Released on Switch and PS4 earlier this year, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters has been ported to Xbox One. Sequel to the original game, The Coma: Recut, developer Devespresso dips into Korean horror in this adventure game that provides some creepy jump scares.
From a side scrolling perspective with 2D hand drawn art, the main character slips into a coma and is exposed to a much darker variant of her home town. While never as haunting as Silent Hill or as gory as Resident Evil, this survival adventure game is somewhere in the middle and not for the faint of heart. The premise of the game is to explore each environment to find items and clues to unlock new areas Metroidvania-ish. There are also dozens of optional notes to find which further details the game’s backstory.
Playing as a school girl, there isn’t much the player can do to protect herself from the monsters that lurk in the dark. Being defenseless is what makes the game so terrifying and the only way to stay alive is to hide from the stalker that hunts you throughout the campaign. At the push of a button, the player can duck behind a desk or hop into a closet and wait for the danger to pass. Worse yet, if caught, the player has a chance to stun the demon using pepper spray if the item is in the inventory. If not, you better press the quick-time button prompts to hold your breath or you can say hello to the game over screen. As if being defenseless isn’t enough, the player can hear the click of the high heels coming from down the hallway causing anxiety levels to skyrocket. Thoughtfully, the environments can be dark and dreary but enemies are hazards are used sparingly which makes each encounter even more terrifying.
The hand drawn art style is one of the ways the dark tone is emphasized. It is not typical anime art as proportions are more realistically sized but expressions are amplified and shadows creep into everything. If the art style wasn’t what it is, the entire experience wouldn’t be the same. It is also recommended to play with headphones as the sound effects seem a bit hollow or muffled but you want to hear those approaching footsteps to feel the full effect of the horror. When the monster is chasing you, it can be difficult to find a hiding spot or know which direction to run. Luckily, the mapping system is very intuitive and works with the player by providing clearly indicated markers and labels. If you pick up the game a couple weeks later because you are a working adult, you should be able to figure out where to go due to the mapping system. That is not to say the experience is flawless and doesn’t contain annoying deaths but at least UI works with the player to make gameplay as comfortable as possible even though there are moments of frustration.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a terrifying adventure title that was created with care. I personally am not a fan of horror games and adventure titles are not my favorite but even I can see the heart that went into this product thanks to the deep lore and detailed art style. If you missed this release on other consoles and want to prepare yourself for the upcoming Halloween, this download will provide those chills you seek.
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