Necrofancy: BioShock Infinite’s Siren

By Craig Pearson on March 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

She's not as scary if you give her an amusing nickname. Hello, Flappy!
I’d hate to have supernatural powers. What if there’s a supernatural equivalent of a sneeze? You’re driving along in your Crueltymobile, or whatever it is evil people do when they’re not battling others, then: “Ahhh-Ahhh-AHHHH-CHOO” and all of a sudden every kitten in three blocks is now a giant, man-eating snarg. No, I’d rather remain mundane and in control of my surroundings, lest I suddenly develop hay fever. I’ll bet the Siren, the final Heavy Hitter in BioShock Infinite‘s series of boss reveals, can’t go anywhere near a graveyard, in case she burps and an army of undead are suddenly awoken and grumpy. The floating, ethereal, shrieking monster can raise the dead to fight Booker.

EDIT: The video of the Siren in action is now in the post.

But it being BioShock it’s not just a creepy power. It’s a commentary: “Siren is a nod to a major social movement at the turn of the century.” Ken Levine told G4. There was a sense of the spiritual world, and I don’t mean like when you ask people, ‘Oh, are you religious?’ and they say, ‘No. I’m spiritual.’ No, I mean, people were actually talking about contacting the dead and speaking to the dead.”

I wonder if they were also worried about the tactical implications of meeting someone with that power in battle? The Siren can raise the dead, turning a room full of vanquished jerks into a room full of undead reanimated vanquished jerks. With guns. The choice it offers the player: fight the guys shooting at you, or kill her and take them all out at once. It doesn’t seem like much of an option to me. Given how interesting the rest of the characters they’ve revealed so far, it seems very out of place. The concept and design doesn’t really amaze and excite me like the rest of the Hitters. I’ve collected the videos of the revealed bads thusfar. Expect the Siren’s to screech in sometime tonight.

EDIT: First, the Siren.

Motorised Patriot.

Handyman.

The Boys of Silence.

, .

27 Comments »

  1. airtekh says:

    So she’s like the Archvile from Doom 2?

    Man those guys were annoying.

    • caddyB says:

      Archviles. ARGH.

    • Metonymy says:

      Doom had over 20 different enemies. It only had a few weapons.

      In fact, the best-made maps were just a normal shotgun vs hell itself, with the inclusion of other weapons generally spoiling the experience.

      What’s going to make this game good or bad, is whether the default weapon, and the enemies you encounter 90% of the time are interesting and challenging, not a sparkly fairy boss with EPIC POWAH SO CREATIVE GRAPHICAL EFFECTS.

  2. lhzr says:

    here’s the siren video

    I don’t see how having an npc that revives other npcs is a commentary on anything. Same with the other enemies revealed so far, it seems like their art people came up with some designs that everyone liked so they got put in the game. I’m not a fan of retroactively added meanings (there’s probably a better way to express this, but I have a bad cold so I’m gonna give myself a pass here).

    • Premium User Badge maninahat says:

      Well, you’re probably right that they come up with a “cool” concept first and then add the fluff later, but I don’t mind that. You may be surprised about how pervasive that is in games (and movies too).

      That said, I imagine the fluff will be extensive. Like the Big Daddies, they’ll probably provide lots of opportunities to see how they’re made, who they’re made from etc, which will give them lots of room to expand on whatever themes they were talking about in the videos.

      What they need are more vivisectioned beasts and alien monstrosities. Can’t be a turn of the century setting without HG Wells references.

  3. Premium User Badge Big Murray says:

    Am I the only one who really couldn’t care less about this game?

    • TheBlackBandit says:

      Yes.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I think you’re the only one that bothers to post a comment about it.

    • caddyB says:

      I’m at that state when you think something isn’t going to be as good as everyone else seems to think it will, but still have hope.

      Sadly that’s the usual state I’m in for all the new games.

    • Yuri says:

      Someone needs to do an article about the Internet phenomenon of “Am I the only one”.

      Dear sir, by all means and accounts you are completely unique and never has anyone had the same thought among the millions and millions of gentlemen on the Internetz.

  4. hjd_uk says:

    Follow the Bewbs!

    I mean, save poor Elizabeth.

    And that dude’s hat is hilarious.

  5. stahlwerk says:

    “Siren” is a strange name for a person of that… skill set, when “medium” or “channeler” would’ve been more fitting.

    • Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

      Ken Levine always has his reasons and they’re usually smarter than I realize.

  6. wodin says:

    This is where the magic in games dies, being told all the things your going to encounter when you play. Suspense, surprise and your imagination is killed before you play it. It then become s”oh it’s that one”, “Yep had a feeling it would be her” etc etc. Rather than “God I wonder what else this game has to offer”, “Whoa what’s that”!

  7. Artista says:

    You know, the enemies in Bioshock were bizarre because they still pretty much looked like people. Heavily disfigured people, but still. And I’d still place every “heavy hitter” so far in that “disfigured people” category, even if I don’t really like their designs.

    But this thing… this is a ghost? What?

  8. Cytrom says:

    They are slowly spoiling the whole game. “I wonder whats around the next spooky corner… oh its just that monster from the trailer”

    I know marketing has a bigger weight in sales nowadays than the actual quality of the game, but there should be more subtle ways to raise awareness for a singleplayer game (please tell me they didn’t waste time implementing some stupid gimmicky MP nobody asked for).

    • RogB says:

      its becoming like film trailers these days – ‘heres the entire thing in 2 minutes’

  9. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Looks crap. More they reveal the less chance there is I am going to buy or have any interest in picking this up in a Steam sale in a year or so.

    Lets face it Bioshock1 was ahead of its time graphically using DX10 for some lovely water FX & made better use of the UT3 engine than any other game at that time but now looking back the gameplay was poor & the story laughable & confusing. The entire game forced you to backtrack everywhere to increase the gameplay time overall it has not aged well at all & Bioshock2 was way worse especially the cut n paste MP which came out of nowhere & looks about 10 years old but plays like 15 years old its garbage & a waste of HD space. Bioshock2=Bioshock1 DLC in all but name. Only the Minervas Den DLC was any good (created by some of the team behind Fallout3 DLC I believe & it shows artistically!)

    ….apart from that!!! Infinite looks heavily scripted & is still using the rather old UT3 engine & once again full of boring mindless shooting action (unless they are holding something truly exceptional back which I very much doubt at this stage!!).

  10. magnus says:

    This is begining to read like a collection of 1 star Amazon reviews, if I sigh any harder I’ll turn blue.

  11. Bobtree says:

    Too many spoilers.

  12. Soon says:

    It should all be fake. So she’s surrounded by floating teacups which are actually attached to string. And when she raises the dead the lights turn off for a moment, and some guys run in and hide the bodies then pretend to be them. She’s been fraudulent so long that she believes it’s all real and has become a bit mad.

  13. Pattom says:

    One of the highlights of FEAR 2 was a similar enemy that could reanimate corpses to fight you (not bring them back to life, but yank them around with psychic powers like puppets on strings). What made these fights challenging was that the monster had huge amounts of health and would run like hell when it saw you; it wouldn’t attack unless you were right up in its face. So right there you’re faced with the choice Ken Levine is talking about: you could chase the monster, leaving your back exposed to its angry puppets, or you could try to take down the puppets before the monster could send more at you. I hope that really is the approach they’re taking, because having such a monster attack you directly takes away the challenge of such a fight.

  14. pilouuuu says:

    Will there be any enemy we don’t know already? Hopefully there will be some friendly and neutral NPC, so we can have that feeling of being in a spooky community and not in a run of the mill FPS where you have to kill everyone. I hope the story in this game is really good and that it is the ultimate example as gaming as art. We can dream, can’t we?

  15. Shooop says:

    My intrest in this game dies more and more with every one of these things they reveal.

    The Washington kill-bot? Great. It fits the theme of patriotism gone horribly wrong.

    The man with metal arms and his heart in a jar? Huh?

    The killer tuba squad? Dumb as hell.

    This? Enemies that revive other enemies are always annoying in games. There is no exception. And what are they trying to do, be the next F.E.A.R. game?