Also available on PlayStation 4, OSX, and Linux
SOMA is a game that I thought looked neat but wasn't really sold on enough to actually spend money on it. When it got announced as the early unlock game in September's Humble Monthly Bundle, I figured I'd give it a go seeing as how I've heard some good things about it. Those things were absolutely correct, and I am not disappointed.
SOMA is a horror game that feels very much like the love child of Bioshock and Alien: Isolation. It has the isolated "everything's going to kill me" feeling while being completely alone like Alien: Isolation, and it has the oceanic seafloor setting of Bioshock (except less Randian dystopia and more shit-hit-the-fan research center). You play as a Canadian guy named Simon who goes in for an experimental brain scan and wakes up in a strange place that - tragically - has neither maple syrup nor professional ice hockey anywhere to be found.
I won't go into much detail because the plot is REALLY fantastic, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't played the game yet, but you spend the next nine hours or so going from section to section in this research complex trying to figure out what happened to you, how you got there, and what the fuck is going on. For 99% of the game, you have no weapon (you get one weapon in the middle of the game, and it breaks as soon as you kill the enemy you have to loot something from), so you spend the game sneaking around (or, in my case, running around like a bitch screaming bloody murder) trying to remain undetected by the enemies. With my propensity for stealth, I was sorely tempted to pull up the Benny Hill theme on my phone and just let it play on repeat while I played the game.
Without spoiling anything, the game's strongest point - even with its incredible atmosphere, well designed setting, and interesting plot - are the existential philosophical questions it poses to you throughout the story. What is it to be alive? What is it merely to exist? Was Descartes right when he said "I think, therefore I am," or is there more to "life" than that? Where is the boundary between man and machine? Does the soul exist, and if it does, what is a soul? I cannot recommend this game highly enough. It's an extremely tense horror romp and an exceptionally cerebral experience.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.