Top Critic Average
It's an interesting experience that shows at the same time how Frictional is trying to break out of their mold but simultaneously held back by it, and I hope they can stretch out even further the next time around.
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.
SOMA will scare you, no doubt, but it won't be the memory of a gnarled, disfigured mass clumsily ambling towards you in a corridor that leaves you awake and unable to sleep at night. It will be the question of what makes us human.
Safe Mode changes the game in subtle ways, causing many of the game’s monsters to ignore your presence until you go out of your way to antagonize them, though a few enemies toward the middle of the game are strangely aggressive regardless. Of course, SOMA is still a thoroughly creepy experience that retains its general atmosphere of there being something horrible just around the next corner, so it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a “make the game accessible for those who detest scary games” mode. Instead, it’s more akin to a “speed up gameplay by eliminating the need to slowly creep around monsters” mode. Even for gamers like me who avoid most horror-type games, though, SOMA delves into various consciousness and identity issues that you’re not likely to experience in any other game out there, and is well worth fighting through for that reason.
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. I knew the story was interesting and I would be rooting for the protagonist, but I was not expecting the introspective emotional reaction it ignited as I watched the epilogue that followed the credits.
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.
Without sounding too hyperbolic, SOMA is a better BioShock than BioShock managed to be. It nails the atmosphere and hits all of the notes that makes the story one of the best in the horror genre.
SOMA is not the horror game I expected from Frictional, but it's an excellent piece of science fiction that feels of a piece with stories by Harlan Ellison and Philip K. Dick as much as Frictional's...
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 ever experienced in a videogame and one that can get under your skin.
SOMA is one of those once-in-a-generation experiences that so wildly defies both expectation and assumptions that I can say with confidence that it will forever impact how we define video games.
SOMA is above anything else, an experience. The game's story is bound to stick with you for months after playing it, just like a great movie. It's pacing is damn near perfect and any fan of the genre should hit themselves over the head of they continue to ignore this one.
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.
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.
If you're looking to get your pants scared off, SOMA may not be the game for you, but for those who appreciate its brand of subtle horror, it is truly a masterpiece. Leaning towards the cerebral, the narrative has been set up to make you ponder all of the dialogue and question every decision, even one that moves you forward. It's a thought-provoking story wrapped in a stunning package.
If this isn't survival horror, nothing is. The story is deep as the ocean in which it is set, and it is well acted throughout. Terrifying but never unfair, controls more than fit for purpose.
In the 10 or so hours it took me to finish SOMA I was hooked for the entire experience, from shocking beginning to one of the best game endings I've seen since Portal. SOMA will destroy you emotionally, and that's a very good thing indeed.
A gorgeous, thoughtful descent into the depths of the ocean and yourself that doesn't pull any punches. The disturbing questions posed by SOMA will linger with you long after the credits roll.
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 than jump-scares.
More of a thriller than a pure horror game, Soma creates a world the player wants to explore to understand, and yet will still be afraid of. It’s horror, but horror I was able to enjoy.
'Thought provoking' may be the best way to describe my overall experience with SOMA. With the story being expertly delivered through eloquent voice acting and dialogue, environmental design, and questionable moral choices. SOMA stands out as a deft lesson in storytelling, which many developers should learn from. I'd highly recommend trying SOMA for anyone and everyone.
SOMA is a great game that brings a perfect blend of survival horror, an intriguing story, believable characters, and the constant dread of failure – things that are all too rare these days.
SOMA is a suspenseful and frightening journey to a mysterious underwater research facility that keeps players engrossed till the credits roll. While it might not be as scary as its marketed, its science fiction setting and compelling narrative make for one of the more memorable gaming experiences this year.
SOMA isn't perfect, but it sets a certain standard for what horror games can achieve with a bit of inspiration. Though it isn't heavy on the scares, the bits of horror spread throughout work well, and the story will leave a lasting, hard-hitting impression.
In a spectacularly immersive setting supported by masterful sound design, SOMA is solid evidence that the Friction Games is still in total control when it comes to horror.
A thought-provoking journey that creates tension with its brilliant audio work, SOMA lacks some of the jump scares found in other survival horror games, but offers new ideas that keep you totally immersed.
Ultimately, SOMA provides a unique tale of sci-fi horror that is unlike any of its contemporaries. While it's fun to get the heart racing while being chased down by a huge robot set on dismantling you, it's the narrative parts of SOMA that left me thinking about it long after completion.
Playing cat-and-mouse with monsters feels formulaic at this point, but Soma's engrossing subsea environment and intriguing narrative keep the entire experience afloat
SOMA is a game that will sit in the memory for a while despite its shortcomings. The sound design, world building and story deserve to rightfully become a footnote in videogame design. Frictional Games do so much right creating a science fiction story. It falls short at times when trying to be a more traditional horror, but the highs certainly outweigh the lows. It's an impressive console debut, and I can't wait to see what the developers create next.
As an immersive and anxious experience that also manages to be just as beautiful as it is terrifying, SOMA is in a class all its own. The stunningly well-realized world melds brilliantly with the outstanding score and sound design, begging the player to buy into the atmospheric world that Frictional Games has so painstakingly crafted. It genuinely feels like this is the natural evolution of everything that was started in Amnesia, just done with a bit more careful attention to detail and polish. This is an experience that completely justifies its budget price tag and more than validates the game's five-year development cycle.
SOMA creates a tangible underwater facility with overpowering tension and a haunting atmosphere. It paces the horror carefully and will captivate minds with its narrative.
SOMA first released on PC a couple of years ago, but now it is making its way onto consoles and fans of suspenseful, narrative-driven games should make sure to play this title if they missed it the first time around. I was fortunate enough to play SOMA the first time around a couple of years ago, but never actually reviewed it for this site. I found that the game was creepy, interesting, and it had emotional impact that delivered a memorable experience. Thankfully these intangible types of traits age really well whether a game is two years or twenty years old, and SOMA on the Xbox One is a fantastic overall experience.
SOMA makes you think about the impending future that will change the world. As you uncover the story of the world you come to the realisation that... No, it will be your own. The game you simply need to play.
Review in Polish | Read full review
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.
Soma tells an affective tale and carries the horror genre a few steps forward. Had Frictional shown the courage to shake off tradition entirely, it could have carried it further still.
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.
SOMA is an horror adventure, but most of all is a drama. Some characters and dialogues can be strikingly perturbing. Even with his classic gameplay and multiple references the result gets remains fresh.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Despite the issues outlined above, most horror fans will have a good time with SOMA. 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. It's just a shame that the HPL Engine 3 was not up-to-snuff for the PlayStation 4.
Soma is an exceptionally-compelling story, told in ways that are both innovative and very traditional in turn. It takes you from the highs of puzzling where you're interrogating the back-up of a long-dead technician repeatedly until you manage verisimilitude to the lows (in terms of innovation, not in horror) of yet again skulking behind a table waiting for another insta-kill monster to wander by.
Soma isn't much of a horror game, but that's not a big loss. It uses horror trappings as a jumping off point to find more intelligent and interesting trails to follow. Its follow-through, save for a few instances where I felt it succumb to the bindings of its genre, is impressive. When it talks about something, it goes for it, and the results are rarely pretty or happy but almost always intriguing.
It may not strike the same level of outright terror that Amnesia: The Dark Descent but even in this genre, SOMA is a standout title with an interesting storyline centered around the age old debate of being human.
Soma aims to combine a weird story with a mysterious atmosphere and succeeds to achieve that goal, and although its gameplay might be too simple at times, it’ll still satisfy horror fans.
Review in Persian | Read full review
The game, like the best works of science fiction, understands that horror can come from discomfort inherent to the erasure of boundaries we assume exist. The unintelligible whispers of static and the shattered visuals of glitch provide only the most cursory glances at a machine world inaccessible to us.
If loads of jump scares or action are your thing, SOMA might disappoint. It takes its time, is even a little self indulgent, but more than anything it wants you to actually think about what's going on. If you are going to come for this one come for the excellent writing, voice acting and atmosphere.
'SOMA' is scary, but that aspect pales in comparison with the great script and characterization. It is a bit brief at 10-12 hours, but does not over stay its welcome and should not be missed for anyone who appreciates a deep sci-fi tale with a healthy dose of accompanying fear.
After finishing SOMA, my mind was consumed with thoughts of what it means to be human. Did I torture and kill people in my attempt to escape? Or were they not really people at all and I can sleep soundly? That SOMA made me ask myself these questions is the reason why you should play this game, despite the inclusion of unnecessary and frustrating “video game moments.”
A good mix of intriguing story and the obligatory scares here and there, SOMA produces an experience you've probably never pondered over that leaves you thinking about it all well after the credits stopped rolling.
If you're a fan of Frictional Games, you'll find Soma equally spooky and thought-provoking. At times it was difficult for us to maintain our immersion in this nightmare under the sea.
SOMA had the tools to come together to be something special, but like some of the AIs and machines in the game, it's not quite a complete product, but still quite enjoyable nonetheless.
A daringly complex ode to the works of Philip K. Dick, and although the mix of survival horror and existential storytelling doesn't always work it's never less than gripping.
All the stumbling around trades away any sense of suspense. It's hard to feel scared of monsters after you've walked circles around them several times. Not even tricks like suddenly switching off the lights saves the mood. Soma does a great job of making me feel lost and frustrated. Perhaps too good.
In the end, SOMA does not quite share the scare factor of Amnesia, but it does exceed it from a storytelling standpoint, as well as nailing that same attention to detail that creates a tense atmosphere filled with both beauty and horror. A definite purchase for the Halloween season.
They're good at telling stories, these Frictional guys. They're good at building tension, and at using audio cues to stimulate fear. But in the end, I was put off by the inconvenient monsters. When fear is replaced by impatience, something is lost. This is something that Alien Isolation had very occasionally, and that completely ruined the 1999 PC game Aliens vs. Predator. When the monsters become a nuisance, and you're more worried about them for holding up your progress into the main plot than really terrifying you, it's hard to stay really scared.
SOMA's campaign will cost the player roughly eight hours to complete. Because it is so narrative-centric, subsequent playthroughs are unlikely to occur. The game's major draw-in is the thirst for answers to Simon's plight beneath the depths. While the story provoked some great philosophical discourse, the game ultimately leaves the player wanting for what could have been.
When Soma is able to stretch its legs and be the horror game fans have been waiting for these past five years, it delivers in giant terror-inducing waves. Sadly, some inconsistent pacing and clunky mechanics weigh it down, leaving us with a good game rather than a great one.