SYREN Screenshot 1
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SYREN

SYREN is a story about a scientist obsessed with eugenics who conducts horrific experiments in an attempt to recreate the lost species of ‘Syrens’. But now, the experiments have gotten loose. EPISODE 1: You awaken into chaos, a lab in ruins creaking under the pressure of the sea. Systems are failing everywhere. Something is down here with you…With the station reactor about to go critical, you have to evacuate the lab, and save yourself. EPISODE 2: Set after the events of SYREN, you play CIA agent, ‘Manning’ in this action packed free roaming shooter. Thrust into a world of violence, you must use your military skills to obliterate the deadly swarm of syrens stalking you, and make your way to the mystical Anomaly.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

**Updated review as of 25/02/2017 (I've left my original reviews below so you can see how well this has evolved in just a week or so worth of updates. EVERY issue i personally raised with the Dev at the bottom of this review has been fixed) - Pretty much every issue with the game from launch has now been resolved. The buttons are consistently in the lift between levels - the locomotion system works great, the new grabbing system with the grip buttons to snap objects to your hands works fantastically (though maybe needs a little tightening up to succesfully throw items any distance), the snap turn buttons can now be disabled entirely so you can very accurately move and use the roomscale.
Honestly I hope everyone gets a chance to re-review the game either from now or after further bugfix updates (the sound still needs work - enemy footsteps can sound like theyre next to you when they are actually in a different room down a long corridor away) - but compared to some of the hobbled-together tripe i've seen released over the last year for the Vive, this is a genuinely terrifying, beatufully graphiced, and now well-controlled first person survival horror title and it needs FAR more praise than i've seen on the steam reviews here. I still hold my breath when a Syren walks by and I still put up my hands and squeal when they nomm on my face! If you're expecting the AAA level of polish of Alien Isolation then sure you might be disappointed still, but that doesnt stop this being a killer title as far as the Vives current releases go.**
**Update as of 17/02/2017 - the graphics issue has been resolved - no more smudge on the lens - can really appreciate the finer details in the environment now. Huge improvement good work Dev!**
Hohoho! Ok my opinion switched fast on this one :D
Initial reaction was disappointment - as others have said on max graphics settings the games really blurry - classic UE4 issue that i've seen in a few other titles. Manually supersampling will help but obvs if your graphics card is going to struggle with it like mine (980TI) then you just have to make do. But the graphics are actually supersharp for the most part - its just not evident until you get your face right up next to an item. Bizarre but hopefully fixable in an update patch.
Controls are really a mess at the moment with too many controls on the thumpads. I found it a lot more playable in teleport movement than in Locomotion movement as it meant i didnt need to worry about trying to use a fire extinguisher in my left hand on the same button as would walk me forward ^_^ Again - update patch required.
DESPITE ALL THE ABOVE - this game got me good :D The first "level" (handful of rooms and corridors) took a lot of getting used to due to scripted events requiring specific actions/movements. Also the bug when an enemy scuttles into a vent is hilarious due to her going over the top of the vent and vanishing - Slightly killing the atmosphere :) But as soon as you get to the next level/area (only takes a couple of minutes once you've retried it a few times) you realise theres a lot more mechanics to play around with and the game opens up more. Playing Hide & Seek with creepy chick and using items to distract her was actually the most intensely scared i've been since Alien Isolation! My only advice to fellow purchasers at this point is push on through the first area and see what the game is ACTUALLY like before hastily negatively reviewing it. I haven't got much further into it but what i've seen so far really gave me goosebumps ^^
**Notes below are for the Developer - please fix the graphics blur and controls!

Make the trigger button Shoot or Activate the held item.
Use the grip button on the side of the controller to pick up items - and make it just a one push to lock the item to your hand and push again to drop the item - nobody likes to hold a button constantly on a required item.
You only need to use One of the Top Menu buttons to pick up distant items - the other Menu button could be used to pause the game and bring up ingame options such as graphics settings...and a quit button for if i'm cr*pping my pants :P
If Teleport movement has been selected - use the entire thumpad on the controller as a teleport button. Dont put other controls on the thumpad, keep it simple. Especially with the Vive I dont imagine many people will require the left/right buttons to snap the screen left/right - the majority of users will just turn in the physical room. By all means have the option to enable the snap screen movement for less abled gamers - but allow us to disable it in the options.

Review from Steam

Bought this today 2/22/17 - So based on the early reviews, I was worried about wasting my money. However, I decided to take a leap because they just patched the game this week. So here is my review...
Game Settings - I picked ultra graphics (looks amazing if you can run it!) Then I chose the left touchpad locomotion because im sick of teleporting around in other games. This set speed is calibrated just right so i didnt get any motion sickness. Great job there!
Tutorial - Very helpful! Got through that in just a couple minutes and everytihng is easy to understand. The only complaint I have was with how the character holds the guns as I have to tilt my wrist forward to aim. A more natural pistol grip angle would be prefered.
Level 1 - (No Spoilers Here) Looks amazing, once again remind you that I selected left touchpad locomotion. It works great as you only need to gently touch it (it is sensitive so takes some getting used to) Getting through level 1 takes a bit of problem solving, so dont give up. I would compare this to Alien Isolation style of gameplay.
Level 2 - Evasion tactics work. After I died twice and got the crap scared outa me, I had to write a review because this is a high quality VR game.
Problems - My game did crash twice after I broke some items with my axe. Other than that, I look forward to playing the rest of it.
Enjoy!

Review from Steam

There are so many "horror" games out on Steam atm. Some are good and some are bad. Syren actually is one of the better as it does one thing most other horror games don't: You get chased. Not only are there jumpscares, but the these creatures actually chase you, which is extremly stressful in VR.
Graphics are good and the puzzles are pretty easy (but honestly, that's a good thing). You advance quick in the game and don't get stuck and frustrated.
The ambience is scary as soon as you exit the starting area. As most games in VR uses either trigger or grip buttons to pick up objects, this game uses the trigger. Which feels pretty normal.
In general, this is a very scary experience. We play a lot of horror and this is maybe top 3 of the scariest we have played so far: Just because of the fact that you need to sneak, and if you get spotted, you will be chased. And running forward in VR hearing something behind you chasing you is a new experience in VR, at least for us. That is why this game feels fun and in a sense: "innovative".
We liked it!
Watch us play:

Review from Steam

This game is good (for the time it was made) and was enjoyable in the end. But the controls are done very awkwardly. They do have grip toggle now which makes holding the axe and guns better but you can't throw objects when in that mode. Therefore, what I did was use toggle grip when I had to do the levels with guns and turned it off when I did the levels that needed stealth. Now if you have a gun in non toggle grip mode when you hold the gun you have to hold trigger and shoot with track pad which is dopey. Now you understand why I did what I did. If you have a large play space it is super immersive as you can literally walk/crawl behind the syrens quietly with your own body which is exillerating. It was like really being there and with the tension. Basically you can throw things to distract the Syrens, kill or hurt them if you have weapons which are hard to come by or die if they see you. :-) . I am not sure if chapter 2 was included with what I played which I doubt as there was no shooter mode as far as I noticed. Regardless of that fact if you get this on sale I think you can get some enjoyment out of it and also have a decent horror/thriller game to play at parties or showing off VR to friends if you show them how to do the controls like I explained. It does seem like this is the final release but none the less I recommend it on sale only. My rating 6/10. Mainly because of the controls and lack of further develoment. There is an ending to the game so this part is finished.
One further suggestion: When you first start the game and if you want to do the tutorial choose smooth walking first because I think the tutorial is broken for the teleport mode. And for the tutorial choose toggle grip so you can shoot the guns "normally". Haha. Then switch back to the other modes if you want to use them. Remember you can't effectively throw stuff in toggle grip mode. It just drops stuff out of your hand if you try to throw. Still with all these quirks on sale I think you should not pass up this experience if you like tension thrillers/horror stealth games.
First play video here if you want to see the full playthrough. There is a lot of trial and error in it. Not edited. The spoiler is at the end so if you don't want to know what happens then don't watch the last 10 minutes. Thanks and enjoy. :-)

Review from Steam

Syren
Gameplay
Syren is a survival horror game which tasks you with escaping a research facility where everything has gone horribly wrong and there are mermaid cyborgs everywhere hunting you down. That is the basic gist of the game and it doesn’t differentiate much from the formula throughout this horrific journey. Syren is set in an underwater facility with a Bioshock-esque environment and it relies more on building up the environment to tense you up than the actual sirens.
When you do confront a syren though, it is always a game of hide and seek. It clearly draws some inspiration from Alien: Isolation and while the Syren AI is not that good, it is servicable.
The thing that works for it though is the fact that instead of being chased by one entity, you are being chased by multiple. There are lots of Syrens in the facility and they can kill you at a moment’s notice if they notice you even from a distance.
Syren really benefits from the VR system and every encounter feels up close and personal. Using your own skills to peek around and brace yourselves while a Syren is passing is absolutely nerve-wracking and I have to give credit for that. The game does not present you with immersion breaking stuff like inventory or crafting. You are simply present there in the facility and even if you drop something, the Syrens will get alerted of your presence.
The few levels which are present in the game itself are pretty nice and they are designed quite well. The game does have a certain lack of levels and you can essentially run through the game once you have figured out the pattern of Syren’s movements.
What really lets Syren down are the number of bugs that plague the game. Enemies glitching through rooms, constant pop ins and a number of set sequences all contribute to a frustrating experience. The game might also cause paranoia and dizziness to some and while that might be true for most of the VR game, Syren does make a special case being the genre it is present in.
Visuals
Syren is visually very impressive. The environments are richly detailed and provide a perfect backdrop for a game like this. The Syren models are also terrifying and while there are some issues, it does its job really well. A number of visual pop ins and some low resolution textures here and there might ruin your experience though but it is nearly impossible to not be impressed by the sheer level of detail present in the levels here.
Sound
Syren’s gameplay depends a lot on its sound design as you have to guess when and where a Syren might be around. The soundtrack is creepy and lends to the atmosphere of the game really well. The game does an amazing of letting you know your mistakes through the sound design and it is absolutely terrifying when you drop something or hear something loud near you which can attract the Syrens. Overall while the sound design is not phenomal, it is creepy and does the job it sets out to do.
Overall
Syren might be a tough buy for some people as it is marred by a number of bugs and glitches but for anyone who is looking to properly utilize his or her VR for a scary experience, Syren might be right up your alley. The price is right but it is very buggy in its current state and is quite lacking in content. So, if you are looking for a survival horror game for VR and you are all right with the state of the game then give Syren a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: 60/100
This review was brought to you by Review Experts through the generous contribution of Daniël - REX ♥ Gaming

Review from Steam

Love this game, i just have one major issue with the contols.
Holding down the triggers to hold an items, really need to utilize grip buttons
The issue with this is you cant aim properly and really have to bend your wrist in a silly position to aim and after a minute you start to loose your grip.

Review from Steam

The display won't mirror to the monitor. Just a black screen with audio. Tried fudging it with the display mirror but the audio cuts when the main app is running in the background. Headset seems to operate fine. Play on the vive with friends and family all of the time though. Kind of a major bummer for me.
EDIT
It's fixed. Thanks devs!