Silence of the Siren First Impressions: Slow Base Building

Silence of the Siren has some interesting gameplay concepts that add to the strategic aspect. Waiting for your army to build and carefully mapping out your options is fun and engaging when your opponents do it too. There’s a lot that must be explained that simply goes by, but the game’s potential is visible in its current offerings.

Silence of the Siren First Impressions: Slow Base BuildingStrategy games often have you building your own units and fighting off enemies in the area. But with Silence of the Siren, you are properly building up your conquest by exploring pre-existing structures. Your army must be built with growing recruits while your commanders are strengthened. You are also fighting enemy commanders who are building their forces just like you.

While the game only has a simple demo and several features haven’t been implemented yet, it’s easy to see the potential. You must think more strategically than other strategy games and carefully observe your surroundings. Consider which enemies are worth defeating and which resources will benefit you.

There are several aspects that do require better explanation since the game throws you into the deep end. For players coming from previous strategy games, there is a lot of confusion since the systems are different. If you are willing to dedicate several hours learning through trial-by-error, you can see this game’s real potential.

Silence of the Siren will be coming soon to Steam.

Silence of the Siren: Alpha Gameplay

Story – Chasing Down the Last Remnants

Silence of the Siren puts you in the shoes of a faction that won the recent conflict. You are hunting down the remnants of the survivors, but they fled to an inhabited area. Your goal is to find those survivors and defeat them before they regain their strength and retaliate. If you don’t, you could end up losing the war before it begins.

You can only play as one faction which limits the story potential. It’s a typical wartime story if you look past that, as every winner seeks to capitalize on their victory. You don’t learn much about the areas you explore other than small fragments of information. There isn’t much detail which is a pity because it could add more to the world. But for a simple demonstration, it works to give some knowledge.

It's not an extraordinary story, but it works.

It’s not an extraordinary story, but it works.

For a strategy game, the simple premise of finding enemies will be enough for the story. But it would be nice if there was some background or dialogue that lets you learn about the world. It doesn’t feel engaging when you are just fighting for any reason. Otherwise, games such as Brotato will do the job. There’s a good chance to make an engaging world with a decent story, which will hopefully be developed in the future.

Gameplay – Slow & Steady 

The whole point of Silence of the Siren is getting a feel of your surroundings and developing your army. It’s impossible to go in and start destroying enemies that you encounter. In fact, the opposite is more likely to happen. You must build your forces and learn about your surroundings to get an advantage.

Your moves must be calculated as your enemies are doing the same as well. Every turn will have both sides moving around the map and consolidating their power. You won’t know where they are right away but you know they are there. That keeps the suspense as you move around the map and make your moves.

Information is a precious commodity as you must discover the locations of resources and enemy groups around the map. Fighting a battle you can’t win isn’t advisable and you must know where you can strengthen yourself. You must work with your commander and their army to overcome your battles.

Combat is turn-based but not easy to learn.

Combat is turn-based but not easy to learn.

Commanders come with their own unique abilities, but they need forces to work with. Unlike other games such as Alien: Dark Descent, your army isn’t easy to recruit or build. Your unit generation takes time, which means you can’t replace them quickly. This forces you to choose your battles and decide whether it’s worth the risk.

Planning ahead and consolidating your resources feels like a genuine strategy. You don’t rush into situations headlong because you think it’s okay. You quickly see that some decisions aren’t smart and look for a better way. Silence of the Siren does this aspect well, because you must think three steps ahead or you fail.

Unfortunately, this gameplay aspect comes with great risks in the demo. You don’t have a lot of information to work with, and that comes with great risks when you are planning.

Information – Not Much of It

Silence of the Siren’s biggest problem is that there isn’t much information to learn how to play. You are simply given a mission and must learn through experimenting. There are some descriptions but not everything is immediately clear. You don’t know how to get more units or signals indicating enemy danger.

While a demo won’t have enough content to go through every detail, it’s not enough to really understand the game. You can have some frustrating games trying to figure out what is going on rather than engaging in the strategy. It feels less like you are having fun and more like picking up the pieces.

Most of this sounds great but is unknown.

Most of this sounds great but is unknown.

It’s a shame because explaining the game’s mechanics would have gone a long way towards showing what the game can do. Similar to tutorials from other strategy games, it helps break down complicated concepts. That’s something that is necessary for a complex game such as this, otherwise players get lost and frustrated.

Audio & Visuals – Minimal Music With 3D Visuals

Silence of the Siren takes place with 3D visuals while exploring and 2D visuals during combat. The 2D visuals help when planning your moves, since you aren’t distracted by unnecessary icons. Exploring benefits from 3D visuals as it helps you identify objects to explore and potential roadblocks.

The music is at the perfect audio level, not distracting you from the world. It’s ambient and lets you focus without stranding you in complete silence. The sound effects from combat and exploration are significant enough to draw your attention. With more regions and factions planned for the future, more music tracks are likely to appear later on.

Silence of the Siren was previewed on Steam with a code provided by Oxymoron Games.

Silence of the Siren has a great spin on the strategy genre, making you take slow and calculated movements. There are several complex mechanics that make a player think before making a move. However, there are a lot of unexplained mechanics that make gameplay more frustrating than necessary. You can see the potential for this game, but it's currently in a rough stage and it's not easy to see. You may need to dedicate a lot of time before you get a chance to see the diamond buried underneath.
  • Tactical gameplay forces you to think
  • Patience is rewarded as you build your resources
  • Interesting mechanics to learn
  • Requires a lot of patience before it becomes fun
  • Lack of information about game mechanics
  • Single storyline can get boring quickly

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