Updated: Sep 9, 2020
PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
I’ve never understood why anyone likes horror video games… Jump scares, deathly screams; that’s never really been my style. And yet, even when I needed to put the controller down and walk away after running for my life through the halls of a desolate police precinct, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters was the right balance of subtle cheesy humor and nightmare-inducing horror that kept me coming back for more.
First things first, no need to have played The Coma: Recut in order to play Coma 2. This game stands alone just fine and requires no previous knowledge of the game series. For me, this was my first Coma game and I had no issue getting into the story.
In The COMA 2: Vicious Sisters, a mysterious force has fallen over Sehwa District. You play as high schooler Mina Park as she explores various regions of the city reminiscent of The Upside Down from Stranger Things in hopes of surviving the evil that lurks in the shadows. Along the way, you interact with various characters, solve challenging puzzles, and craft weapons to protect yourself. Throughout your journey, you’ll encounter psychotic killers enthralled with the need to find and kill you.
The mechanics are simple, yet immersive. On Xbox One, ‘A’ to interact with objects, right trigger to sprint, and left trigger to dodge/evade the various attackers you’ll encounter. You have a limited inventory of health/stamina items, which you can purchase from vending machines or find while searching the world and consumed using RB. Using your flashlight will help illuminate supplies and documents that shed light on the lore of Sehwa District. There are also items that you can find to craft weapons, but from my experience crafting wasn’t always necessary in order to beat a level. A simple dodge and sprint would work for most enemies. Once you find a map for each level, up on the D-pad will be your best friend as you try to map your way through the hostile environment to retrieve objects, complete objectives, and escape to safety.
Running and dodging aside, the addictive part of this game is the hide-and-seek mechanics. As you explore, you’ll uncover lockers, desks, and stalls that can be used for shelter from the enemies who relentlessly pursue you. As you flee for your life, you’ll dart through doors, down hallways, and into hiding as the footsteps of your pursuers grow nearer. Quick response button commands on screen will determine whether you are able to remain quite enough, or if your heavy breathing will give away your location. Throughout my experience with the game, I found myself afraid to crawl out from under the desk in fear of having to run for my life again.
The hand-drawn artwork by Minho Kim renders beautifully on the Xbox One. The environmental changes throughout the semi-open world 2D side scrolling environment add to the fear of exploring and enhance the sense of danger around every corner. With no voice actors, dialog is displayed on the screen and is accompanied by Minho Kim’s comic-style artwork. The soundtrack is eerie and ominous, and subtle environmental noises (whispers, groans, footsteps) get your heart racing and your hands sweating in preparation for the threats that approach.
Final Grade: A
This. Game. Is. Hard. No, not Dark Souls hard, but you’re going to die. And when you do, you’re not going to be happy about it. The unique levels, engaging story, and hide-and-seek mechanics make this 8-10 hour game well worth the investment, although replay ability may be limited to one two playthroughs. Buy the game. Play it at night. The chase sequences alone are worth picking up the game.
Review code provided by PR Hound