Source: Review Copy
Price: £11.99 (£1.69 each for two skins, £3.19 for artbook or soundtrack)
Where To Get It: Steam
Content Warning: This game contains body horror, in addition to what is usually expected in a horror game.
I knew I was going to have a fun time with The Coma 2 when our protagonist, Mina Park, utters a solidly “Horror protagonist” line. Context first: She woke up in a strange, alternate school in which her teachers are monsters, and the halls are filled with student bodies twisted into grotesque forms. She escapes said monsters, rescued by somebody, and is deposited at the local police station, and told to wait there until the rescuer (seemingly the only normal person in this universe) comes back. And what does she say?
“While I’m here, I can file a report at the Police Station.” Solid. Gold. Horror protagonists, continue to do counter-survival things in order to make things interesting.
Anyway, yes, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is the sequel to The Coma, this time from the perspective of Mina Park, the best friend of the first game’s protagonist, who is drawn into the same shadow world. A world where people she would otherwise have trusted have become shades or monsters, and only a few can be trusted.
It’s pretty good survival horror, to be honest. 6 areas, which you hop between in an effort to, essentially, survive and, hopefully, stop an eldritch horror from entering our world. Does it have a good ending? Ahaha, that would be spoilers.
Nonetheless, the gameplay is pretty tight. E to interact, some of which will take some time (and notes will take some extra time, as I found out on my first proper death in the Police Station. Avoid death first, notes later!), A and D or the arrow keys to walk, Shift to run, space for a dodge… And WASD/arrow quicktime events (your choice) for holding your breath and difficult actions. This, honestly, is the one thing I wasn’t entirely fond of, but I will say that the game eases you in.
Now, aesthetically, the game is on point. An inked and cel shaded hand drawn style that’s quite charming, ambient, eerie music with its own feel, and audio cues that let you know when a monster that isn’t one of the basic obstacle types is on your floor, and what direction they’re coming from? These are all good. Similarly, the writing is solid, with the character of Mina and others sold well, and the world given to you piece by piece, in a sensible manner.
Difficulty wise, it eases you in, and collecting the story notes is, for the most part, pretty easy when you start, ramping somewhat in difficulty the first time you hit the Police Station, and… Well, let’s leave it at “The difficulty curve is reasonable, and I enjoy this.” And feel wise? Well, I appreciated that there are few jump scares, preferring to go with enemies you at least know when you first see them, and the twisted humans, who are quick, screamy, and will murder you quickly if you don’t succesfully hide or try to just run (they’re slightly faster than you, although doors and stairs briefly delay them.) Also a sensible stamina bar. I always appreciate a stamina bar that lets you run for more than 5 seconds, although this is still… About fifteen seconds before you’re out of puff.
So, overall, this is fairly nice for a horror game, and, for horror fans, this one is one you should definitely give a go, at the very least.
The Mad Welshman is always pleasantly surprised when someone actually gets what a good horror game should be like. It’s fairly rare.