Coma 2: Vicious Sister
Developer: Devespresso Games
Publisher: Headup Games
Genre: Survival Horror
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 16
Release Date: 19/06/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Wake Up It’s Time to Go to Sleep
I played and wrote about the first Coma game way back in early 2019. I loved the game. From the art style to the story and the way it unfolded. In fact, once I had finished my playthrough, I reached out to the developers at Devespresso Games and chatted with them for a little while.
They were, as I have found most developers to be, very friendly and eager to talk about their game. I was already excited when I saw the team announce Coma 2, and while they built and released Vambrace Cold Soul in mid-2019, I was delighted when Coma 2 came up for review.
But how did the Coma 2: Vicious Sister turn out? Was I bored to sleep or was it a nightmarishly good time? Keep reading this Rapid Review to find out.
Sensory Audio Makes for an Immersive Experience
There was no real voice acting in the game. Sure, there were some twisted laughs and maniacal screams, but there was no real dialogue through the game. That being said, I don’t speak Korean, so it is perfectly possible that some of the background noises and chatter are voice lines. Even so, they served the purpose of being sound effects rather than plot devices.
The game does a good job at using simple and clean sound effects to convey emotion during the game. From your footsteps either clacking on the ground to wet slaps as you stroll through other-dimensional viscera.
Sound was also the core indicator of pending danger, with the clickety-clack of approaching footsteps being your signal to seek cover. Whether it’s in a locker, under a table or by simply running for your life downing devespressos or cans of green tea until the pursuing demon spawn gives up the chase.
The game proves that you do not need to have an assault on the senses for a game to be a success.
The same for the art style. I love the hand-drawn, 2.5D approach. This combined with the beautifully horrific aesthetic makes for a winning combination for a game of this sort. The character designs were crisp and the ghostly entities and evil spirits you came across were grotesquely imaginative. It took everything that I enjoyed about the first game and built on it, adding depth to the imagery the same way they did to the story and lore of the world.
A Chilling Game of Cat and Mouse
The game follows on from the first and sees Mina Park, a fellow student at the Sehwa Institute, pulled into the Coma – a parallel world that exists within our own.
Trapped in the Coma, your only chance is to work with the Ghost Vigilantes to take down Vicious Sister and uncover the long and sordid history of the great Sehwa Institute. The real question that lingers through the game is, can they be trusted?
One thing I liked about the Coma 2 was how they ventured beyond the Sehwa Institute, which was the sole location for the first game. With multiple locations including a police station, subway, night market, hospital and a secondary location within the institute, it made for a world ripe for exploration.
Each location is a chapter and unveils a little more of the story and the lore. This also worked well to tie together a lot of the first game also. The story is linear, and you often need to backtrack to certain rooms to find things that were not there if visited too early. This doesn’t bother me as I like the exploration that is given by the freedom to explore largely at will.
There are a couple of rooms on each level that either cannot be opened during the first visit or need to be unlocked and revisited outside the scope of the story.
The game is mostly based around exploration or a form of fetch-quests but some puzzle elements offer a nice distraction from time to time. One big step up from the first game was the inclusion of QTEs (Quick Time Events). These appear when hiding from the evil spirits and also if caught. This expanded the gameplay and gave the game a needed increase in the level of player participation.
Collect the Notes and Piece Together the Full Story
As you explore, each chapter has several notes – diary fragments – each one offering further lore and backstory on the Sewha Institute, and the otherworldly goings-on in and around its corridors.
I finished the game with approximately a 90% completion in terms of page collection, which is going to nag at me, because I remembered two rooms I forgot to unlock in the subway and the hospital, and I know that there were pages behind those doors.
I have to point out that the story in this game was fantastic. Not just in terms of the lore and the way the story unfolds, but the writing of it. The English was great and the words used were evocative and fitting. The team put a lot of effort into making this game as good and as detailed as possible.
For the rest, there were no real collectibles to be found during the game, but loot was littered across the map, offering helpful items or money that could be used in vending machines. Using spectral matches allowed you to open ghost loot crates. These didn’t offer anything special but were a nice add on from the first game.
A Recurring Nightmare?
Much like the first Coma game, I am not left with a burning desire to replay the game. However, it is one I could see myself playing again if not for the clever storyline and because I want to get those last few pages.
The game offers multiple save slots, but I’m a single save slot kind of guy, so I have to start the game from scratch again if I want to try for a 100% run.
I will definitely buy the physical version of this game when it comes out. Oddly enough, I just had the first one delivered the day before I got this code for review.
A Tormented Descent into the Darkness
I enjoyed the first Coma so much that there was an increased weight of expectation on the second game, but the team rose to the challenge.
I found The Coma 2 to be a delightfully nightmarish title. It was not perfect. I was never truly scared while playing the game. It felt as if the dark spirits were less abundant or present in this game than in the first. Also, the spectral matches were cool but in overabundance. I think the game would have benefited from being a bit stingier in their provisions for these soul-killing flames.
When the game first finished I felt a little disappointed as there were a lot of unanswered questions. However, there were some nice post-credit scenes that not only gave me the closure I had hoped for but set the scene for a third game with an even larger scope.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters from the Nintendo eShop right here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.