SOMA is a first person horror game which takes place in a underwater research complex. Developed by Frictional Games who are known for the Amnesia game, this game takes place in the future and is a more of a sci-fi horror. I doubt maybe people got very far into Amnesia because it was that good at horror, does SOMA deliver the same terrifying experience?
You control the main character, Simon Jarrett, who wakes up in an seemingly abandoned underwater complex known as PATHOS-2. While exploring the complex you gradually uncover what happened and find a mission to complete. There are no weapons or attacks (like Amnesia) so you want to avoid and run away from any monsters; some of which can detect you looking at them! Along the way you’re also prompted to make a number of decisions in the world and although they don’t impact on the ending they certainly make you think about what you’re doing and what is right and wrong.
The way SOMA tells its story is similar to a thriller in that it uses lots of different sub-genres to tell its tale. One part will be exciting and fill you with wonder while the next will leave feeling anxious or give you a heart-pounding adrenaline rush from trying to escape the horrors of the deep.
Compared to Amnesia I would say this is a better game. It is not as scary as Amnesia and so more people may get to experience the full game rather than just the beginning and the story is a fair bit easier to follow while still being deep and engaging.
Exceptional is the word I’d use to describe SOMA’s use of audio and visual. The game looks really good throughout and the attention to detail stands out. I don’t think this game would be anywhere near as good as it is if it wasn’t for the way Frictional Games have put audio to use; I can’t think of any game that uses audio as well as those developed by Frictional Games.
On the bug front, the game does a fair amount of crashing and due to the game only saving when it needs to (after escaping an encounter or after a fair distance of travel) the game’s constant crashing is just that bit more irritating. I didn’t encounter any other problems.
I highly recommend SOMA, it is a perfectly crafted horror game with exceptional use of audio and visual. The only let-down is the crashing.