Siren: Blood Curse is known as Siren: New Translation in Japan, which gives an indication of the game's origins. The game is a "re-imagining" of the game Siren which first appeared on PS2 in 2004. But while the underlying story is the same, enough has changed in Blood Curse for it to be considered an entirely new game.
The game is a stealth-based survival horror game, which is divided into 12 episodes. These episodes were previously available for download from the PlayStation Store in some territories, but this release sees the first time they have all been collected together on Blu-ray disc.
As with the original game, Blood Curse takes place in the remains of the village of Hanuda (pronounced ha-nude-a), which was destroyed by a mudslide in 1976. A TV crew from a "Ghosthunting"-style show arrives to investigate rumours that human sacrifices took place there thirty years ago.
As you begin to discover Hanuda, you'll also discover the Shibito, zombie-like creatures who will come after you at every opportunity. Like zombies, a shot to the head might drop them, but unlike zombies, the Shibito will not stay down. You'll need to keep a weapon with you at all times. There are some 50 weapons to choose from, and each has a finishing move, if you can manage to perform this on a Shibito, he is knocked out for much longer, giving you more chance of completing the task or level at hand.
While it's sometimes obvious that Siren was conceived as an episodic download game, it improves as the game progresses, and in the end provides a refreshing twist on the survival horror genre.
In the game, you can play one of seven characters, and you change between these as the story demands. One of Blood Curse's most innovative features is the ability for you to "sight-jack" other characters, both playable and non-playable, and see what they are seeing while still retaining control of your own character. You can add these third-party characters to a menu, enabling you to switch your viewpoint between them quickly and easily - which is a vital tool in helping you move around Hanuda without being detected - like your own little mobile-camera CCTV system.
One of the creators of the original Siren game, which was released as Forbidden Siren in the UK, was Keiichirō Toyama, who previously directed Silent Hill, one of the classics of the survival horror genre. Many aspects of Silent Hill, including the remote deserted village location which shifts from normality to strangeness and back, are included in Siren, and no-one could consider this a bad thing.