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Found 3 results

  1. SOMA

    I have been playing video games for about 30 years now, and every once in a while a game makes me say “What the hell is going on?” SOMA from Frictional Games is one of those titles. And this is not a bad thing. You play as Simon Jarrett, a young man who was recently in a car accident. As a result of the accident, your girlfriend passed away and you sustained a bad head injury. You have been trying to figure out the extent of your injuries when you are contacted by a doctor that believes he might be able to help. You agree to be a part of his study, and have a complete brain scan. This is when things go sideways. After your scan you wake up and realize that something is very wrong. The bright lights of the doctors are gone. The room is dark, the door is locked and you are surrounded by equipment that wasn’t there before. You must now explore your new surroundings and figure out how you got there, as well as where THERE is. I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but I can safely say that it is a sci-fi, horror, survival which will require stealth over brute force. You will have to unravel the mysteries of your past and try to solve the puzzles of your present so you can move forward. Of course, you have to do this all while not drawing the attention of those that are out to get you. The XB1 version of the game differs slightly from the original PC and Playstation 4 game that was released a few years ago. The XB1 version features SAFE mode, which allows all the horror of the original title, but with no chance of getting injured by any monsters. This makes for a slightly less stressful playthrough, while still being able to experience the entire story. The graphics are dark and gritty. You are pulled into this world almost immediately and held there with a death grip. The environments are varied and extremely well done. Game sound is used to envelop you into this creepy world. Strange mechanical sounds, water dripping in the background, metallic creaks and strange echoes abound. Using headphones really immerses you into the experience, but the sound design is such that you will still get lost in the environments using your TV speakers. Music is sparse throughout the game, and mostly used to emphasize mood. SOMA is out now for XB1 and can be slipped into your collection for $29.99. While the game has you questioning what is going on, the answers are well worth the play time. 10/10
  2. Knock Knock

    There seems to be a booming market for survival horror games. Every week or so there is a new title popping up in this genre, but many seem to be poorly crafted stories that lean to heavily on the jump scare to create any suspense. Some games, like Knock Knock by Sometimes You and Ice-Pick Lodge LLC take the time to weave a creepy tale in a strange environment to raise the tension levels slowly until you are at the edge of your seat. You play as a young man who is a self-proclaimed “world-ologist”, as in someone who studies everything in the world. You live in a large house in the woods alone as you collect your data on the things around you. But you seem to be having some trouble sleeping, and something just doesn’t seem right in your house, and in the woods around you. Can you figure out what is amiss? Is it just your mind playing tricks on you? Delve into this strange and eerie world and unlock the answers for yourself. You start out by waking up at night and having a feeling that something is a bit off in your house. You must wander through the rooms, turning on lights to see if there is something out of place. Of course it would be too easy to just flip a switch to turn on the lights, so you have to hold down a button to either fix the lights or change the bulb. This takes a few seconds and will make you wonder what may be laying in the dark. If you stay in a room for a few moments, you may close your eyes and the room will return to normal. You must make it through the night till dawn breaks to complete the sequence. The game alternates between inside the house and exploring the woods. As you explore the forest surrounding your house you will be greeted with one of the most subtly creepy soundtracks a game has to offer. There is an orchestra of natural sounds – crickets, footsteps, wind, cracking branches and more. These are intermixed with supernatural moans and howls that will make you wonder if you are alone, or if someone is watching you. And for the record, if you have a cricket loose in your house KILL IT before you start playing this game, it will only freak you out more. The graphics lean more toward the cartoonish side, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it is for kids. The main character looks like a sleep deprived Chucky doll. As you wander into darkened rooms the small candle you carry casts ominous shadows on the wall. Gameplay can seem a bit repetitive at first – go into a room, fix light, go to next room, but you will quickly see that your house slowly grows and adds rooms as you progress. Also as you progress, you have to play hide and seek with the uninvited guests to your home. If you do happen to get spotted, you will only get set back a few hours, not to the start of the game. Knock Knock may not look like your typical horror survival game, but it will have you on the edge of your seat and looking over your shoulder. You can pick up a copy on XB1, PS4, PS Vita, and PC. 9/10
  3. Let me tell you a story. It is a story of survival; of a lone man, abandoned on an alien planet, fighting off wolves, raiders and... A woman named Beard. Aldrahill was a young, eager explorer. He had a keen passion for growing plants, he was excellent at cooking, caring for animals and just a generally pretty great guy. He was eager to begin making a colony on this strange new world. Bedroom, kitchen, farms and even a little pen for animals. All built by his two hands. He gathered potatoes, he tamed Wild Boars. He lived. Until someone else arrived. That someone was named... Beard. She (yes, a woman named Beard) was formally a Sheriff in her previous town. She was great at fighting; Aldrahill thought, great, someone to fight off raiders and hunt! Maybe help make this colony successful? Wouldn't that be a lovely story? Sadly, this is not that sort of story. Instead Beard was, apparently, incapable of anything other than fighting. She had a burning passion for shooting and hitting things but... Cooking? No. Farming? No. Literally carrying things? No, of course not. Instead, Beard liked to sit in the grass and stare up at the clouds as the colony was built by Aldrahill. She would sit, she would eat and be useless. When there was a fire, she would sit and daydream. Crops to bring in? Daydream. The only time she would actually do anything was when raiders came, then she'd kill them with ease and then... daydream. One day, lightening struck the fields, alighting most of the colony on fire. The food stores were burning, other colonists (for far more useful people had joined since Beard) were dying and Beard... Beard sat. Beard watched on and heard the screams of her fellow colonists and, like the angsty pre-teen-esque Rorschach from Watchmen, she whispered "No". The colony burned down that day and everyone else died. Had Beard helped put out the fires, likely all would have been fine. Instead, Beard ate. And Sat. And daydreamed. Until she was overwhelmed by raiders two days later, thus ending the colony. And ending my current game of Rimworld. For that was both the tragic story of Aldrahillia, a colony burned to the ground by the incompetence of the laziest human in existence, but it was also more accurately the story of Rimworld, a survival RPG / Simulation / Dwarf Fortress- homage that creates stories of your colony naturally using an intelligent AI storyteller. Most of the drama comes from your own incompetent attempts to keep everyone alive. Because it is not a question of whether or not you will die, it is when. Rimworld has been in Alpha for 3 years now, constantly improving. I was sent a preview copy of the game in 2014; I loaded up the game, tried to tame a squirrel and it went mad and promptly bit me to death. I scoffed and uninstalled - a small game, uninteresting and broken. In my arrogance, I was to miss out on one of the best survival-sim games I have ever played. Now, I am sitting on a computer on vacation, wishing fervently that I could play this homicidal rage-inducing game for just 15 minutes more. Lovers of Timber & Stone, lovers of Stonehearth or Gnomoria and of course, those crazy, masochistic lovers of Dwarf Fortress; why aren't you already playing? It also makes wonderful Let's Plays. You can watch Sam's Let's Play of Rimworld right here.
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