SOMA (PC) review
"Just SOMA you think you are?"
This is going to be one of those reviews, Iím afraid. One of those ones where I hint at grandeur but pull back from the definitive while using fear of spoilers like a get out of jail free card. Thatís just the nature of SOMA, I fear; if I start trying to explain more or less anything, then Iím going to have to reveal a little bit more to shed some context. And, at that point, I might as well spill it all and tell you that the butler did it.
Of course, in this instance, the butler is entirely innocent. It was probably one of those homicidal robots in this case. If not them, then certainly one of those lumbering monsters that lurk around the place. One thing I canít Ė and wonít Ė hide is that SOMA is plainly the work of Frictional, the warped minds behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Not Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, I hasten to add: that was slapped together by Dear Esther developers, The Chinese Room. No, no, no Ė weíre talking about the good one, the Amnesia that made hiding in cupboards from evils you couldnít even see the new face of fear. SOMA shares a lot in common, but also boasts a lot of differences.
We should talk about the sea. SOMA takes place in an underwater environment, effortlessly promoting a sense of isolation and disconnect. Strolling past windows displaying endless stretches of sea hammer home the fact that youíre on your own with whatís left within the stations, which rarely has your back. Thereís nowhere to run, no incoming help to look towards. On the other hand, at times, the aquatic surroundings are purposefully lovely and almost soothing. Thereís stretches where youíre not assaulted by the horrific and the insane where a stroll around SOMA is nearly inviting. Itís a trap; of course it is.
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