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April 1, 2016

Reviews: Volume (PS4), SOMA (PS4)

Filed under: General,Reviews,Video Games — Tags: , , , , , , — Bryan @ 6:00 am

If you’re looking for some weekend gaming where you can knock out 100% solves over a couple of days and collect a set of trophies for your trouble, Volume and SOMA should be on your list.

Volume is a pretty basic 3/4 perspective stealth action game, and is very mindful of Escapee Go! (DSiWare) which you might have seen if you did much Nintendo DSi/3DS gaming. I’ve also seen it compared to the Metal Gear VR Missions… but with the bonus of not dumping all the crappy Metal Gear baggage on you. The story is pretty bland, you’re a kid/rebel/hacker using a stolen security A.I. to puzzle out home security of the rich people in town. You’re apparently live streaming this to the world so that others can do the break-ins like some strange modern Robin Hood? Hmm. IDK. Needless to say, don’t worry much about the story.

The game itself can be played by simply brute force, slamming through all of the stages in a few hours, or if you’re really up to the challenge you can go for high-speed stealth solves to see how you rank on the public leader-boards. Either way is fun.

Next lets tackle SOMA. SOMA is a first-person, survival horror game by the same author who created Amnesia. While it is a first-person platform game, I personally identify it as more of an interactive novel with light puzzles. One of the key selling points is the graphically detailed, fully fleshed out world you traverse. Frankly I think they did the creepy undersea base full of monsters way better than BioShock managed (and I love me some BioShock). There’s also no run-and-gun, just run and hide. There’s even some zomg running in a panic to get away from chasing monsters though, including the “I don’t know what was chasing me and I hope it doesn’t get through this door I’ve just locked shut but I sure wish it would stop banging and shrieking at me while I go change my underwear” moments. Yeah, it really has some good moments of scaring the crap out of you.

The story was excellent as well and constantly kept you on your toes, so be sure to dig into it. Everything adds to the mood starting right out the gate with the Total Recall hat tip to Philip K. Dick that leaves you wondering what’s real and adds extra weight to some of the narrative exploration around just what it means to be human. An excellent game for a weekend escape.

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