The time is right for the next Siren episodic adventure.

How could it improve? I say it each time, but yes, the graphics could do with being upgraded. I’d actually like a more unique look to the game too, whether it be graphical or mechanical with perhaps retro style menus and items within the game. Something else that would benefit the game greatly too, is less weapons. Siren actually had a decent amount of weapons you could use against the enemy, from swords to shotguns. Maybe dial that back a bit and go a little deeper. With smaller characters not being able to handle the few larger firearms, but be quicker with their melee attacks. There’s a lot potential with being able to see through the eyes of the enemy too, with some of the scarier moments coming from that mechanic. With some tweaking, it could become a highly valuable tool to the player and one of the developers best opportunities to deliver some great scares.

Realistically, could this game happen? Project Siren had only been known for their Siren games. But in 2012, that all changed when they released a PS Vita game that saw both consumer and critical praise. This game was Gravity Rush, it was very different from the Siren games. It was such a big success for them, that it quickly gained a dedicated fan base and there is a high demand for a sequel. Project Siren has also shared their interest in making a sequel to Gravity Rush, so it would seem that a new Siren game is quite far off. However, Sony have stated that they have many first-party exclusives in development of the PS4, and we still have many of them to be revealed. Perhaps one of them is a new Siren game, if it is though, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in development at a different studio with Project Siren doing nothing but overlooking the development as they work on Gravity Rush 2.

... like this much worse!

… like this much worse!

Probability of Rising from the Grave: 58%

-ast

Rising from the Grave: Syphon Filter

Your the best, around!

You’re the best, around!

Today, I have to watch and play things in order. It’s who I am. If I fancy re-watching Rocky IV, then I’ll start from the beginning and work my way up the ladder. As for games, when Assassins Creed 3 was due out, I went and replayed all previous games leading up to the release of the third one. I did the exact same thing when Mass Effect 3 was almost out, I went back to the first entry in the series and started a new character I could play as I an inevitable second/ third play through. When I was younger though, I couldn’t have cared less. That’s why I start at Syphon Filter 2, then went on to the first game, and finished with the third.

Syphon Filter is a game series about stopping the release of a deadly virus named Syphon Filter. You usually play as Gabe Logan, however you also are put into the shoes of many of characters in certain levels during your play through of the games. The last Syphon Filter game was released 6 years ago, with the suspected death of Gabe Logan, but he is a videogame character and could easily return with the correct writing. I won’t lie, my experience with the series ended with Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, which I didn’t like. But the original trilogy was so good, fun to play and had great boss fights. SCE Bend Studio is behind all Syphon Filter games, they’re also behind the more recent Resistance and Uncharted games for the PS Vita. But will Sony now use them to create a new chapter in the Syphon Filter series on PS4 or will they stick with PS Vita development? This is ‘Rising from the Grave: Syphon Filter’.

I hated this level in the first SF.

I hated this level in the first SF.

Why? I could have gone off saying Sony need this because Splinter Cell is seemingly sided with Microsoft. But with Splinter Cell now releasing on PS3 as well as Xbox 360, does Sony really need to bring back Syphon Filter? It’s usually seen as a stealth-action game, and sure we don’t have a load of those right now. I’m finding it really hard to find a reason for them to get behind another Syphon Filter. Don’t get me wrong, I want it. If Sony announced this, it would become one of my most anticipated games ever. Sony have lots of exclusives already announced for PS4, and the more the merrier, and perhaps this is what Sony may want. A stealth-action exclusive game, for PS4, from a studio that knows the genre and licence better than anyone no less. Honestly though, if they did announce the game, I would probably see it as a game Sony got behind to simply add to the number of exclusives for PS4. Nothing more.

How could it improve? New generation, new look. With the power of the PS4 behind them, a globe-trotting adventure of espionage and saving the world sounds nice. People also have certain expectations these days with third person games, so a familiar control scheme will help with selling the game to people who may think Syphon Filter’s golden age has come and gone. I remember playing the multiplayer, split-screen with my mum. A ton of fun, feeling a lot like a third person Goldeneye. Multiplayer is of course a massive selling point for a lot of people, so some imagination and originality would go a long way in making a great multiplayer component.

Realistically, could this game happen? SCE Bend Studio have been working on something for the past couple years, what it is exactly, we do not yet know. They have vast experience working with the PS Vita, however this coupled with the fact that the PS Vita isn’t getting nearly enough games that it deserves, I think if we are to get any new Syphon Filter game, it will only be on the PS Vita. I hope I’m wrong, perhaps being able to stream any PS4 game to your PS Vita will help in the decision to make the next Syphon Filter a PS4 game.

Reminds me of the Air Taser, good times!

Reminds me of the Air Taser, good times!

Probability of Rising from the Grave: 45%

-ast

Rising from the Grave: The Getaway

The memories!

The memories!

So I live in the UK, yet it feels like I’ve visited everywhere on earth, despite only being to France. It seems every game today, mostly open world, takes place in America. That’s why whenever a game reveals it’s got a few levels or partially takes place in the UK, I can easily get excited for it. This may just be me, but surely there are many more gamers out there with the same feelings. So I ask, where is The Getaway series? Set in London, being based around gang and police life, The Getaway and it’s sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday, always felt like a breath of fresh air.

Exclusives these days are what help sell consoles, and Sony already has their fair share of amazing exclusives already. The Getaway 3 has been rumoured for quite some time now. To be released on the PS3, it was being developed by Sony’s London Studio, quite fitting when you think about it. Then news came that The Getaway 3 had been put on hold by SCE London Studio so they could focus their attention to games for the EyeToy and in the SingStar series. Seems like a waste of talent to me and reminds me of Rare’s current standing with Microsoft. So with the PS4 on the horizon, a new start, maybe the chances of The Getaway 3 are slowly improving. This is ‘Rising from the Grave: The Getaway’.

Try and picture how this would look on PS4.

Try and picture how this would look on PS4.

Why? If the critical success of Sleeping Dogs is anything to go by, then you don’t have to have your open world in America for the game to sell. There’s a lot potential with having the game set in the UK, we have different laws, a different society and different architecture. That alone would bring back that feeling of freshness, something new and exciting. Also, game mechanics like leaning up to a wall the help recover your health and having to watch your indicators on your car to find your way through the streets would be welcomed back with open arms.

How could it improve? We’re yet to see what the PS4 could do with an open world game. The Getaway series always went for authenticity and realism, whilst still keeping the game side of thing intact. It’s a hard balance to achieve, but one that the series is known for. So with the improved power of the PS4, everything could be improved to make it look more lifelike than ever before. With firearms being less prominent in the UK too, we could have a see an improvement on the brutal fighting we saw in the previous game and when we do get our hands on some guns, the shooting mechanics will need a complete rework as they were never that great to begin with.

Realistically, could this game happen? So SCE London Studios have been hard at work for the past few years on many EyePet and SingStar games. They are also responsible for PlayStation Home and their newest project, Wonderbook. Since last year though, they’ve released nothing, leading to speculation that they’re working on something for the PS4. I’m not saying it’s The Getaway 3, I’m sure they have enough exclusives in the pipeline, all ready for the launch later this year. But let’s not push aside the facts, they were working on The Getaway 3, It was put on hold, not cancelled. Of course that was back in 2008 and later reconfirmed in late 2009. I do think we’ll see something from this series in the near future, whether it be a full-blown PS4 title or a PS Vita title.

On my way to SCE London Studios to arrest them for not making The Getaway 3!

Off to SCE London Studios to arrest them!

Probability of Rising from the Grave: 83%

-ast

Rising from the Grave: Manhunt

Smileys were my favourite gang

Smileys were my favourite gang.

I remember it was just after Christmas, and I returned to school with everyone telling each other what they had got for Christmas. A good friend of mine described a game that sounded like it had been made just for me. A stealth game with a ton of violence that allowed you to stalk your prey from the shadows before killing them with a plastic bag. I never quite remembered the name of the game, and it soon slipped my mind. Not long after, I came across a disk with no case in sight. With the words Manhunt and the Rockstar (of GTA fame) logo on it, I knew exactly this was the very same game described to me a couple of months ago.

Manhunt quickly became a personal, all-time favourite video game of mine. It is one of the few games I completely 100% complete and I knew every level like the back of my hand. A sequel was released but with it being heavily censored, I never gave it a chance. For a complete generation of consoles, we’ve had no news of a third game in the franchise. Now we’re almost upon another generation of consoles and I’m still hopeful. This is ‘Rising from the Grave: Manhunt’.

Playable character James Earl Cash on death row

Playable character James Earl Cash on death row.

Why? Well, why not? We saw Rockstar Games bring back the Red Dead franchise, why not Manhunt? Rockstar Games are masters at their craft. Every game they create garners much hype and anticipation. As we come to the end of a generation and the beginning of a new, we’re seeing stealth games a lot more frequently. So it’s pretty clear that stealth games are popular right now, and even when they’re not, they’re always welcomed by most gamers. Also, the games industry has matured to the point were a game like Manhunt can fit in and not cause controversy like it once did.

How could it improve? First and foremost, the graphics. The last time we saw Manhunt, everyone still had the infamous square hands that Rockstar Games were known for back then. How about multiplayer too? I’ve never liked the idea of tacked on multiplayer, but with stealth mechanics, multiplayer can feel fresh and unique. Splinter Cell showed that it can work with their Spy vs. Mercs multiplayer mode. Rockstar Games have also come a long way in their writing too, with their newer games containing interesting characters and fantastic stories. This no doubt would mean we could get a story that drives the player forward and keeps the game intense, scary and full of surprises.

Realistically, could this game happen? Anything is possible, even more so if you’re talking about Rockstar Games. They currently have Grand Theft Auto V coming out in September, with DLC no doubt planned. After that though, where do they go? After Grand Theft Auto IV, they developed Red Dead Redemption, after that they did Max Payne 3. I can see another new IP in their future, they may also still be working on PS3 (maybe now PS4) exclusive Agent. However, Manhunt was fairly well received by critics and gamers alike back in 2003, as was the sequel in 2007/ 2008. Rockstar Games have also made their love for the franchise known over the years.

Manhunt 3, make it happen

Manhunt 3, make it happen.

Probability of Rising from the Grave: 70%

-ast