• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

SOMA | Review Thread

Twinfinite - 5/5
All in all, SOMA is a fantastic game. From the detailed world in which it takes place, the engaging plot, and the perfect amount of creeping terror and suspense, there’s a lot to love if you’re into horror. Speaking as someone who hasn’t delved as much into the genre, I still found myself fascinated and not wanting to pull away.
Game Revolution - 5/5
SOMA surpassed my expectations of what a psychological science-fiction horror story could be. I expected to be scared but not absolutely fucking terrified to the point where I had to stand up and physically walk out of the room on multiple occasions
Rely on Horror - 9.5/10
SOMA is Frictional Games’ best work yet and a tour de force in the survival horror genre. It subjects players to finely crafted sensory and narrative horrors, with an effectively unsettling story and polished design. SOMA may not be a revolutionary title within the genre, but its pacing and how it frames its terrors is masterclass. It’s far more narrative driven than the studio’s past work as well; a compelling cast of characters and philosophical story makes SOMA more than just a series of good scares. The studio has nearly a decade of experience crafting horror and it shows. It’s a damn fine example of what the survival horror genre can accomplish
The Escapist - 9.5/10
Frictional's latest title is a benchmark for the horror genre, and easily one of the best examples of video game storytelling this year. Whether you're a returning fan, or a horror newbie, SOMA deserves your immediate attention.
ZTGD - 9.5/10
It’s not very often that a game comes along and makes you think long and hard afterward while hitting you in the face with emotion, but here I am. Soma is both an extremely beautiful and terrifying experience. While I still think Amnesia takes the cake for scare factor, everything else in Soma is done better here Story, visuals, and the soundtrack are superb and top tier from Frictional at this point. One of the best sci-fi stories I’ve every experience in a videogame and one that can get under your skin.
Polygon - 9/10
I don't know if SOMA will scare people as much as Amnesia did, but it is without a doubt a stronger game, with better pacing, smarter writing and more powerful subject matter. This isn't a horror game about obfuscation; events aren't building to a huge, shocking twist. More than anything, it's about the process of dealing with the horror of reality.
Destructoid - 9/10
SOMA gets everything right about the the survival horror genre. It’s like someone created the perfect video game mixtape -- a little bit of abandoned underwater atmosphere from BioShock, detailed environments a la Gone Home, and (of course) the frenzied monster mechanics from Amnesia. Even if you dislike non-combat-oriented games, I dare you to give it a try
Gamespot - 9/10
I came in expecting something similar to Amnesia, just in a terrifying new location, but what I found is an intelligent game that forced me to think and contemplate ideas as only the best sci-fi is capable of doing. It may not stir the hordes of wailing YouTubers looking for the next best haunted house, but SOMA succeeds at crafting something much more meaningful in a genre that’s deserving of more than just simple jump scares.
The Sixth Axis - 9/10
I’ve never played a game that’s affected me as much as SOMA, and to be honest I’m not sure I want to ever again, although I’m very glad I did. It has the DNA of movies like Alien, 2001, Sunlight, and Event Horizon, with a splash of the original Dead Space and Bioshock, but brings plenty of new ideas to the table. It makes you think about what it means to be alive, and indeed how you classify life, and is a brilliant example of just how far video games have evolved.
GameInformer - 8.5/10
Video games have challenged us to unsympathetically blast apart deadly robots since their earliest days. Soma’s impressively realized underwater ordeal challenges even the coldest robot-slayers to consider a world where making such snap moral decisions is anything but automatic.
God is a Geek - 8.5
When it comes to horror, Frictional are your fellas. While they might have had a bit of a shaky response to A Machine for Pigs, they’ve found their way back and then some with SOMA. Despite being knocked slightly by some frame rate issues, a fascinating story forms the basis for its success with the scares taking more of a backseat this time around. Don’t get me wrong however, it is still intense, terrifying and quintessentially Frictional. Set in a spectacularly immersive setting and supported by masterful sound design, SOMA is solid evidence that the Swedes are still in total control when it comes to horror.
IGN - 8.1/10
SOMA is a sustained exploration of an original and thought-provoking idea. The concept of artificial intelligence has been explored by lots of science fiction, so it isn’t unique in that regard, but it makes particularly intelligent use of video game conventions to present those familiar ideas in new and surprising ways. At 12 hours long, the story feels a little stretched, especially when so much of its gameplay feels less original than its ideas. That’s not to say it’s scares aren’t effective or intense but I found myself drawn to its quiet moments in which its philosophical yet unpretentious storytelling is allowed to breathe without interference from unintuitive puzzles and monsters that can’t be manipulated.
PC Gamer - 8/10
SOMA has big, interesting ideas when it comes to story and themes, but this ambition and imagination doesn’t carry over into its game design. But, monster encounters aside, this stricken underwater base is one of the most fascinating, atmospheric spaces I’ve ever explored in a game. There’s all manner of horrific imagery down in those murky depths to be uncovered, and the story is unsettling. In this sense, it’s a great horror game. It affects you psychologically and emotionally—often in a subtle, understated way. But all this does is highlight how ineffectual its more familiar attempts to scare are. Ultimately, it’s what’s inside your head that scares you in SOMA, not what’s in front of you.
The Jimquisition - 8/10
Intentional or not, SOMA regardless provides that example. This is not just another horror game. It’s a science fiction story with horrific shades, a game that ponders the human condition in an industry where “the human condition” has become an awkward dead horse of a phrase. A horror game that, curiously, would have benefited from a little less horror.
Simply put – there needs to be more games like this in the world.
Pushsquare - 8/10
SOMA's an interesting release that succeeds and stumbles in areas that we didn't expect it to. Indeed, given the developer's track record, we'd anticipated a terrifying title – but while it has its eerie moments, it's a bit of a disappointment as a horror game. Where it's more successful is in its ability to depict the moral challenges of AI, and this subject matter results in some of the tougher decisions that we've seen in a game for a while. The plot is compelling, the presentation is generally very good, and the conclusion is outstanding. But all of these achievements will be tempered if you're looking for the kind of scares that defined Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Playstation Lifestyle - 8/10
Frictional Games have shown us time and time again that they are masters of telling a scary story; this time, without the crutch of plentiful jump scares. SOMA is a game that can cause you to question your humanity, if only for a few moments.
We Got This Covered - 4/5
SOMA might have downplayed its terror a little bit, but it will still get into your head and leave a lasting impression about the state of consciousness, the mysteries of reality and the existentialist nature of humanity as we know it. And for that reason alone, it’s definitely worth checking out.
GamingBolt - 8/10
Whether you’re a fan of Amnesia: The Dark Descent or first person survival horror or just enjoy a deep, meaningful story who’s themes extend beyond the confines of a simple video game, SOMA is worth a look.
Gamesradar - 3.5/5
A disturbingly different take on interesting sci-fi concepts let down by a slow start and disappointing monsters, but worth it overall.
Kotaku - YES
Though jump scares are fun in the moment, they don’t last. The best horror sticks with you long after the credits roll, an uneasy feeling that lingers uncomfortably in the moments before you fall asleep. I’ve been thinking about what happened in SOMA for days now, especially the game’s closing minutes, and can’t let it go. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. If that’s not a sign of success, I’m not sure what is.
Eurogamer - Recommended
That Frictional has been able to take such an over-used concept as exploring an abandoned research base, populated by bloody corpses and monsters, and turn it into a sombre philosophical adventure that is also exciting and even funny, is quite the achievement. It may not move the genre forwards much in terms of mechanics, but it spins a story you'll be glad to have experienced.
RockPaperShotgun - N/A
While it is an enormously satisfying and well-crafted game, SOMA never managed to convince me that its themes and plot were in tune with its more traditional first-person frights. It scared me and it gave me cause to think about some of the issues raised, but now that I’m done, I doubt it’ll stay long in my mind, or plucking at my nerves.
Gamersyde - N/A
After Amensia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games are back with some serious arguments which will automatically appeal to science-fiction and horror fans alike. Thanks to a good sense of storytelling and a very atmospheric world, the Swedish developers have bested their previous game with quite a memorable title. By putting the player under constant pressure instead of conveying visceral fear (though the more sensitive ones should be terrified alright), SOMA may interest a wider audience than Amnesia, but it still remains a game for the brave. Although the emphasis on story is important, it doesn't mean gameplay mechanics are reduced to their minimum, quite the contrary. Those not particularly receptive to the "walking simulator genre" can rest assured that SOMA is not one of those games. In the end, we can vouch for Frictional Games' new creation and strongly advise you to give it a go as soon as tomorrow.
PC World - N/A
SOMA is not the horror game I expected out of Frictional, but I don’t care and it doesn’t matter. This is an excellent work of science fiction, not necessarily unique but uniquely told through its skillful use of video game conceits. It’s System Shock 2 for a modern sensibility, BioShock freed of its AAA chains. It’s damn good and, for my money, the most cohesive and ambitious game Frictional’s made so far.
The Washington Post - N/A
Whereas other sci-fi horror games like “Dead Space” or “Alien: Isolation” focus on delivering a series of visceral jolts via the near-omnipresent threat of violent death, “SOMA” goes in for the mind game. The emotionally uncomfortable situations Simon is placed in will bite at your nerves more than any pesky xenomorphs.
 

Sadnarav

Neo Member
Aug 6, 2013
8
0
0
twitter.com
The Jimquisition - 8/10

Intentional or not, SOMA regardless provides that example. This is not just another horror game. It’s a science fiction story with horrific shades, a game that ponders the human condition in an industry where “the human condition” has become an awkward dead horse of a phrase. A horror game that, curiously, would have benefited from a little less horror.

Simply put – there needs to be more games like this in the world.

Kotaku - YES

Though jump scares are fun in the moment, they don’t last. The best horror sticks with you long after the credits roll, an uneasy feeling that lingers uncomfortably in the moments before you fall asleep. I’ve been thinking about what happened in SOMA for days now, especially the game’s closing minutes, and can’t let it go. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. If that’s not a sign of success, I’m not sure what is.
 

WITHE1982

Member
May 23, 2014
3,722
1
0
Sunderland
psnprofiles.com
Gamespot - 9/10

I came in expecting something similar to Amnesia, just in a terrifying new location, but what I found is an intelligent game that forced me to think and contemplate ideas as only the best sci-fi is capable of doing. It may not stir the hordes of wailing YouTubers looking for the next best haunted house, but SOMA succeeds at crafting something much more meaningful in a genre that’s deserving of more than just simple jump scares.
 

usp84

Member
Jan 13, 2015
1,959
37
605
Great news. I will buy this once i am done with Mgs

Like what i hear about the story in general
 

RoboPlato

I'd be in the dick
Oct 29, 2006
42,982
0
0
Excited to hear that the stpry is so good. I didn't expect much on that front. Just good atmosphere.
 

Azlan

Member
Aug 22, 2013
438
0
0
35
Boston, MA
Very happy to see these excellent reviews. I am surprised given that the genre is so divisive (usually). Definitely picking this one up. May wait until closer to Halloween to play it though.
 

Karak

Member
Jun 22, 2009
13,759
2,761
1,315
www.youtube.com
Angry Centaur Gaming - "Wait for a deep sale"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T10EFJ38VqM

Ya I couldn't disagree more with most people. I am usually into this stuff but the lack of any danger whatsoever in the game just absolutely made the game fall apart for me.
Though I did think the truly underwater sections were brilliant, most of the time your in the structure and it felt cardboard cutout and unlock this unlock that, turn this knob for hours. As someone who thinks System Shock 2 is a masterpiece I am blown away someone would even think of these 2 in the same thought aside from all the cribbing this game does.

But sometimes games don't hit with certain people and I am cool with that.
 

Xer0

Member
May 8, 2013
4,449
4
615
I was worried about the late embargo on this, but, glad to know those fears were unfounded. Psyched.
 

Mifec

Member
Oct 11, 2014
8,188
1
285
Good, I was expecting something great more akin to the penumbra series and that's what I got. A machine for pigs was really bad.
 

Tenebrous

Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,283
0
0
Not surprised by these reviews at all, given the studio behind it and the time spent on the project. It's not my kind of game, but it's still great to see it review well, and hopefully their efforts result in a shitload of copies sold.
 

hushlorentz

Member
Jun 28, 2013
309
0
0
SOMA is the first game I've ever digitally pre-ordered. Now I'm all pre-loaded up and waiting for the release. This game demands being played with headphones in the wee hours after everyone else is asleep. Looking forward to it!
 

RionaaM

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 6, 2012
14,850
0
0
Going from these reviews, it seems like the story and sci-fi atmosphere are very well done. That's good, I'm really interested now.
 

Muzzy

Member
Sep 17, 2009
470
0
965
Sharing the Gamersyde one:

http://www.gamersyde.com/news_gamersyde_review_soma-17129_en.html

There's also a video review, commented gameplay (video and audio) and some gameplay videos.

Verdict

After Amensia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games are back with some serious arguments which will automatically appeal to science-fiction and horror fans alike. Thanks to a good sense of storytelling and a very atmospheric world, the Swedish developers have bested their previous game with quite a memorable title. By putting the player under constant pressure instead of conveying visceral fear (though the more sensitive ones should be terrified alright), SOMA may interest a wider audience than Amnesia, but it still remains a game for the brave. Although the emphasis on story is important, it doesn't mean gameplay mechanics are reduced to their minimum, quite the contrary. Those not particularly receptive to the "walking simulator genre" can rest assured that SOMA is not one of those games. In the end, we can vouch for Frictional Games' new creation and strongly advise you to give it a go as soon as tomorrow.
 
I still think Amnesia is the scarier game but this is basically Dead Space + Bioshock + The Thing, with it's own unique story and ideas. I was scared, awed by it's beauty, so damn terrified at moments by whats going on, and the ending hit me like a semi truck as I sat there just mouth dropped wide open and pondering. Only other issue is that the game is exactly like Amnesia mechanically, good or bad as you take it, as in nothing new is occurring in the genre. Still exploring, hiding, finding notes, running from bad guys, and getting the story beats.Though the puzzles are well thought out and fit the context of the story and setting greatly.

Here is the ZTGD review 9.5:

I finished Soma in 7 hours according to STEAM and did so in 3 sittings. When the credits rolled and the post sequence played out, I had a huge mixture of emotions. I was sad at the way the story ended, but also hopeful. It also made me question space, our very own human subconscious, and robotics. It’s not very often that a game comes along and makes you think long and hard afterward while hitting you in the face with emotion, but here I am. Soma is both an extremely beautiful and terrifying experience. While I still think Amnesia takes the cake for scare factor, everything else in Soma is done better here Story, visuals, and the soundtrack are superb and top tier from Frictional at this point. One of the best sci-fi stories I’ve every experience in a videogame and one that can get under your skin.
 

Xer0

Member
May 8, 2013
4,449
4
615
Any information on how long this game is? I might pick it up if its finishable in a weekend after 100%ing MGSV. Otherwise itll have to wait a bit.

The Kotaku article says it was finished in 11 hours.
 

CHC

Member
Aug 24, 2012
12,188
5
675
I'm really so, so, so, so happy to hear that this is actually well written, thought provoking, and somewhat philosophical. That is absolutely what I HOPED to hear but I was worried a lot of the game's themes might be handled in a clumsy or hamfisted way in lieu of played out horror tropes. That was pretty much my only concern.
 

Barry Burton

Member
Aug 4, 2011
4,692
1,893
930
Awesome! Looks like it delivered on all of that promise.

October is my horror game month, so I'll be starting it up first thing on 10/1. Can't wait!
 
I still think Amnesia is the scarier game but this is basically Dead Space + Bioshock + The Thing, with it's own unique story and ideas. I was scared, awed by it's beauty, so damn terrified at moments by whats going on, and the ending hit me like a semi truck as I sat there just mouth dropped wide open and pondering. Only other issue is that the game is exactly like Amnesia mechanically, good or bad as you take it, as in nothing new is occurring in the genre. Still exploring, hiding, finding notes, running from bad guys, and getting the story beats.Though the puzzles are well thought out and fit the context of the story and setting greatly.

Here is the ZTGD review 9.5:
In their AMA, the devs mentioned stuff like play styles, and the game "is not just about figuring out "hide or run?", but to understand how they work"

You didn't feel the game had that?