SOMA (Bioshock meets Amnesia/Penumbra)

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  • Penumbra EP1

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toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
and this game has some stutter issues with vsync too for some people. some places just panning around it cant even maintain 60 fps unless vsync is off. at least it is no where near as bad a Amnesia Pigs was. and they are also making the effort to fix the stuttering with patches but I dont think it can be fully fixed.
 
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BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,129
1,330
126
of course I will get a gsync monitor when I find an IPS model that I like.
This part I agree with. I refuse to pay extra for a TN panel as I consider it an overall downgrade to an IPS, even with those extra features.
 

nitromullet

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2004
9,031
36
91
Just finished SOMA last night. What did everyone else think if it?

Personally, I enjoyed it. It was not really scary IMO, but it did have some tense moments. I also liked the pacing in that it went back and forth between tension, exposition, and simple puzzle solving.

Sometimes horror/tense games can be fatiguing if they are just a constant onslaught of tense game play. I think mixing it up a kept me engaged and interested in the story.

I also like that fact that while there was tension, there was never a section where I died repeatedly. I remember there being a section in Outlast that I got stuck on, and had to repeat multiple times. I have to say that repetition (and ultimately irritation) definitely kills any horror aspect a game may have, and I think Frictional did a good job of avoiding that.

Overall, if you like this kind of game, I think it's worth a shot. The full asking price of $30 may be a tad steep considering that you can frequently pick up massive games like The Witcher 3 and GTA 5 for close to that on sale, but all-in-all it's a good game.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
216
106
Just finished SOMA last night. What did everyone else think if it?
I just finished it. Great game. A fairly unique mix between Penumbra and System Shock 2 "feel". There's no combat and it's definitely story driven rather than action based. It often felt like straddling a line somewhere between a horror game and a first person point & click adventure game. I've played the Penumbra trilogy and both Amnesia's before and knew roughly what to expect but this really did surpass expectations.

Personally, I enjoyed it. It was not really scary IMO, but it did have some tense moments. I also liked the pacing in that it went back and forth between tension, exposition, and simple puzzle solving.

Sometimes horror/tense games can be fatiguing if they are just a constant onslaught of tense game play. I think mixing it up a kept me engaged and interested in the story.
Agreed. I noticed that too. Most of the horror games out are are pretty rubbish. Many are over-saturated jump scares / screams / light flickering, etc, every 20 metres in the same old asylum settings, the "novelty" of which wears off after the first 15 mins. SOMA is less about cheesy horror "BOO!" techniques and more about gradually slipping away from your own identity under already desperate conditions...

Frictional got a lot of things right with SOMA, from the plot pacing & setting to the inside (dry land) vs outside (on the seabed) balance to the horror stealth action / puzzle solving / quiet moments of exploration balance which felt "just right" with one not dominating the others. Textures are OK to good, but the lighting effects in several places really did look amazing. Ambient sounds were great. Keyboard is fully rebindable, it's checkpoint save based but the option is there to enable F9/F10 quicksave/load keys via an ini tweak. They've done a good job upgrading the HPL engine. Reviews are generally "Very Positive" on Steam & Metacritic. I thoroughly enjoyed it overall.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Just finished this game. Great story, great atmosphere, and I thought the graphics were pretty nice as well (1440p everything maxed).

It did something few games do these days and that is it pulled me in right away and made me want to keep playing. Beat it in around 4 days of playing off and on.

Very much a mix of Aliens Isolation, System Shock 2, and Event Horizon :) Voice acting was great. Maybe because I was playing with headphones in the dark, but the monsters and visual asthetics (the glitches) freaked me out quite a bit, as did the wandering around in the depths at times.

There were a few interesting story points that they glossed over or never really came back to, and I wanted to look at everything, but sometimes the monsters really prevented you from exploring too much, but otherwise highly recommended.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,129
1,330
126
I just got around to picking up Soma and played a few hours. My disappointment caused me to uninstall it. It’s yet another walking simulator with virtually no gameplay mechanics, aside from a Star Trek “tricorder” that unlocks doors.

This is what happens to every first person game when you remove combat and don’t replace it with inventory items for solving puzzles. The result is so watered down that it’s not even a game anymore, and the resulting boredom lacks any incentive to continue.

Also every time I saw a talking robot, it reminded me of Claptrap from Borderlands. I just couldn’t take anything in Soma seriously.

And that 20GB install. Seriously, what the hell?
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
216
106
I just got around to picking up Soma and played a few hours. My disappointment caused me to uninstall it. It’s yet another walking simulator with virtually no gameplay mechanics, aside from a Star Trek “tricorder” that unlocks doors.
Depends on your expectations and personal likes. Frictional Games generally have their own distinctive feel and style of play that's almost 100% non-combat (like a hybrid adventure / horror game), yet at the same time whose brand of horror doesn't stuff overused cheesy jump-scares every 5 metres in worn out abandoned asylums / hospitals / orphanages or overcompensate with obtuse "moon logic" puzzles. The horror in SOMA is more a subtle low-level but pervasive feeling of being abandoned / slipping away than "Boo! Ha-ha made you jump!" of a lot of other clumsy low-budget barely functional "Unity Engine Personal Edition" Indie's. If you're in the right mood / frame of mind, it can work very well.

Looking at SOMA as a "Penumbra 4.0" rather than an "Indie Bioshock 1.5" made sense to me. As mentioned, Frictional Games tend to have that developer specific "between genre" quirkiness you either love or hate. More "narrative experience" than an adventure game / puzzler yet more puzzles than a "walking simulator" like Dear Esther or Gone Home:-
tuning the stations, ARK Tracker, Theta lab computer, Omicron switch puzzle, Omicron laser puzzle, chair puzzle (sound waves), etc
 
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EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,894
792
136
SOMA was excellent from a psychological horror perspective, and a great survival game. The way the screen starts to gradually distort when a mob was nearby was so damn unnerving!
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,129
1,330
126
Looking at SOMA as a "Penumbra 4.0" rather than an "Indie Bioshock 1.5" made sense to me. As mentioned, Frictional Games tend to have that developer specific "between genre" quirkiness you either love or hate.
Like I said in the OP, I enjoyed Amnesia Dark Descent and the first two Penumbra games. The key difference is that they had an inventory so you solved puzzles by mixing chemicals, repairing machinery, etc.

Soma had basically no inventory. You just walked around clicking buttons and control panels.
 

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