Soma, the survival horror adventure title, releases now to the Xbox One. Once more, players will enter the world of an underwater base known as the PATHOS-II where they must strive to find an answer to why they are here. Those who love sci-fi based horror will love Soma’s dark story of a bleak future and love the claustrophobic world they must explore. Those who owned only an Xbox One that didn’t get to enjoy Soma and its amazing story will now get a shot and will love the descent into madness that Soma offers its players.
What to Expect
Players should expect a first-person survival horror title that mixes puzzles and survival together. As you explore the PATHOS-II, you will unravel a mysterious tale of what happened to not only you but the crew members that once roamed the halls. Though you will quickly learn that you aren’t alone in this decrepit and crumbling base. You’ll have to run and hide from a robotic being that will kill you if it gets a hold of you. Soma offers a nice balance of adventure and survival horror to make fans of both genres revel with joy and fear in equal measures. If you think you’re ready for a mind-bending title, then you’re going to want to play Soma for the Xbox One.
Simon Jarrett was lucky to survive a terrible car crash but his survival didn’t come without consequence. Simon was diagnosed with severe brain damage. Luckily, a man named David Munshi offered a means to cure Simon’s brain damage via an experimental brain scan process. When Simon arrives to undergo the procedure, something goes wrong with the scan and Simon wakes up not in David’s office but in a decrepit and abandoned underwater facility. Now Simon must try to learn what has happened to lead him to this place and also see what transpired to the crew members. Though Simon will soon learn that the facility isn’t completely abandoned and dangers lurks around every possible turn…
Frictional Games, most known for their Amnesia series, created a very interesting title in 2015. Titled Soma, instead of being an amnesiac within a castle, players found themselves lost in some strange underwater base running from various robotic monsters and other odd creatures. Soma melded first-person exploration and survival horror to create a truly amazing title that fans loved as well as us here at Honey’s Anime. After 2 years, Soma has returned now on the Xbox One. Is it still just as amazing as when it released or has time been unkind to Soma? Let’s find out for ourselves in our review of Soma.
Now, we’re going to presume you’re reading this review without having played Soma when it first released. That’s why we’re going to go in detail from how the game works, what we loved about and what is flawed about it. If you have played Soma on any past system, we’ll be honest, not much has changed. Soma is still an adventure/survival horror title and besides one new mode, the game remains virtually the same. That’s why if you have played Soma before, a lot of this might seem pretty similar.
Soma tasks players with exploring various locations within an underwater research facility called the PATHOS-II. Here, players will interact with various object, search for clues and solve puzzles to make progress. Like Amnesia, you can pick up objects and even read various journals to find out more lore of Soma as you go.The other gameplay element is with the survival horror element as Simon—the player controlled character—isn’t alone in the creepy facility and these creatures aren’t too kind. If the player finds one of the various beings, you’ll have to run and hide, otherwise, you’ll face an untimely end. The difference with the Xbox One version of Soma is that there is a new Safe Mode which removes the death from enemies as they won’t kill you now. We won’t lie; it ruins the scare factor as some of the monsters in Soma are absolutely terrifying but its an optional way of playing.
The real take from Soma is the world itself and the absolutely fantastic story. Exploring the PATHOS-II is amazing as it has a very BioShock feel to it. Add to that the creative designs of the PATHOS-II itself and the “residents” in it, and Soma creates a truly immersive world for those willing to get lost in it. Simon’s tale as it begins to unfold in Soma will keep players glued to their controllers and screens and when the revelations begin to hit, you’ll be like us here at Honey’s Anime, completely floored. Just make sure to not skip the credits as there is a very important scene that follows.
Graphically, Soma still looks stunning thanks to the immense amount of detail in the various environments and character models. While it has aged a little here and there—the human models look a bit weak in 2017—it’s not a big issue and doesn’t hurt Soma in the slightest. The same can be said with the voice acting and OST within Soma. While the music is top notch and makes every moment feel epic and/or tension-filled, the voice acting is sometimes great and other times okay. We like how some characters—namely Simon, for example—fit their character’s personality to the T, but others just come off a bit awkward, at times. Luckily, this is a small issue and not one that was reflected by everyone.
Ultimately, Soma for the Xbox One is near perfect just as it was for the PS4 and PC. The real issues that stop us from recommending it only adhere to one factor: Have you played Soma before and or own it for any other console? If you answered yes, then Soma for the Xbox One is a hard sell at $29.99 when it only offers one new element in the form of the Safe Mode. That’s why you can indeed pass on Soma if you fall into the category we just mentioned, newcomers you need to buy Soma.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Soma was an amazing title back when it released in 2015 and even now—2 years later mind you—it’s still one heck of a game. The dark atmosphere and creepy sci-fi setting made Soma a real treat for those who loved unusual horror games with an emphasis on psychological gameplay more than jump scares that most first-person titles love so much. The new Safe Mode also allows a wider audience to enjoy Soma if they wish to explore the world developers Frictional Games created without having a heart attack and fearing death from the enemies in game. Soma is still easily one of the best first-person horror titles out there and if you haven’t played it yet, you need to download the Xbox One version as soon as you humanly can! In other words, we here at Honey’s Anime fully recommending buying Soma as its an incredible title and a testament to what sci-fi survival horror can do.
Impressive visuals even 2 years later
Solid exploration gameplay and puzzles
Genuine tense moments with a nice use of horror themes
Solid music and ambiance
Amazing narrative with a pleasant twist ending
Safe Mode for those who don’t want scares and just want an adventure game
Voice acting is still hit and miss
No reason to re-buy it if you’ve played it or own it already
Enemies still can be rather annoying to avoid and overly random on normal mode
Honey's Final Verdict:
If you couldn’t tell, we absolutely love Soma and we’re glad those who own Xbox One specifically can finally get the chance to love it as well. The amazing story and great world setting make Soma feel genuinely different than most titles out there and it creates fear without relying on the cliché jump scares and forced forms of humor seen in a majority of similar first-person survival horror titles. The only complaints we have with Soma aren’t enough to not recommend buying it and might not be issues for every gamer out there. Ultimately, Soma needs to be played by those who love sci-fi stories and horror games in general. Have you played Soma yourself or are you happy it’s finally available on Xbox One? Comment below to let us hear your thoughts and for all your gaming review needs keep stuck to our beautiful site here at Honey’s Anime.
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!