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Recent reviews by Zach

Showing 1-5 of 5 entries
3 people found this review helpful
27.9 hrs on record
After playing this game for quite some time both in earlier stages of development and now, I can't honestly recommend this game. The content in the game is extremely sparse both in presentation and execution, once you have unlocked the first world you have the meta knowledge necessary to breeze through almost every other planet.

While the game looks pleasing there are also far too many bugs and quality of life issues in the game, specifically with the multiplayer. During my time playing the multiplayer I have experienced everything from getting stuck in other players to falling through the world to losing my entire inventory upon rejoining the server. The most glaring issue I experienced was a massive memory leak that made playing on a multiplayer server continuously worse until the point at which frames were dropping too much to even participate in the little content that the game has to offer. After looking online I found that this has been a known issue for over 7 months and there is no known fix, no settings changes or troubleshooting seems to be able to alleviate the issue. For a game this sparse on content it's really inexcusable to have these types of issues still rampant in the game.
Posted August 23, 2019.
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3 people found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
38.8 hrs on record (8.6 hrs at review time)
Spent two hours clearing out all the space on the farm just to find out that there was no plantable lemon tree in the game. What will Lemonpress Farm grow now? Immersion broken.
Posted February 18, 2017.
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No one has rated this review as helpful yet
1.1 hrs on record
There are many things that make up the essence of a great video game, and highest among those qualities is a game's ability to stick with you even after its completion. In this regard, SOMA is an game that should be experienced by everyone. While not as scary or as atmospheric as its counterparts on Frictional Games' lineup, it more than makes up for this by challenging the players concept of life, purpose, and the horrors that lie therewithin. SOMA skips most of the traditional horror cliches in favor of a difficult storytelling path that not many horror games take, and in the end I believe it shines for this.
Posted November 23, 2016.
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2 people found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record (6.5 hrs at review time)
In reviewing this game, the first and most obvious point of contention is the developer's graphical decisions and the quality of the PC version that has been released. A lot has already been said about the FPS cap and the inclusion of black bars for a more "cinematic" feel, and with the option to change these via the developer console there isnt much more that needs to be said about these inclusions directly. What I will say is that, while playing the game, a larger issue that popped up involved the developer's choice in the field of view (FOV). I had not seen much talking about this issue before purchasing the game, and found it to be a very large determent very early on. A large portion of the screen that you are able to use by default is taken up by the character, and with the low FOV this quickly becomes a frustrating part of the gameplay. There are fixes specifically for the FOV, but most of them appear to use the cheat engine or modifications of certain game files in the steam folder, which I would not particularly recommend anyone use.

Speaking of fixes, the developer console modifications for the FPS and the aspect ratio are certainly not without their own issues. Very early on I attempted to modify the aspect ratio and black bars, only to have multiple cut scenes glitch to varying degrees of annoyance. In one particular instance a cutscene glitched out that clearly allowed me to see something that was meant to be introduced in a dramatic fashion later on, and after experiencing it I decided to revert back to the unruly black bars that the developer intended. I have yet to encounter any issues that could be directly related to increasing the FPS cap to 60, and the game itself is fairly servicable outside of these points of contention as a standard PC game port. The game is by no means graphically intensive in appearance, so I would be interested in knowing how it plays on an average pc build to see if the system requirements are truly as crazy as they appear (for the sake of comparison for the review, I have included my PC specs at the end of this review).

Ultimately, the game suffers from a much larger issue than its initial graphical problems, and that issue is boredom. People who were drawn in to the game for an intense or horrifying experience are likely to be disappointed by a myriad of extremely slow, uneventful stealth sections. There is nothing particularly wrong with the idea of these sections, but their execution in the game is poor at best. In games that have employed these mechanics in the past, such as Amnesia, a large portion of the tense environment is in how you are hiding from enemies that are obscured or not easily recognizable to you as a player, making the player want to succeed even more in their successful completion of the stealth mission even more due to an intense fear of being discovered. In The Evil Within, most stealth sections consist of you staring at the enemy for a good 5 minutes in clear light to try to analyze its patterns.

Not that analyzing their movements will actually help you, as the AI programmed for a number of enemies in the game appears to be erratic and non-intuitive. This results in situations where an enemy or group of enemies will change their patterns halfway through a section, which often leads to situations where you are found and forced to restart at the very beginning of a scenario. A very early example of this happens in the first chapter with sadist, a chainsaw weilding enemy. While attempting to utilize lockers and dark corners to navigate to a far door to escape, you are given two potential paths to take and are tasked with not being seen. This would be a perfectly fine scenario, if you could reliably use either of the paths given to you. In attempting a path outside of the main room, the enemy would sometimes completely ignore the trigger for an event in which he must clear a box. In one attempt in this scenario it would happen as soon as I triggered it, while in another attempt it would take upwards of 10 to 15 minutes for him to do so. In taking the other path, the enemy would sometimes see you despite his view being a full 180 degrees opposite of your direction, regardless of whether you are crouched or not. This issue later carries on to later sections in the game in which multiple enemies are involved, resulting in increasingly frustrating scenarios where patience is both expected and punished with extreme inconsistency.

Outside of gameplay, many of the mechanics and elements of the story feel disjointed and inconsistent in their implementation. Some of the more important mechanics in the game, such as distraction creating, are not ever actually touched upon outside of the occasional loading tip. Certain items in the game are not properly explained, outside of screens explicitly telling you to use them to do something with them. The UI leaves a lot to be desired, as it becomes difficult to properly gauge your health against the capabilities of the enemy. Scenarios in which you have been discovered by an enemy quickly devolve into awkward messes of combat involving poor player cues and wildly disjointed enemy AI and animations. In multiple scenarios of being spotted I have encountered situations in which enemies will attack you before the game plays an animation or makes the enemy face you in such a way that the attack would even be feasible. This becomes very frustrating when you throw in the issues with the UI and general player's desire to conserve resource, as what appears to be a fairly easy single enemy encounter quickly turns into a game over without much consideration of how the encounter actually plays out in the game.

I cant speak much for the plot in itself, but I can say that from what I've played the game uses a variety of horror cliches and tropes to a confusingly explicit degree. Enemies and enemy types that would typically be eased into a game of this genre appear to be thrown in with little regard for their abiltiy to draw players in to the atmosphere. Many of the enemies in this game are simply not scary or suspenseful, and a large portion of that can be attributed to the way they are introduced in the games stealth sections. After an initial introduction you are given plenty of time to become acquainted with them, and after your first encounter you will likely find that they provide no feelings for you in regards to the game's atmosphere outside of personal annoyance. In playing the game I could not help but feel a weird house-of-the-dead vibe from the way cutscenes and interactions played out that was betrayed by very obvious attempts to make the tone more serious, most of which are not successful in doing so. It is possible that the story may improve, though it certainyl has not in the time that i've played it so far.

Overall I would recommend that people pass on the game, or at the very least wait for it to go on a substantial sale. The game is not unplayable by any means, but with the large number of games that are coming out as we approach the holiday months, there are so many more games out there that can provide a more enjoyable experience. People who enjoy horror, survival horror and stealth styled games are much more likely to get enjoyment out of other recent games such as Alien: Isolation. I intend to continue playing the game and will post further updates regarding how my feelings on the game change, but after giving the game some time to draw me in it has ultimately failed to do so, and with a game of this genre that is certainly a bad thing that can ruin the enjoyment of other players as well.

PC SPECS (For comparison on graphical reqs/issues)
i7-4770K @ 3.5 ghz
16 GB 1600 ddr3 RAM
Msi GTX 980 Gaming 4G
Windows 8.1

FPS Cap: 60
Aspect Ratio : Default (2.5)
FOV: Not Modded
Posted October 19, 2014.
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No one has rated this review as helpful yet
8.0 hrs on record (1.7 hrs at review time)
Early Access Review
To say this game is early access is an incredible understatement, as the game feels much more like an early access into a game not even ready for early access. Entire mechanics of the game are likely to simply not work and will shift between various states of existance as you die and replay. If you're extremely unlucky, you may have your first few attempts at trying the game sidelined completely by the fact that the opening will drop you under the map, either causing you to instantly "die" or sending you directly to the cave to begin your adventure.

There are some elements that could be promising in the game, but the current presentation of the game almost immediately ruins them for you within your first bug filled in-game night. A great example of this would be the cannibals: It is very terrifying to imagine packs of wild, dangerous cannibals roaming around at night. It is understandably less terrifying when these packs spawn on top of you in the middle of the day, provided that you are lucky enough for their AI to simply not work in your playthrough (as it is prone to do). The potential for that experience can not be patched away, and the more you see dumb things happen in the world the less likely it is you'll care when they are finally fixed to interact more intelligently.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of games out there that are simply much more deserving of being on the steam store and of earning your money, many of which are in the same category and created under the same circumstances as this game. While the ideas presented could be promising, they are nothing new. There are many proof of concept survival games already out there, some of which are both cheaper and stabler than anything you will get out of this game in its current state.
Posted June 4, 2014.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 entries