The Coma is a side scrolling 2D survival horror game by Korean developers Devespresso. We’re pretty used to being made to feel like the hunted in a three dimensional world, but it’s a pretty unique stance to have a crazed killed chasing you around a school on just the two planes.
Set inside Sehwa High School, you control Youngho who arrives at school after a bad night and little revision, only to find out a fellow student has committed suicide. This opening sequence let’s you get to grips with the controls as well as meet a few of the main characters of the game including the attractive Miss Song, who little Youngho seems to have a crush on.
After being asked to stay late after school, Youngho happily sits at his desk to start today’s test, and soon falls asleep.
Waking up in a panic, Youngho finds the classroom empty as darkness surrounds him, he can only guess that he’s somehow managed to sleep through his exams and missed his ‘date’ with Miss Song.
Soon after leaving the classroom, Youngho finds Miss Song, but things aren’t quite as he expected, instead of wanting to look over his recent slump in test results, she’d rather look over his guts with whatever weapon she has to hand.
Confused and shocked, You’ll have to run away quick and find somewhere to hide, but soon enough you’ll be able to sneak down the corridors again as you work from one area to the next.
Controls remain simple and responsive and while it’s not made clear how safe you are ducking into a classroom and taking the ‘sshhh’ kneeling position, or if you’re better off just heading for and hiding inside the nearest toilet or locker, but you’ll quickly start to feel like the prey of a homicidal maniac.
Gameplay mostly centralises on A to B tasks, as you reach one location, you’re quickly prompted to head to another to pick up an item, or move towards a new area, the same sneak, run and hide mechanics continue and you’ll come across different characters who equally seem just as weird (although not quite as psychotic) as Miss Song.
Graphically the eerie school halls are well detailed and the clear and sharp characters and locations are complimented by smooth, if not very varied animations.The overall presentation is pretty simple, but it’s nice to see some attention to detail throughout the school in what would otherwise be a very basic canvas.
There’s little you can do when the killer is on your heels expect run and hide, but The Coma mixes things up by allowing you to trigger alarms and distractions to help you sneak by some of the tougher areas.
Xbox One X users will be pleased to know that The Coma also carried the ‘Xbox One X Enhanced’ tag and will offer 4K and HDR features on Microsofts new Console.
Audio set’s the tone well leaving with an eerie soundtrack and enough sound effects to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s safe to say that The Coma won’t make you jump all that often, but you will be running in fear as soon as the screen judders, the dynamic sound kicks in and you realise you’ve only got a few seconds to run before getting sliced to shreds by your favourite teacher.
The Coma might be quite repetitive in nature, but I also found myself able to pick up and play rather than investing hours at a time, regular chalk boards allow regular save-game opportunities and with 4 slots, you can easily keep a few ‘checkpoints’ just in case you find yourself in a predicament a little further down the line.
With the story only lasting around 2-3 hours, it’s disappointingly short, but still a tension filled experience that’s ultimately worth your time.
Bottom Line :
The Coma : Uncut comes across as a typical side scrolling adventure game, but the injection of Korean horror really helps give a unique feel, it does start to feel repetitive, but with regular save opportunities and plenty of characters to meet, you’ll find the story and range of characters more than enough to keep you coming back for more.
Gameplay : 7.5
Graphics : 7
Sound : 7.5
Story : 8
Value : 6
Overall : 7.2 / 10