Plenty of Story
SOMA contains a massive amount of story to occupy yourself with. As you progress, you’ll learn more about the history of your surroundings, people involved, and even about Simon himself via data buffers, audio recordings and even from the few sentient beings you’ll encounter.
In my opinion, the amount of story on offer in SOMA outweighs the amount of enemy encounters. To some people that might be a bit of a turn-off, but to me it made the whole game that much more enjoyable.
The story in SOMA is what makes it so amazing. The concepts used, such as human preservation, individuality and the like are incredibly well thought out and provide plenty to sink your mind into. Many times did I stop to reflect upon something that was said, such as Simon saying that dying sucks because it makes your life feel more real than ever.
There are times when Frictional Games will throw a decision at you that you’d really rather not make, but by doing so, this opens up the door to replayability. Made a choice you’d rather change on your first play-through? Start the journey again and make completely different choices.
However, making different choices will not affect the ending you come to. There’s only one ending. Or is there?
Story aside, SOMA provides more than enough encounters to leave you biting your nails and leaning over in your gaming chair to try and get a better glimpse around a wall to see what’s waiting for you.
My main qualm is that at times there is a little too much walking. Being one who likes to explore game environments, it was a bit disappointing to not find many little hidden bonuses around these large areas. I was hoping for a few extra hidden goodies like audio-recordings etc.
There does happen to be a pretty massive Easter egg out there which you can see here – Easter Egg (Spoiler Warning!)
SOMA isn’t an incredibly graphically demanding game but due to the sheer size of the environments you find yourself in, you’d probably need a decent computer to handle the amount of detail found in everything.
Creatures found throughout the game are terrifying and look like something taken right out of Guillermo del Toro’s nightmares. Screeches and roars will leave you squatting in some corner of the game praying that something hasn’t just seen you and is about to sprint over and deal out some punishment.
You’ll find that the music in SOMA heightens your emotions at appropriate times. Music that sounds like it came straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock horror film will indicate something nasty is heading your way, causing your mouse hand to become unsteady as you fearfully flail the cross-hair around to open a door to salvation.
Other times, music will appropriately accompany the sense of sadness you feel when having to make a decision you really don’t want to.
You’ll cry, you’ll laugh (maybe) and you’ll definitely shart yourself in fear at least once. But ultimately you’ll enjoy yourself.
The environments in SOMA are gorgeously detailed and the gameplay is smooth from start to finish. Not once did I come across any kind of progress-debilitating bug which is incredibly refreshing.
Playing through the entire game including reading every email, listening to every audio message etc. will set you back around ten to twelve hours. In my opinion, that’s value for money unlike some mainstream games that provide a four to five hour story and charge you an arm and a head.
The ending will leave you both happy and sad at the same time, but at least everything will be wrapped up in a tight little package. No loose ends here!
If you’re a fan of wetting yourself in fear as you try and escape from monstrosities that’ll probably meet you in your nightmares, or even if you enjoy a story to prompt some self-reflection, SOMA is an absolute winner.
4 stars – pant-wettingly scary game backed up by a story full of twists and turns