An escape from alien invasion, with beautiful art direction.
Somerville has ties to modern legends Limbo and Inside, but it’s equally reminiscent of another Hall of Famer: Out of This World. The end result is a unique physics-based puzzle adventure that isn’t quite on the level of the games that inspired it, but is nevertheless an extraterrestrial nightmare worth exploring.
Somerville never hits its stride, thanks to flat direction and frustrating mechanics.
A disappointing follow-up to Limbo and Inside that lacks the same complexity of plot and puzzles, and yet struggles surprisingly poorly with the move to 3D.
Jumpship's debut is a fantastic sci-fi tale with an intense atmosphere and wonderfully touching narrative, even if there are a few puzzle and movement frustrations.
Somerville is held back by technical shortcomings, but is full of impressive moments worth experiencing with the lights turned low and and your headphones up high. The father’s adventure lingers in my mind as I reflect on what happened, and those memories do ultimately outweigh the technical shortcomings. I hope time will provide improvements to bring the game to where it deserves to be, which is high in the sky alongside the ships of the invading forces.
Jumpship's wordless debut comes uniquely structured, but neither the story nor the gameplay do enough to help it carry the torch it's been passed.
I suppose, then, that Somerville is the most welcoming of the three games, starting with the familiar, and riding the slow, exponential line upward into the bizarre. Wise choice. For all the craft required to make a clear, playable movie, nothing beats the otherworldly weirdness of video games.
Somerville is a fantastically evocative game as it depicts an everyman's journey through a War of the Worlds-like alien invasion, leaning on countless sci-fi tropes and ideas along the way. Disappointingly, it's undercut on a number of levels by controls and a detached feeling and hastiness with some parts of the story it's telling.
A remarkable science fiction adventure that shines more for its tone, its context and its stimulating ending, than for the story of its characters. Despite this, it has narrative maneuvers that raise the interest in its text, and with a powerful staging that takes advantage of both its aesthetics and its fixed cameras. A concise and direct videogame that succeeds in almost everything it tries, and manages to leave an interesting aftertaste.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
In truth, I’m not the biggest thinker when it comes to media. I watch a film, read a book, play a game, and take what’s happened at face value. If meaning is hidden behind a 10k-post Reddit thread, then, well, maybe it wasn’t conveyed well enough. Somerville doesn’t have this problem. It’s affecting in all the right ways, and a game I really can’t recommend strongly enough.
Somerville is a beautiful and smart environmental puzzler filled with great ideas and a story that grips you from start to finish.
Mechanically simple but visually engrossing, Somerville offers an interesting, if not particularly deep, sci-fi adventure.
One man and his dog traverse the English countryside after an alien invasion in this haunting, wordless game: a masterclass in foreboding sound design and minimal storytelling
Somerville is one of the year’s biggest surprises, and I’m still shocked to see it fly under the radar. Its portrayal of an alien invasion raging across the British countryside hit close to home, while the story of a father searching for his family and being tied up in a dilemma so much bigger than he ever imagined is both nothing like I expected and everything I wanted. I can’t wait to see players far smarter than I piece its most devious puzzles together, since there are still so many questions waiting to be answered.
Somerville has some enthralling set pieces backed by some stellar sound design. While its narrative may be too much for some to decipher, its nuanced way of conveying emotion and drawing the player into the mystery is really excellently pulled off. Grab a headset and enjoy this experience to its fullest.
Although Somerville has some standout features, gorgeously peaceful environments, and atmospheric, silent storytelling, they're somewhat dulled by its terrible controls, awful performance, and lack of exposition. Being restricted to walking pace and the path forward often unclear, you frequently end up walking into invisible barriers. There are huge drops in frame rate throughout, especially when loading new areas, and the lack of names and backstories for the family you're playing leaves you frustrated with little to no attachment to them and their eventual outcomes. If you’re looking for a short, touching title to tide you over until the next big release, this may be worth a look, but with all its issues, it's better off left alone in the dark.
A promising debut for Jumpship, with a perfect Game Pass title that can easily be finished in one evening but that would have deserved some extra polish. I want to believe.
Review in Italian | Read full review
So yeah… Somerville kind of sucks. The best parts of the game are when it focuses on the alien invasion aspect. The worst parts are everything else. Honestly, skip this game. It actually makes me worried for what Playdead has coming next because they have said they want to do more than just 2D games too and if they play anything like Somerville I’ll probably skip it.