The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a Korean survival horror game from Devespresso Games. Coma 2 is a side-scrolling fight for survival in a world similar to the real world, yet much more nightmarish.
Players play as Mina Park, a local high school student, who passes out after discovering a cryptic book at her school. She wakes up in a twisted version of her school filled with grotesque wax figures. As she explores this twisted world, she discovers she is being chased by some malicious creature.
A Game of Cat and Mouse
Despite a slow start in the real world, Coma 2 provides a sense of mystery about this twisted world. This creates a desire for exploration to find the answers to understand where Mina is. The Coma 2 is able to balance this sense of confusion and drip feed you hints throughout the story in a natural fashion. Yet, despite drip-feeding you the story in a natural well-told way, Coma 2 leaves several unanswered questions. While these questions are not major plot points, there are enough small holes to leave you with some confusing questions. Yet by the end of the game, Coma 2 tells an immersive story that leaves you feeling satisfied as a full narrative.
Coma 2 is a Game of Cat and Mouse
Coma 2 takes the side-scrolling genre and tweaks it by removing any ability to jump. Devespresso is able to remove this mechanic while making the game still feel fluid and entertaining to play. It fully embraces the metroidvania style of returning to previous areas to explore and discover new secrets.
Part of the motivation for exploring the world is the “side quests” that will benefit you greatly as the story progresses. These tasks involving finding crafting recipes from shadows around the map and finding the corresponding items hidden throughout the world. In addition to finding craftable items, you can also find notes that will give you clues to the Myst-like puzzles. These puzzles progress the story and provide another layer of gameplay while avoiding the stalking creatures.
When you aren’t exploring the world, you’re hiding in background things such as lockers and under desks from the creatures stalking you. These hiding spots can trigger quick time events that are high-pressure life or death moments. These creatures combined with a punishing stamina meter and numerous environmental hazards lead to a challenge in chases that add to the pressure and fright of Coma 2.
Art Style and Audio Design
Coma 2 leans on a more manga art style that Devespresso makes work incredibly well with the horror genre. The manga style allows the developers to be able to make things appear a bit more vivid compared to a more realistic style with lighting and environmental hazards. Environmental hazards are also to able move in ways that would not have been as grotesque had they been in any other art style. Devespresso fully committed to the manga style and they executed on it with great success.
With any horror game, sound design is critical to giving the eerie aesthetic that sets the tone for the entire game. Devespresso is able to set the tone with the music throughout the game with an eerie ambiance. The music, combined with the ever-present threat of being hunted, makes for a truly chilling experience even while just exploring the world. The sound effects are also incredibly important while being hunted by these monsters. The design allows you to hear footsteps while near the monsters. When you duck into a side room, you can hear the monster’s footsteps from the other side of the wall. This makes the game of cat and mouse much more immersive.
As a player who normally avoids horror games, I found myself engrossed by exploring the world of Coma 2 and being able to sneak around the monsters stalking the hallways and alleyways. Despite being left with a few questions from holes in the story, I find myself wanting to play through the game to get the alternate ending.
To hear more about Coma 2, go check out our interview with the creative director, Tristan Lee Riven
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters can be purchased from the Microsoft Store for $18.99.