The Game That Broke Me - A SOMA Video Essay

Published 2019-06-18
SPOILER WARNING! This is a video essay on SOMA, and while I don't recount every story event and decision in the game, it is necessary for me to spoil the story.

SOMA is a video game developed by Frictional Games released way back in the distant past of 2015.

Simon Jarrett awakens from one nightmare only to plunge headfirst into another.
This game pushed me through such an emotional roller-coaster of euphoric highs and crushingly isolating lows, that when I walked my girl through the story, I was an emotional wreck. A game I had beaten days ago, upon recounting the journey was still affecting me to the point that I was breaking down in tears again.
SOMA was one of the most powerful video games I have ever played, and I knew I had to make a video essay on it explain why, and hopefully, to excite someone else to follow in my footsteps.


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All Comments (21)
  • Bij Dikh
    SOMA is just one of those games you buy because it's on sale, and then you finish it ending up with an existential crisis.
  • The Witness
    The creepiest part was when Simon heard the other Simon in the room behind him.
  • Earthen Deific
    The part of this game that broke me, was when Sarah said, "At least I won't have to turn 30." She was in her 20's, she died so young, in so much pain.
  • Q
    You want to know what’s ironic? Sarah, the one, final person on Earth, the loneliest character in the entire game, sat next to the entirety of mankind the entire time.
  • Obutubo
    This whole game gives me strong “I have no mouth, but I must scream” novella vibes
  • Seeing Catherine open her arms to embrace Simon and then tell him, "It's okay, Simon. Everything's alright now" makes me feel even worse for the robot-Simon left alone under the ocean.
  • Kento Rinji
    I couldn't ever imagine the guilt I'd feel knowing a replica of myself is in darkness, scared and alone while I'm in a paradise of theoretical ever lasting happiness.
  • I like the fact that Simon "The Chosen One" was NOT the last human alive.
    It was simply a woman on life support called Sarah.
  • Mattemattics
    It’s a damn tragedy and also great that this game isn’t more well known. It’s a masterclass in storytelling, but also way too real to be healthy.
  • Neo
    and then there's the real Simon, looking down from heaven like
    "holy shit"
  • Shari
    I still think the ending would've been more harrowing if they were switched. After the countdown it does into the ark. Then after the credits you go back to Simon and Catherine on earth.
  • Vincent
    I think this game really epitomizes why the whole "upload your brain to live forever" idea used in a lot of stories isn't nearly as good as it's cracked up to be. While there's a version of you that will live on forever, that won't really be *you*, you'll still die just like you always would, while that other version would be completely oblivious to your existence.
  • Dan McLeod
    The way Catherine deflects Simon's questions and changes the subject when he talks about being a robot suggests that at some point, after a while the realisation causes insanity when they realise what they are and start thinking about it. Every single robot you meet is insane, Simon is 'fresh' so to speak. Catherine wants to make the most of the time they have to launch the ark.
  • Strawberry Zebras
    I honestly think that the "good ending" in the Ark is just as unsettling as the "bad ending" because of the few thousand year time limit on their lives and the fact that anything they do is now just unimportant bits moving around in a computer. I feel that it's like a family celebrating because their loved one was just given 1 more week to live instead of them dying that day. The ark was a last desperate attempt to buy time before inevitable extinction.
  • L
    The fact that simon forgot how the transfer works AGAIN makes me think he will be happy in the arc forgetting that there are versions of him, atleast one, living alone for as long as there arent ways to end their life.
  • DavidH0777
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
    — Philip K. Dick
  • Charles Jones
    The bit with Amy is even more disturbing when you realize she's been there on "life support" for a year. And you only have to pull one of the cables, meaning you can leave her alive. Arguably a fate worse than death. In fact, that pretty well describes this whole game.
  • Ochre
    This game brings up so many interesting, unique, and terrifying questions about existence, consciousness, and the meaning of humanity. It's really a case study of philosphy.
  • Michael Wilson
    The horror really doesn't start until they realize they created the virtual reality with a beta version of Bethesda's creation kit engine.
  • squishsh
    Ughhhhh watching Sarah's death scene made me tear up again. This time was worse because I'm older, I almost sobbed. I would also want to die, there's no way that loneliness wasn't overbearing and absolutely soul crushing. I'm so glad this game isn't real, at least as of now.