Somerville, the review of the new title inspired by Limbo and Inside

Somervillethe spiritual sequel to Limbo And Inside, it makes sense. The sense of her. His predecessors lived at the far end of the narrative spectrum, somewhere between nightmarish and serious reading. Orwell. But Somervillebased on the novel by H. G. Wells, has achieved the kind of stability that allows for the development of an effective product: a bit of domestic bliss interrupted by an apocalyptic alien invasion. Between a collapse of the Earth and people with no prospects for a future, comes the remote possibility of a counter-move to avoid total annihilation.

The most traumatic alien invasion in history

Somerville stands on intrigues. A babywhose parents have dozed off on the sofa, hangs around a living room dark while a menacing noise comes from outside the farm. Fascinated by the noise, he searches for answers, awkwardly making his way through the house before clambering up to the window of the kitchen, where the chirping of what appears to be a creature continues unearthly. Somerville also follows the story of a family who was involved in the middle of aalien invasion. Apart from the short period as a child, the protagonist is the father who, after an accident that transfers a supernatural power into his right arm, is presumed dead, leaving his wife and child to flee. The father comes woke up from the strange energy which now flows in his body and together with his trusty canine companion, sets out in search of a wife and child. While it’s not the most innovative opening in a game, it certainly immediately begs questions: where’s the family? Who are these alien invaders? What are the huge otherworldly obelisks that rise from the sky like stalactites?
Somerville is almost a adaptation successful of the “War of the Worlds“, where the film with Tom Cruise it had failed to meet expectations. Cars whiz by irregular along a highway. THE survived they hide in the downloads sewers or congregate in evacuation centers improvise.

Somerville, a game that wants a lot

Developed by JumpshipsSomerville is aadventure storytelling which boasts the former CEO and co-founder of Playdead Dino Patti as founder. Despite the obvious desire to compare with Inside And Limbo; even if there are parallels in terms of “lack” of dialogues and fights, Sommerville of Jumpships mainly focuses on storytelling.

Somerville looks a lot like the games of Playdead. You walk left or right through one 3D space (or better, 2.5D), solving riddleshiding from enemies unstoppable and putting together a history performed with gestures more than dialogues. In Somerville, the father of the family can walk in the night with superhuman power at his disposal: before the family is torn apart, the father has a close encounter with an alien soldier. With a flick of the fingers and a period of unconsciousness, he receives the gift of transform the light into a tool that bends the world. This translates into a game mechanic very suitable for various puzzles.
In Somerville, when the father touches a lamp or a reflector (something powered by a electric energy) can channel the energy contained, converting the light into a glow that melts the materials aliens into some sort of goo. Soon after, you can solidify the alien goo as lava. Most of the riddles of Somerville involve the destruction and the restoration of materials, the liquefaction of stones to fill a void with mud, then the hardening of its surface so that the man and his dog can cross the crust without danger.

Every character, creature and catastrophe has been granted time and care. This level of detail – in which the characters interact with the world and the people around them in lively wayto gestures as well as sounds – it is rarely seen already in projects with a huge budget such as The Last of Us Part 2but it is more unique than rare to meet him in a game like Somerville, limited in size, where prioritizing animation means deprioritizing something else. As the Somerville adventure takes hold, there are less forced puzzles and increasingly narrative. The puzzles are sufficientin their being rigid and not too much originals. From the middle of the game onwards, our adult’s journey into Somerville approaches that of walking simulator, where the only real obligation is to keep moving forward. This defect had already been seen unfortunately both in Inside and Limboand is being revived now in the third game 12 years later.
Somerville actually is static regarding the gameplay, while narratively it is built like a film. The first playthrough serves as script notation and dress rehearsal in our case, while the latter is where Sommerville becomes himselfso to speak, conjugating style of game to narrative choices e visual.

Excellent sound and graphics

In Somerville, the sound, le images and theatmosphere they create an experience tense and unnerving that attracts curiosity, curiosity that should push the player to move forward. This level of intrigue is continuous throughout the game, he presents excellent visuals it’s a wonderful sound designbut falls short in several areas.
SomervilleIn summary, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a AAA game, but it comes close.
In Somerville there beauty of nature and the perseverance Human transpire from a world that is being reshaped in a way alien. There are no dialogues spoken or written, the whole story is told through the body language and putting together clues from the places that are explored. A festival abandoned which strongly resembles Glasto can be found around, full of damaged tents and stages set up but emptywhile I lands agricultural were left behind in the middle of collected as if all of humanity was wiped out in an instant. All of this suggest to the player, without ever holding his hand, allowing to contextualize the little information to which we have access little by little. Style aesthetic of the game, strongly based on minimalismbut sometimes fails to hatch with precision the boundaries of the scenario, causing quite a few problems in the most agitated phases of the action.
Visually, there are such details watercolor and models low poly. The work of camera is masterful, both intimate and grand, describing the experience from ever-changing perspective of the poor man we find ourselves controlling.
Even at the level sonorous the game turns out to be excellent, with almost soundtracks imperceptible and moments of suspense really effective. They are strongly recommended great headphones to fully enjoy the experience.
Sommerville’s short running time settles down 4/5 hours approximately, with the possibility of finals alternative. On several occasions, we have experienced a sensation similar to what we experienced in Twelve Minutes (our review of Twelve Minutes), which had the same tendency to indulge in some possibilities only in specific historical circumstances.
The only downside is the feedback numerous bugs during the time spent with Somerville, which really detracted from the overall experience. Too often I found myself coming across a companion needed for a puzzle that got stuck in the environment. It also happened that the main character slipped in endless falling animation loops. All of this required either exiting the game completely or restarting from a checkpoint.

Final comment

Tested version: pc
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X

Somerville, the review of the new title inspired by Limbo and Inside