Strange occurrences are disrupting the routines of the PATHOS-2 research facility. The radio is silent. Behavioral anomalies of the machines are increasingly dangerous, if not... malevolent. The facility is devolving into chaos. No weapons, and the only escape is practically unthinkable.Strange occurrences are disrupting the routines of the PATHOS-2 research facility. The radio is silent. Behavioral anomalies of the machines are increasingly dangerous, if not... malevolent. The facility is devolving into chaos. No weapons, and the only escape is practically unthinkable. From Frictional Games, creators of the Amnesia and Penumbra series, SOMA is an aberrant tale of scientific inquiry and survival; an entropic exploration of synapse and circuit that wades through the delusions of human consciousness.
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Sep 21, 2015Almost five years of work well done in this playable nightmare. Frictional opens our eyes with this FPS survival horror. SOMA is conservative in all that Amnesia imposed, but it has new and great ideas and atmosphere so the player wants to cross each new door. Welcome to the depths... of your fear.
Sep 25, 2015The core of the Frictional Games horror recipe has not changed; just a few ingredients disappeared from the concept and were replaced by other - equally good. Soma is still scary and exhausting, but at the same time it constrains to deeper reflection. Maybe because of this it won't please everybody, especially fans of the previous games from FG; on the other hand, it opens the gate to new players who are already tired of banal titles, but are still attracted to fear.
Nov 13, 2015While SOMA never hits the highs of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it's still largely decent in its own right. Some confused environment design and lackluster monster scenarios work against it, but as an atmospheric jaunt under the sea with a reasonable storyline behind it... well, it works pretty well. Faint praise perhaps, but praise nonetheless.
Mar 16, 2016this game is a thoughtful, psychological horror/ sci-fi masterpiece. If you like deep storytelling, and heavy atmosphere then this game isthis game is a thoughtful, psychological horror/ sci-fi masterpiece. If you like deep storytelling, and heavy atmosphere then this game is made for you. The scariest thing about this game that it will make you think about life and death, and not in the happy way. there're far worse fates than just dying, it's not an easy game to just digest.… Expand
Nov 11, 2015slowly-unfolding story, and the choices you live with, make the experience one that will stay with you for some time mazing and I would highlyslowly-unfolding story, and the choices you live with, make the experience one that will stay with you for some time mazing and I would highly recommend that if you can, play it.… Expand
Sep 22, 2015I love Frictional Games work. Amnesia was a classic, this game comes 5 years later and feels like a true successor to what they have beenI love Frictional Games work. Amnesia was a classic, this game comes 5 years later and feels like a true successor to what they have been working towards. It's an awesome game with a very mature, thought-provoking story that you'll wanna see through to the end. I won't spoil anything but you are in for a treat... Enjoy! 10/10… Expand
Mar 20, 2016Wow I've just got to this amazing game and the ending had a tear to my eye.
Amazing story based game with puzzles and stealth elementsWow I've just got to this amazing game and the ending had a tear to my eye.
Amazing story based game with puzzles and stealth elements thrown in. The only gripe I had was the super sighted monster at the back end of the game!
True amazing experience.… Expand
Sep 24, 2015Thank god for developers, like Frictional Games, that are willing to take the time to explore more complex themes and ideas. SOMA isn'tThank god for developers, like Frictional Games, that are willing to take the time to explore more complex themes and ideas. SOMA isn't perfect, but once the screen fades to black for the last time it more than makes up for any deficit.
This was not the game I was expecting. If, like me, you have only glimpsed some early build trailers then clearly the design changed. Placed underwater, amongst the remains of humanity, you must come to grips with almost a century of change, and ultimately redefine the term human. Talking robots, mechanized humans and corrupted marine life all play their role in convincing you that something has gone horribly wrong.
Frictional maintain a number of elements from their previous outings, including physics based puzzles. Almost any object can be grabbed, dropped and thrown; levers can be pulled; wheels can be twisted; doors pulled or pushed open. The concept lends a welcome tactile nature to the story which, sadly, falls back on a familiar trope -- your all alone, EXCEPT for a voice to guide you. While you identify the owner of the voice, and ultimately take on their objective as your own, it still feels like a commitment to revealing the story through environment and atmosphere would have strengthened the isolation, making searching out information a puzzle in itself.
The look and setting of SOMA will bring obvious comparisons to Bioshock, but it's tenuous link at best. Skulking through the confined, industrialized corridors of Pathos 2 feels far removed from the Art Deco inspired, living spaces afforded to Rapture. No guns and plasmids, only exploring and hiding.
Worth a special mention is the sound design, music and voice acting. Certain games lend themselves to headphones more than others, and you would be doing a disservice not to use them in this case. The effect is universally excellent in creating a sense of place, whether the groan of stressed metal or the muted, calm of the seafloor.
Previous Frictional releases have relied on enemies to provide constant tension and scares, leaving you cowering in darkened corners. SOMA's mechanized enemies don't appear as frequently, and tend to be solo when they do, but I personally found them to be frustrating. My main issue was their completely random nature -- in one example I was left with the enemy blocking my only way forward, unresponsive to sound or light, and refusing to budge until I ran at it, died and restarted past that point. While they are fitting to the story and environment, I couldn't help but feel they may not have been necessary, and instead the developer felt pressured to include them.
There are some other issues, I experienced, that may or may not concern others. Loading times are looooong (up there with The Witcher 3), with intermittent loading occuring at strange intervals. Pacing is slower in the first half than the more compelling second. Objectives are not marked which leads to wandering and backtracking trying to find items and puzzles to solve.
The best test of the success of an idea is how it stays with you afterward. Like The Last of Us, SOMA has remained with me since finishing, debating the choices I made and trying to reconcile the events into chronological order. The game isn't perfect, none are, but if an interesting story, wrapped in an absorbing atmosphere and sprinkled with puzzles is your thing, then its an easy choice.… Expand
Oct 2, 2015I enjoyed this game. I don't understand the 9s and 10s it's getting though.
If you are looking for scary then this isn't the game for you.I enjoyed this game. I don't understand the 9s and 10s it's getting though.
If you are looking for scary then this isn't the game for you. If you're looking for a thought provoking puzzle solver then this might be the game for you.… Expand
Mar 1, 2016OVERVIEW = 0
A strong contender for the worst game ever made. Not enough gameplay to call it "stealth" or "puzzle," so it's closest to theOVERVIEW = 0
A strong contender for the worst game ever made. Not enough gameplay to call it "stealth" or "puzzle," so it's closest to the "Walking Simulator" genre, with an awful story. I didn’t expect to like it, but a ton of recommendations convinced me to try it anyway, and in retrospect I have no idea what the recommenders were smoking.
[CONTROLS/MECHANICS = 0]
"Walking Simulators" are defined by the absence of gameplay, the 3D world existing only to showcase the plot, like an art gallery exists only to showcase 2D paintings in a way better served by an artbook. The experience can be faithfully recreated on Youtube, with branching videos for each choice. Calling these "games" is like calling footage of text crawling across a screen a "movie": it would have worked better as a book, just like Walking Sims work better as movies.
Soma is somehow worse, in the sense that the barest whiff of gameplay is actually less enjoyable than zero gameplay: I prefer cutscenes to Quick-Time-Events because, if you're not going to offer real control, you might as well let me sit back and enjoy the movie instead of aggravating me with reflex testing.
There are arguments to be made that "The Stanley Parable" because it relies so heavily on movement-determined choice, and "The Beginner's Guide" because its plot is about showcasing game worlds, justify their formats as games rather than sequences of videos. Rather than answer that question here, I'll point out that nothing in Soma, at least, justifies its pretense towards being a game instead of a video.
(Physics Puzzle = 0) You can pick up, and throw objects, like Half Life 2's gravity gun without the "force pull" option. And unlike the 2004 masterpiece, the puzzles are all of the keyhunt variety. None of them do anything as interesting as HL2.
(Stealth = ?) I quit before getting to the stealth portion, I'll admit that. But from what I saw on Youtube, you have basically no tactics other than running and hiding. If you want to call Soma a stealth game, it's going to have to compete against Metal Gear Solid V in that regard.
Games like this are often called “horror,” as if identification with that genre somehow excuses the fact that you have no control options and are therefore weak. It wasn’t scary to me, but little is. It also wasn’t fun, and I have difficulty understanding why other people did find it fun.
[PRESENTATION = 1]
(Graphics = 7) I was really impressed with the graphics and textures for the machines and backgrounds. The human people look a little fake.
(Visual aesthetics = 5)
(Sound Effects = 5)
(Voice Acting = 8)
(Plot = 0) If Walking Sims are just movies presented in the wrong format, they can still redeem themselves if the movie is good. I have only ever played 5 games where the plot/cutscenes were good enough to stand on their own: MGS3:Snake Eater, Bioshock:Infinite, The Walking Dead: Season 1, The Stanley Parable, and The Beginner's Guide. By contrast, Soma has one of the worst plots I've ever seen.
After I gave up on playing it, I finished watching all the dialogue on a Let’s Play, and it was almost unwatchable. The one plot thread is the philosophical question: when you copy your brain into another body, you are not “transferring” consciousness, you are just making a copy. It’s the same plot that was handled much, much better by the (still horrible) “The 6th Day” Schwarzenegger movie. That’s it. It’s a 5-minute short story padded and overstretched across a 9 hour game.
It asks the question “What is identity?” but so does every other form of entertainment ever created. What it doesn’t do is ask that question intelligently, or offer any answers, or any competent discussions. There are only 2 characters and they only exist to restate and argue that same theme in the same way over and over. Even for a medium where plot is seen as an irrelevant distraction from the “good stuff” of action, and therefore as important as plot in pornography, this was bad. If it weren't for the fact that it was a Walking Sim, I would think the story had been shoehorned in as an afterthought.
DESIGN = 0
(Level Design = 2) Keyhunts were the worst part of every FPS; I would enjoy a bit of 1993’s “Doom”, kill all the enemies and then, bam, red door needs a red key, and now you have to check every single room for the next 20 minutes before you're allowed to have fun again. I only played Soma for an hour, and more than half of that was me being lost, trying to figure out what to press next to continue a story that would never pay off. Not fun.
(Length = 9 hours, 75% padding)
Soma fails on almost every level. Even if you like Walking Sims, even if you’re willing to just watch the cutscenes, there is nothing worth your time here. I seriously cannot understand where the accolades are coming from. Dark Souls is probably a worse game, but only because DS is intentionally designed as poorly as possible to hurt its own players.… Expand
Published: September 7, 2015Get details on this fall's most anticipated game releases, including Halo 5, Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and much more.