Weekend Gaming – SOMA

SOMA is what it’s like when its done properly.

The dark, dank atmosphere and overall persistent sense of foreboding and anxiety are so well done that it is very easy to hand your psyche over to the game, to place you directly under its spell.

For the first few hours of gametime, I kept on wanting to compare it to Alien:Isolation. Both games share a few of the same user-defined tags ala “Horror”, “Sci-Fi” “Atmosphere”. And both games fulfill these same roles very, very well.

But the further I progressed in SOMA the more it diverged from Alien:Isolation.

Where Alien:Isolation is instinctive and deathly tense, SOMA takes a more cerebral approach. Where the basic premise of A:I is ‘survive. get out.’, SOMA digs in like a philosophical tick. Both games are without a doubt engaging, but SOMA possess far more lasting power than A:I.

Progress in SOMA finds the player moving deeper and deeper. Deeper in the physical sense of its oceanic setting, and deeper in the sense of its philosophical queries. It is a game whose narrative works at multiple levels of meaning. Taking a step back to ask oneself “What do you think?” has a magnitude of implications – Perhaps, maddeningly, horrifically so.

SOMA is no slim fable. Measured benchmarks in progress may answer one question but will blast open another pressure lock, flooding the player with more inquiries and dilemmas. Player engagement is nurtured by posing meaningful questions about the self, intelligence, happiness, ignorance. And the way SOMA twists these themes in and out of each other is incredible.

I look forward to completing the journey this weekend. With the way the game has presented itself thus far, I am anticipating a conclusion that will blow what I think is my mind out of the back of what I think is my skull.

What are you playing this weekend?

You say potato…

So I’m working on a post in which the concept of the “melee attack” will be part of, and it got to thinking what the right way to say the word “melee” was. Me, I normally say “may-lay“. I’ve also heard “mee-lay” and “mee-lee” (but never “may-lee“).

So I’m wondering: which camp are you in? Which was is the right way?

I’m also wondering: what are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming

I meant to post this yesterday, but I was too caught up in college basketball to notice anything else.

That being said, what will you be playing this weekend? I’ve been alternating my time between Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2. Like I mentioned when I first got Bioshock 2, I played through a a large portion of the original Bioshock before leaving it for greener pastures. I’m planning on not making the same mistake twice, so I’m going to play a little bit of both so I don’t forget what’s going on in either game.

I’m also going to play a little Modern Warfare 2 tonight, so if anyone is in the mood, drop me a note on Live and we’ll hook up.

What’s everyone else playing?

Weekend Gaming

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’m hoping for a good weekend of gaming, so now is as good as a time as any to ask: what’cha playing this weekend?

Me, I’m about five hours in to Batman: Arkham Asylum and I’m really itching to get back. I am really, REALLY enjoying Batman. Extremely engaging and addictive. It has a bit of a Metroid feel to the exploration and jumping around. What I find most compelling is that I’m not firing hot lead through a rifled barrel at the heads of the bad guys. I know that’s not Batman’s style, but having to be resourceful and creative is quite satisfying. Of course, punching out scores of bad guys is equally satisfying. I’m hoping to make more progress this weekend on Arkham Island.

If time permits, I hope to join the guys from the site for a little Left 4 Dead. If you’re playing the PC version, let us know if you’re interested in joining us for a buttomashing.com L4D night. Also, time permitting, I’d like to make a little more progress with Mass Effect and Fire Emblem: Dragon Sword on the DS. Here’s to hoping.

What’s on tap for you guys?