Soma takes place on an underwater remote research facility with machinery that begins to take on human characteristics. Simon Jarrett, a fish out of water protagonist, finds himself at the facility under mysterious circumstances and is inadvertently forced into uncovering its past, while trying to make sense of his predicament and potential future
Completed the game
Go for a doctors appointment and wake up in an underground facility with only machines for company. This is what happens at the beginning of Soma and your task is to figure out, how, why and what to do about it.
The story in Soma is one of the strong parts of the game. It tickles the mind in a way that is very pleasing and it keeps revealing enough by suggestions so you've already figured it out once its told by dialogue. That is masterfully done, and it makes you feel really smart, which is the game's intention.
However the story do miss a few turns I anticipated and in the end I would have expected a deeper complexion of the story, but the end I got was also good, just not as satisfying.
The absolute best thing about this game is building atmosphere. Walking at the bottom of the sea with all different kinds of sea animals all around is truly magical. The game also builds the mood perfectly with the sound design. However the environments do get a bit same after a while when you're still sneaking around the same steel corridors after 10 hours of playing.
If the game had been just a combination of the story and the amazing environments, it could have been jackpot, but the game have elements that are more typical for a horror game. The hide and seek game play. There are enemies in this world that will kill you after 1-2 hits, and these you need to look out for. They may not see you under any circumstance or you will face the "You Died" screen.
I don't enjoy this game mechanic. It seems arbitrary if the monster will see you or not, and you can turn a corner and just run into one. That is not fun, and it is not fun to replay a segment just because you were seen.
The game does it best to take the pain away. It is quite easy to stay unseen and if you get found and survive, you can usually proceed to the place you were going without running into the monster again.
I like the mechanic that a monster has much harder time to see you if you're not looking at it. So, staring into a wall can be a suitable strategy for avoiding detection.
There are puzzles in this game, but the are not much of a challenge. I could figure out most of the puzzles without much effort. That is good, I don't like it when a puzzle becomes an obstacle.
There is no real antagonist in this game. There is a force that drives the enemies, but there is not really a motive behind the enemies wanting to kill you. They appear to be more of an environmental hazard that walks around, and you do your best to avoid them.
I think the game is very clear about its length. Very early you get a plan where to go and what to do, and the game sticks to that plan. But still I think the game feels a bit too long. You could easily reduce the game's length with 50% to make it even better. Remove the enemies and make the game into more of a walking simulation.
This is a horror game, but I was never scared. I did jump at a few jump scares, but I didn't find the game frighting.