Later Levels QOTM: October 2018

I’ve been following Later Levels for quite some time now, but I’ve never participated in their Question of the Month challenge usually because I couldn’t think of a good answer.  That changed with this month’s spooky query to go along with the Halloween season!

The question set for us by Megan is: In honour of Halloween, tell me what video game scared you the most. What is it about the elements, environments, music, or characters in the video game that scared you?

Without a doubt SOMA.

SOMA coverThis game messed me up for months after, and I didn’t even play it myself; I watched an LP.  While it has the customary jump scares of most first person survivals, that’s not were the horror lies.  It’s far more existential in nature, and it’s not until you reach the end that the full impact of it hits you like a truck.

It’s set 100 years in the future at the bottom of the ocean in a derelict, undersea research facility.  The world has suffered a catastrophic event where everyone on the surface is presumed to be dead, but in some cases death is far better than the alternative.  The atmosphere of the game does wonders for projected an unnerving and unsettling air as you guide the protagonist Simon through a facility as strange to him as it is to you.

That right there is where I believe the linchpin lies.  Simon is just a regular person just like anyone playing the game, and what happened to him could happen to any of us.  He’s not a space marine, super soldier, scientist, or warrior.  He’s just a regular guy from Toronto with horrible luck.  He didn’t ask to be in that situation, and though it’s utterly outlandish, it’s still not out of the realm of possibility given where technology might go.

Where the story ends is literally gutting and you sit there for minutes after the credits roll and the after credit scene has played as the horrifying realization washes over you.  You remember you were explicitly warned about it around the midpoint of the game just like Simon was, and a terrible decision you need to make as him suddenly takes on a deeper meaning.  Yet it’s not until the end that you understand the implications.  It’s an experience I’m never going to forget and that I’m still working on reviewing.

So that’s my scariest game!  Check out Later Level’s post linked above if you want to get in on the spooky action 🙂

4 thoughts on “Later Levels QOTM: October 2018

    • Inside was deliciously creepy. They really improved on the formula they used in Limbo. So many wonderful theories. I haven’t heard o ZombiU! I might have to check that out. I’m watching all of the Silent Hills on Let’s Play now and I’m currently on 3. SOMA is just…it’s the best use of psychological, existential horror I’ve ever seen in any medium. I think you’ll get the same impact from watching it as from playing it so long as you pay attention, but I know many people get more out of experiencing a game for themselves. I’m still working on a review for it over a year because I can only write it during the day while the sun is up o.O

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Scariest game I’ve ever played? Hm… I’ll go with F.E.A.R. 2. Alma scared the crap out of me to where I had to take a break and gather some courage before continuing forward. I’ll like to give a shout out to Dead Space. Being trapped in a facility in outer space would terrify the hell out of me. That’s a literal nightmare scenario for me and it doesn’t help that the enemies are super creepy.

    I’ve never played Soma and probably never will. I’m not a fan of the new crop of horror games that’s released these last few years. Everyone I know praises the game though. I might watch a LP on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I looked up Alma and she reminds me of Samara from The Ring. Then I read about how she just kind of appears, but you don’t ever get a good look at her, and that’s unnerving as hell. My husband played Dead Space and had to give himself some time between sessions. That game gave me nightmares and I didn’t even play it myself. Those necromorphs were horrifying. I think it’s why SOMA worked, because it’s the same concept: being trapped in an uninhabitable place that’s filled with monsters.

      I’d definitely recommend watching it. Christopher Odd was who I saw, and he does a really good job. He doesn’t talk through cut scenes and he has a good voice for it. He’s reactions are also exactly how I’d feel lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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