Tag Archives: game

S.O.M.A. Guide – Part 1 – Upsilon Confusion

[spoilers ahead]

So.. I decided to play S.O.M.A. again. A taste of survival horror, elements of cyberpunk, a game filled with puzzles, interesting dialogues and a profound exploration of the human and non-human intellect.

After a car crash – Simon Jarrett  – deals with brain damage, his brain starts bleeding now and then. Seems that various treatments do not work for his condition so he decides to seek further available options for prolonging his life. His condition could be fatal if a cure is not found. So – he gets in contact with a facility that could scan his brain in order to develop a more suitable treatment. Unfortunately this treatment has no efficiency and as later told in the game, Simon finds out he died almost 100 years ago and that he is able once again to function because the brain scan he did was used as a template for an A.I. model – him waking up on Pathos-II facility.

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PATHOS-II is an underwater research facility located in the Atlantic Ocean during the 2100s. It is the primary setting of both SOMA and the live-action prequel mini-series and film Transmission and Depth.

It was initially built to conduct thermal mining during the 2060s and, later, developed the Omega Space Gun. It has a diverse staff of scientists and engineers involved in multiple research projects such as marine sciences, hydroculture, and deep sea construction. An artificial intelligence known as the WAU was used to oversee primary operations of the facility.

When a comet impact in January 2103 rendered the surface of the Earth barren and killed all surface life, the staff of PATHOS-II became the last living humans on the planet. Knowing they would not be able to survive indefinitely, they began searching for alternative ways to extend their lives and ultimately, save what remains of the human race – the ARK program being among them. Not much is known about the events that followed, but eventually machines previously operated remotely by humans began to become self-aware and started to exhibit human traits. The facility eventually descended into the nightmarish state seen during the events of the game.

Opening your eyes, waking up alone, trapped in darkness. That is how the horrifying story of SOMA really starts. You wake up in the Upsilon site – which  contains the facility’s primary power generation plant. Geothermal boreholes are used to generate electricity. Upsilon also contains extensive facilities used to service and maintain PATHOS-II’s collection of robots and Universal Helpers.

Soma 2016-08-13 15-12-55-14You start exploring these dark rooms, hearing distant weird noises and seeing shadows that disappear an re-appear. You find how to work with the Omnitool.

The Omnitool is a small handheld computer, originally used by PATHOS-II’s staff to open doors and access areas requiring maintenance. It has two chip slots: one for a Tool Chip, which grants additional functions and security clearances, and one for a Cortex Chip, which is used to download an A.I. into the Omnitool. If no Cortex Chip is inserted, the Omnitool has a pre-loaded AI (“Helper Jane”).

The cortex chip can also contain a brain scan, granting it the personality and memories of the person scanned. The Omnitool lacks the necessary computational resources to run brain scan simulations on its own, and must be docked to a terminal in order to do so. Catherine Chun describes this experience as a continuous, but disjointed consciousness with no perception or awareness of the time that passes in between simulations.

The Omnitool cannot be used to override security protocols that it lacks the clearance to access. In these cases, a new Tool Chip must be inserted to update the Omnitool’s security clearances.

The Omnitool can be operated either by swiping it in front of a sensor or by directly docking it to a computer terminal. The latter option allows the brain scan on the device’s Cortex Chip, if present, to directly interface with the PATHOS-II mainframe.

Soma 2016-08-13 15-46-43-12Moving further in the game you make contact with several robots who don’t even realize they are robots. At first, even Simon sees himself as being human, being normal. But slowly things start to change perspectives. He first makes contact with Catherine Chun who will direct him from site Upsilon to site Lambda, in order to discover further truths about this research facility. You are being attacked by a Construct.

This creature appears to be a horrific jumbled mess of a UH3 Universal Helper maintenance unit and WAU techno-organic growth. Structure Gel mutations have given the Helper a much bulkier build, with a bigger backside and more reinforced structure, as well as added functionality, allowing the Helper to make use of a pair of legs to navigate. Along with the small lights emitting from the numerous bulbous growths on its body, the Helper casts a bright beam from the front of its face, acting as a spotlight to assist with navigation through dark areas.

Soma 2016-08-13 16-05-27-65You get to explore the bottom of the ocean – wondering how are you going to find the right way to the next checkpoint. You rescue a little Universal Helper which will show his gratitude by offering you access to a block door in order to continue. You discover that the machines are taking control over the humans lost in this abandoned place and they will not let them die. It is a sign that the A.I. in this place, the master brain of the disaster wants everything to be fully functional, no matter what.

Finally you get to site Lambda only to discover that Catherine is also a brain scan trapped into a computer. But will all that, she will be the protagonist’s companion and will offer useful tips and information.

For a full written walkthrough, you can access these links if you have problems in finishing any of the game’s levels.

Simon Jarrett’s Apartment

Subway Cinematic

Dr. Munshi’s Laboratory

Pathos-II Awakening

Upsilon Puzzles

Bottom Of The Ocean

Upsilon Shuttle Station

[next article – S.O.M.A. Guide – Part 2 – Lambda Atrocities]

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Now My Son…


OLGame 11-13-2015 3-31-32 AM-368What kind of experiments does a dead doctor perform on living patients?

You would say that one person that is dead, should stay dead, right? And because we are not discussing zombies here, how is that a dead person can walk, talk, even think, apparently is full of live. This is one of the themes used in Outlast – first person psychological survival horror game developed and published by Red Barrels.

It was released on September 4, 2013 for Microsoft Windows and for PlayStation 4 on February 4, 2014.

In the shadows of Mount Massive Asylum, there are things that know no boundaries, no moral fiber and no shame. An experiment that was also a conjuring woke up an evil entity that consumes hatred and vengeance.

Miles Upshur, an investigative reporter enters this asylum to record and produce a story that would put a light upon the dark things hidden here by the Murkoff Corporation, who owns this place.

Run, hide or die. Classic survival horror established plan. No weapons against foes, no weapons to clear your path, only a camera to chase out the darkness.

OLGame 11-13-2015 3-21-02 AM-341Screams, noises that are from beyond our world, ghastly apparitions, a bunch of mad men let loose to do whatever sick thing their mind can imagine. At some point we witness necrophilia, live murders, you get chased by these lunatics who want to taste your meat.

Blood, corpses, mutilated bodies, decomposing remains, heads…

Driven by curiosity, you infiltrate the depths of the asylum, crawling through sewers and listening to the prophecies of self-proclaimed Father Martin.

You have to witness “amazing” things that are hidden from public, hidden even to the naked eye. Variants roam the halls of the asylum. Their bodies are mutilated and extremely modified. Then there is Walrider, Father Martin’s deity, a humanoid ghastly shape of nanites, which is visible only through the night vision of the camera, until later in the game.

Outlast offers lots of jump-scares, a dark atmosphere, a gruesome depiction of an altered reality.

Best played at night with headphones.

Warcraft Official Trailer

June 2016 is the official date for the release of an epic journey into a fantastic world, a live action adaptation of Blizzard’s hit game Warcraft.

Under the motto: Two Worlds. One home we will have the chance to enter the battle between Orcs and Humans, visiting places that were depicted in the games. Directed by Duncan Jones, Warcraft: The Beginning looks promising.

Forsaken World Mobile

This morning I woke up thinking about posting something on this blog. It’s been a while since the last entry (august 20th). Much has changed, a lot has been happening, I’ll prepare a post about that too, but for now I will explore a subject I’m very fond of: video games.

I played a lot of games this year, both for PC and designed for Android. Today I’ll write about an Android MMORPG called Forsaken World Mobile.

logoThe fantasy genre is one of the biggest themes that can  infinitely be exploited. With imagination comes a large number of possibilities for a story. And as I stated before, I am really interested in stories, the development of characters, of out-of-the-ordinary situations, climaxes and open endings. Probably the best depictions of imagination’s power and nonexistent borders lays within art, within visual creations, within anything that takes you out of this grey reality and puts you into a world where anything can happen. I know, I’m taking this thing too seriously, but I still keep my feet on the ground. But now and then I escape and run into the wilderness of imagination. I lose myself into legend and myth and ethereal virtual lands, into characters and heroes and also villains.

Therefore I play. I play a lot. More than I should :))

Developed by Fedeen Games, Forsaken World Mobile is offered for free on Google Play Store, with in-app purchases. A short description tells us about the game’s features and requirements: Continue reading

Dear Esther…

[this article contains spoilers.. if you intend to play the game.. read this article after doing so]

I consider myself a big fan of First Person Shooters or any game that has a first person perspective. I’ve played many games til now.. from survival horrors to point-and-click games, puzzles, browser games, adventure games, role-playing games and so.

But my favorites remain shooters. I’m currently doing some quests in Borderlands but I also play other games.

And today I happened to play Dear Esther…

It is a short game.. a first person exploration game. The protagonist.. a survivor of a shipwreck is writing a letter to his lover. Seems it is the last thing he ever does..

The game has great graphics. You find yourself on a rocky island where you explore your own insanity.

The game presents solitude at its best. You visit places that were touched by an insane man. But who was there before you? Can you find other human beings here? Who left the messages on the rock? Who is waiting for you at the top of the mountain?

Bit by bit you get closer to the truth. You discover the remains of other ships… the remains of long forgotten houses.

Empty. Everything is empty.

The game has two other strong points beside its original gameplay. The soundtrack is amazing and the literature presented here is of a high standard.

Simplicity has never looked this good.

Dear Esther… has four main chapters.. each more interesting than the other.

Below you can enjoy a full-gameplay of Dear Esther. But I also strongly recommend playing the game too.

Witch And The 100 Soldiers: PS3 Getting Too Many Of These

I recently stumbled upon this title “Witch and the 100 Soldiers” – an RPG due to be released this spring for the PS3 and I wondered who’d buy this game taking into consideration that it looks kinda dumb and childish.

Lots of colors cannot make a game buyable – as an RPG – it should be glowing, not having “cute” witches summoning mini-soldiers.

The anime style used in here doesn’t help – it brings down a unique title. It’s a Japanese game – lots of other things may have helped making it more enjoyable.

Looking at this – this should be a PSP game for your son to play at his 10th birthday. I’ve seen the same mistake in other genres as well. For example lots of fantasy MMORPG that you can play for free have this anime-simplistic style to accompany you. It’s not attractive at all – it’s like more and more games are redirected to 5-year-olds that start exploring fantasy.

A game should be a piece of art – not a please-buy-a-copy-of-this-simple-product.

That’s the problem with J-RPGs – they don’t depict ideas right – going only for linear dialogues and what’s-under-her-skirt moments. I hope there is at least a good story associated with it.

Gaming 101: Amnesia The Dark Descent

 

Fans of the horror genre will definitely love this title.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an unique and intensive survival horror first person adventure game. The amount of things that makes this game great is unlimited.

After waking up in an old abandoned castle, without remembering anything, the main character [Daniel] start a trip of finding out the truth. Just like the Penumbra series, this game puts the accent on mental heath and stability. You cannot battle against the villains but you can run and hide, while the enemy is seeking for you.

Exploring is all you have to do in order to start conquering the unimaginable. A very creepy atmosphere surrounds you. Dark colors and tones, dust, lights coming in various shapes that scare you, different monuments, strange sounds, voices and screams, revelations and memories – a bunch of elements that help creating a dark environment.

After waking up you must follow a blood trail – the only thing that stirs your imagination at the moment. Movement in the corner of the eye, which is gone when you look more carefully, wind blowing up, doors opening and closing, sounds of footsteps, birds singing in a creepy manner, voices coming from dark corners, invisible foes – what else do you want more?

By adding adventure elements and puzzles to the story, this game is able to offer you a great dosage of fun. You are kinda trapped. You don’t know where you’re going and what are those scary whispers that come from dark corners. You must stay alive no matter what. When an enemy is approaching, your nerves are getting weak. You must find a safe spot. You can stay hidden in dark areas of halls and rooms, you can use the surroundings to create a barricade and hide.

Sometimes you will have to make things work, light up important zones, find alternative paths – all while trying to find out what really is going on.

When you encounter this thing [picture left] you stop thinking and RUN. This creature visited me while I was spending some time looking for clues on how to get past some blocked passage. Trust me, the hallway was poor lighted and it came out of nowhere making strange noises. The best way to avoid confrontation is to be prepared for this kind of situation. You have to close doors behind you, you must secure zones, use the lights strategically.

When you are on the flooded archive halls, you will have a not so pleasant surprise. Stay away from the water, cuz this attracts a very powerful enemy. It gave me the creeps. You only see some footsteps on the water – you cannot see the thing that attacks you. You will have to use the environment and your agility in order to escape from this damned path. It’s like a demonic labyrinth. You just have to pay attention to whatever surrounds you.