Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: Xbox One, PS4, OS X, PC
- Publisher: Frictional Games
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://somagame.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
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:
- 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