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14 November 2015 @ 03:01 pm
SOMA  
SOMA is a science fiction psychological horror game which explores the themes of what it means to be human and how does one define being alive. Frictional Games is known for their successful horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, however with SOMA the horror is presented in a different way.

While the game asks questions that science fiction has asked many times before, it does so in a different and unique way especially for a video game, probably even more effectively than some movies or shows have tried with the subject matter. It immerses the audience in this strange and unknown atmosphere, making them encounter and confront certain situations that they must make a decision on. These decisions don't affect the outcome of the game, but will certainly take an emotional and psychological toll on the individual player. That's what I liked about the game, there is no right or wrong way of handling these particular moments that you come across, it's just what you, as an individual person, morally believe is the ethical choice. And even then the decision may haunt you long afterward, making you question whether you made the right choice. It's honestly interesting seeing other people make different choices, the justifications they make for what they ultimately end up doing in the end, and the discussions they may have about it during or afterwards. This is what makes SOMA so utterly fascinating, in that it spawns philosophical debates and conversations, and when something accomplishes that you know it did something good and is worth looking into. I, myself, was deeply affected by this game on a deep emotional level. And I'm a fan of things like Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, and this game does a phenomenal job at presenting similar content in such a different and profound way. It's kind of remarkable that video games now can become so cinematic and be that effective as an experience, from The Last Of Us and Life Is Strange to this. There is even some live-action shorts before the game was released to give an idea what the game was about, including a short series called SOMA: Transmissions, setting the tone and atmosphere of the story.

I highly recommend SOMA, no matter whether you're playing it yourself or watching someone else play. I have witnessed a few amazing Let's Plays such as Markiplier, who is my favorite gaming YouTuber, who does an amazing playthrough of this game which he also pauses many times throughout to about the things that have affected him, and he overall cares deeply about the game and what is happening in general. The Bowlingotter Show, a new gaming channel I recently discovered, also does a fantastic playthrough which they do the same thing. Regardless of how you experience this game, I definitely think it's worth checking out.

(I will later be making a separate post about my thoughts on what happened within the game, this is just a recommendation post for those who may be curious.)
 
 
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Julie: ROTF ★ sugar stormragnarok_08 on November 14th, 2015 11:56 pm (UTC)
I've been watching playthroughs of SOMA and it's just so fascinating.

It's kind of remarkable that video games now can become so cinematic and be that effective as an experience, from The Last Of Us and Life Is Strange to this.

Yes, that is so true!!!
journeyanandrine on November 15th, 2015 12:54 am (UTC)
i think i played a demo of amnesia a while back, which i didn't like, but this one sounds pretty interesting. i'll look for your post on what actually happened within the game!
Renée: Agents of Shield. Skye.rogueslayer452 on November 16th, 2015 10:07 am (UTC)
Amnesia was pretty much a straightforward horror game, which definitely isn't for everyone. I personally liked it (though I think I enjoyed Amensia: Justine a bit better with the female character and the story behind it all, short of a game that it is), but I can understand why it wouldn't be someone's cup of tea.

SOMA, however, deals with horror much differently. It is more character-driven and focused on story, which many have said is much stronger in comparison to Amnesia. While there are a few chase scenes and avoiding/escaping enemies at certain places, it is pretty spaced out throughout the entire game, allowing you to kind of focus on the unraveling pieces of the story and moving forward with your objectives. It's certainly very fascinating, and I loved the message and themes it presents, and the moral dilemmas that occur. I think if you're more into deep, thought-provoking story based stuff you'll end up liking this game a whole lot.

And my further thoughts and review of what happens in it will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!

Edited at 2015-11-16 10:08 am (UTC)
Erinanirishlullaby on November 15th, 2015 07:19 am (UTC)

See, not a video game person one bit but this would fascinate me, I think. Things with so much focus on levels and not dying freak me out, plus I suck at video games and just don't have the attention span.


What console thingy is it for? Or can you do it on the comp (that'd be awesome)?

Renéerogueslayer452 on November 15th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
It's available on Steam, so you can play it on your PC. :)

While there are some scenes where you have to avoid an enemy coming after you and there's plenty of tension, it's a beautiful looking game and the story is absolutely riveting, especially as it starts to unravel midway through on what exactly happened.
we can't give up. that's the deal.: tamsin // 5x13omgpeyton on November 15th, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
I love games that really give the player so much freedom in this sense. It sounds really interesting! I'll have to watch a walkthrough (I love Markiplier!) or something.
Renée: Lost Girl. Kenzi.rogueslayer452 on November 15th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
I highly do recommend watching Markiplier's playthrough (which I linked above), because not only is he entertaining as he plays but he's also very respectful to understanding the story and the themes that happen and I just love hearing him talk about it, from throughout the game to the every end. ♥
orangerfulorangerful on May 26th, 2017 12:15 am (UTC)
It was just so well done in a way that can only work in the video game format, a great example for when people debate about if video games are art. I mean, you could try to tell this story as a novel or movie, but it would not be as effective because putting you, the player, in Simon's body really changed how you experienced things. Especially as the details became clear of what was going on.

I'm just so glad they had that post credit scene.