SOMA – Quick Game Review

SOMA – Quick Game Review
SOMA (PC [Reviewed], PS4)
Developer: Frictional Games
Publisher: Frictional Games

SOMA is an atmospheric sci-fi psychological horror experience that will make you question yourself, and what it is to be human.

I don’t want to say too much about the story, since I don’t want to give any spoilers. Much of the story is told with audio files, and character interaction, but there is more to learn if you want to take the time to explore, and discover written logs for more backstory. The story was extremely well done, and I enjoyed all of it. The experience was definitely a memorable one. 

The game is not a horror in your typical sense. It’s not loaded with jump scares like a lot of other horror games, but instead it relies on the eerie, immersive atmosphere, and the potential presence of creatures to keep you on your toes. I didn’t really feel scared, or have my heart racing like parts of Amnesia made me feel.

The creatures in SOMA were very strange, and creepy. You can’t look at them for very long, or most of them will attack. You have no weapons, and you have to run, and hide if you catch their attention. There is a visual effect that shows you when monsters were near, and I would hide and be waiting, and I could tell that the creatures were getting closer, thinking to myself “please go away…”

Some parts of the game, made me feel like a horrible person; the things the games makes you do, and the choices that the games lets you make on your own. It really made me think about the value of life, and sometimes made me questions my very own thoughts, ideals, and decisions.

  • the characters were completely realistic, and the backstory, and their behaviours were believable and made sense
  • the story was extremely well done, and the experience was a memorable one that will last
  • SOMA was more about suspense, and fear of the unknown, instead of relying on jump scares; it’s a psychological horror that gets inside your head, and really makes you think about the story as you start putting it all together
  • the voice acting was impeccable, sound effects, and music were done very well, and the audio was extremely immersive (especially in the parts where you were in the water outside of the buildings looked and sounded fantastic)
  • the graphics were great throughout the game, creating a dark and immersive world
  • there are some community made mods that look interesting, and might be worth checking out
  • some parts in the game will stick with you long after playing
  • when the auto saves happened, I would have a very brief stutter until it finished, but it was always quick and not too frequent or disruptive

The game took me about 12-13 hours, exploring as much as I could. Since the story is linear, I don’t feel the need to replay it. It’s been over a week since I played SOMA, and I still feel guilty thinking back to some parts of the game, and that stuff is going to stay with me a while.

I’ve wanted to play SOMA since it was released, and I’ve had a few people suggest that I play it, but I was hesitant to spend the full price, so I waited for a sale, but I would not have been disappointed if I had paid full price. A game that makes me reflect on the things I did, and the choices I made for days and weeks after playing… just wow… SOMA was an amazing game, and I highly recommend it for those looking for a psychological horror story.